By Heather Moore
RALEIGH—Two state groups are urging Governor-elect Pat McCrory to recuse himself from appointing members to the NC Utilities Commission.
AARP of North Carolina and NC WARN, an energy watchdog group, claim there is a conflict of interest because McCrory worked for Duke Energy for nearly three decades. The Utilities Commission regulates the rates and services of all public utilities in North Carolina.
It is the oldest regulatory body in state government. Utility companies have to get approval from the commission in order to raise rates, to build new facilities, and most recently the board approved the merger between Duke Energy and Progress Energy.
Essentially the commission is there to ensure people in North Carolina receive a fair deal on their utilities. As governor, McCrory will be responsible for naming the chairman of the Utilities Commission, the executive director of its public staff, and appoint several commissioners to the board.