Letter to the Editor by Connie Leeper, NC WARN Organizing Director
Duke Energy’s Nov. 27 letter “Duke power plant would be efficient, cost-effective” about its proposal to build a fracked gas-burning power plant at Duke University doesn’t pass the straight face test.
Officials from both Dukes claim the plant would reduce campus greenhouse emissions, a pretense based on the thin logic that Duke Energy – not the university itself – would own and burn the fracked gas and the plant.
In fact, the gas burned on and for the campus, and the resulting greenhouse gas emissions, would increase by 61 percent over current operations. The plant would perpetuate the highly destructive fracking boom, which is making the climate crisis rapidly worse due to super-potent methane leaking and venting throughout U.S. natural gas operations. That methane is likely a key factor in the ongoing, record-breaking, three-year global heat wave.
A large excess of regional power means the plant would unnecessarily boost rates for all Duke Energy customers – while increasing local air pollution.
The university has many clean energy options, including huge solar power potential at prices lower than it’s now paying for electricity.
NC WARN urges Duke University President Richard Brodhead to take assertive action to avert the accelerating climate crisis. Instead of helping Duke Energy advance a national scheme to expand the burning of fracked gas on campuses, he should join the leading universities that are adopting clean energy innovations.