Court rejects $10 million bond set by utilities commission that would have blocked critics’ chance to appeal Duke’s global warming machine
Late today the NC Court of Appeals dealt a rare blow to the state utilities commission and Duke Energy by reversing an order that would have blocked a court appeal of a controversial power plant in Asheville.
The court agreed with NC WARN and The Climate Times, who argued that a $10 million bond set by the commission as a condition of appealing the plant approval was not based on evidence.
The court essentially ordered the commission to conduct a proper proceeding over the bond issue instead of pulling multi-million dollar amounts out of its regulatory hat while not even requiring Duke to provide any evidence – or to even state – that our appeal would delay construction of the $1.1 billion project.
If the commission blows the issue again, the court could decide to accept the appeal without a bond – which would be entirely appropriate.
In approving the huge gas-fired power plant in a fast-track proceeding, the utilities commission ignored – and allowed Duke to ignore – affidavits from technical experts arguing that the plant is not needed, that the future supply and price of gas are highly risky, and that the plant would amplify greenhouse emissions at the worst possible time.