By Jim Warren
As you noted (“NC WARN opposes Duke University turbine project”), NC WARN has long supported combined heat and power technology – when it’s used as an energy-saving measure. What Duke Energy executives are proposing, however, is an unneeded power plant that would expand the burning of shale gas, perpetuating the disastrous fracking boom.
Among its problems, the gas-fired CHP plant would cause on-campus burning of natural gas and resulting greenhouse emissions to soar by 61 percent, and increase local air pollution, while barely improving campus power reliability.
Leading scientists warn that methane leaking and venting throughout US natural gas operations is rapidly making the climate crisis worse. It’s likely a key factor in the record-breaking, three-year global heatwave that continues unabated even as weather extremes increasingly ravage world communities – including four major floods in eastern North Carolina since Labor Day.
A large excess of regional power capacity means the plant would unnecessarily increase rates for all Duke Energy customers. And Duke University has many clean energy options, including huge solar potential at prices lower than it’s now paying for electricity.
NC WARN is urging President Richard Brodhead to reject Duke Energy’s expansion of fracked gas on campus and to join Stanford and others adopting clean energy innovations.
Humanity desperately needs leadership from people like Brodhead if we are to avert runaway climate change.
As you hinted, for years NC WARN has focused on changing Duke Energy’s business model to one that helps slow global warming – instead of escalating it.