NC WARN, with a coalition of allies, co-organized the Charlotte protest outside of Duke Energy’s headquarters on the day of their annual shareholder meeting. We also had a presence inside the meeting, with our members speaking out for climate protection and social justice. Read excerpts from the news coverage below.
“Duke Energy CEO offers stock answers during shareholder’s meeting”
Ryan Pitkin, Creative Loafing Charlotte
Security removed Nick Wood, organizing director of environmental non-profit NC WARN, after he objected to the meeting’s agenda minutes after the meeting had begun. When Wood noticed that the Q&A, the only chance for guests to speak, was the very last order of business, he rose to his feet and loudly stated “Point of order!” before being tapped on the arm by a security guard and told to leave the building.
“I came into the meeting wanting to ask serious questions of Duke Energy,” he said. “I should have the right to make a comment about a proposal that is on the agenda at their legally required shareholder’s meeting.”
“In what democratic body do you have the vote before you discuss the issues?” said [NC WARN Senior Strategist] Peter MacDowell, a shareholder who attended the meeting. “This wasn’t a utility stockholder’s meeting, this was a futility stockholder’s meeting. It was a done deal.”
“Duke Energy CEO cites ‘year of accomplishment,’ praises directors”
Dane Huffman, WNCN
About 200 protesters gathered outside at the event, and participants had to enter through metal detectors. Duke Energy’s handling of coal ash spills in North Carolina rivers has raised questions about how well it has handled the coal ash disposal and its commitment to protect the state’s environment.
Sixteen people spoke at the event before the company cut off questions.
“Amid security and protests, Duke shareholders re-elect current directors”
Bruce Henderson, The Charlotte Observer
[NC WARN board member] George Friday, a community organizer from Gastonia, told [Duke Energy CEO Lynn] Good her reassurances about concern for the environment and for customers rang hollow. “I think the ‘we’ you’re describing is the ‘we’ that gets million-dollar bonuses,” Friday said. “I’m among the ratepayers for whom $20 a month to clean up coal ash is significant.”