Statement by Executive Director Jim Warren:
Duke’s purchase of Progress is being seen largely as an effort to power up financially to build nuclear plants.
If so, Duke should now be strong enough to gamble its own money on new nukes instead of saddling ratepayers and federal taxpayers with the monumental risks of cost overruns and project abandonments.
If Duke persists with plans to pre-charge customers for nuclear projects – and its ongoing legislative efforts to do so without even defending the projects in rate cases – it further proves that building nukes is too risky to attempt in a free-market society.
Since the nuclear “renaissance” is crumbling in most of the U.S. and several other countries – primarily due to the risk of project abandonment in midstream – Duke may well think it now has a chance for billions in federal nuclear loans
Customers across the political spectrum in the South will vigorously resist more corporate welfare for giant power companies. We will not allow big utilities to ruin our economies with annual rate hikes to build power plants that aren’t even needed.
In addition, it makes no sense for regulators to allow an even more powerful corporation that has already been caught abusing its power by subverting regulators in Indiana.
Jim Warren quoted in The News & Observer:
“Hopefully, what might come from this would be that Duke moves strongly to become the company that CEO Jim Rogers has been claiming they are. He claims to be a visionary about climate change and the need to move to clean energy. And he’s doing a lot of clean energy, but it’s not in these states. They’re doing it in the west and the Midwest and buying up a lot of solar and wind. But here, they’re actually holding up clean technologies because they’re dreaming of nukes. Rogers has a chance now to move ahead. He could be heroic in terms of cutting greenhouse emissions and helping avert what the scientists are calling an ‘extreme crisis’ with climate change. … Duke has a chance. They could be the game-changer, internationally, if they want to. But so far, it’s been too much rhetoric and PR from Rogers.”