Largest US Carbon Polluter is NOT on Track to Meet New EPA Clean Power Target
Duke Energy is telling the news media it is already on track to meet carbon reduction targets in the new EPA Clean Power Plan, which calls for 32 percent lower emissions from electric power plants by 2030.
In its August 3 press release, Duke CEO Lynn Good claims, “Even without federal regulations, our company has reduced carbon dioxide emissions from our power plants by 22 percent since 2005.”
That vaguely worded sentence is countered by available data and appears to be a dangerous fiction – more greenwashing of the corporate image.
In fact, the 22 percent claim pretends Duke’s multi-state electricity sales – thus emissions – did not plummet during the prolonged recession, although former CEO Jim Rogers publicly stated it would take many years for Duke to regain earlier sales levels.
Good also claims Duke has invested “more than $9 billion to lower emissions” by building gas-fired power plants – and even “highly efficient” coal units.
In fact, Duke’s new “highly efficient” Cliffside coal-fired unit spews far more carbon into the air annually than the combined emissions of all the small, little-used coal units Duke Energy Carolinas has been retiring.
And in fact, scrutiny of Duke’s 15-year Carolinas plan (IRP) reflects that it has been ADDING fracking gas-burning capacity so it can add billions to its rate base and increase sales – NOT adding gas in order to replace coal-fired power.
And in fact, the new fracking gas plants are even worse than coal for the climate crisis over the next crucial decades because of the well-documented leakage of methane during the mining of natural gas.
CEO Good pretends methane leakage doesn’t count – so she ignores it when claiming Duke Energy has reduced carbon emissions.