A reworked Duke Energy natural gas plant proposal isn’t drawing protests as an earlier version did, but some area residents and groups are raising concerns ahead of a North Carolina Utilities Commission meeting on the utility’s plans.
Duke Energy Gas Expansion
Duke Energy is planning a massive increase in its burning of natural gas to produce electricity. This would be a climate disaster because of the large amounts of super-potent methane that leak unburned from gas operations, particularly fracking. Read more here and in the news items below about NC WARN’s work to block Duke’s fracking gas future.
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Duke Energy Progress is touting plans for a natural gas-fired facility that will replace the coal-powered plant at Lake Julian, but some environmental groups are criticizing a fast-tracked approval process that leaves little time for public scrutiny.
Duke is pressing North Carolina regulators for a fast-track, rubber-stamp approval to build a huge gas-fired power plant in Asheville that isn’t even needed, a project that would accelerate the climate crisis and cause statewide electricity rates to jump. North Carolina needs careful and open review, not secretive, fast-track approval of a climate-wrecking, high-dollar power plant that would add to regional glut of supply.
Duke Energy responded to our insistence for careful examination of the need for a large gas-fired power plant near Asheville by pressing the NC Utilities Commission to fast-track its approval of the controversial project. The Utilities Commission shouldn’t cut itself off at the knees by letting Duke avoid a full-blown review process.
Several area environmental groups are questioning Duke Energy’s planned natural gas facility at Lake Julian and are asking to be heard on the proposal as it is considered by state utility regulators.
Two N.C. environmental groups have asked state regulators to let them participate in a review of Duke Energy’s proposed natural gas plant in Asheville, raising objections to part of the utility’s plan.
State regulators must fully examine Duke Energy’s upcoming application to build a large gas-fired power plant or reject the plant. The project is already highly controversial and will grow more so as the public learns that the plant is not needed, that it would accelerate the climate crisis and would create the risk of soaring electricity rates due to the extreme volatility of natural gas supply and pricing.
As Paris negotiators seek to avert irreversible global climate disruption, the nation’s largest carbon-polluting utility has been steaming full-speed backward with a climate- and economy-wrecking plan to greatly expand the burning and piping of fracked and conventional natural gas. Today NC WARN and The Climate Times openly pressed Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good to slow down, to weigh the evolving science and economics of natural gas, and to realize that she must share such critical decision-making with the people of North Carolina.
Reactions to Duke Energy’s $4.9 billion takeover of Piedmont Natural Gas are skewing mostly to wait-and-see at this point. But at least one Duke watcher has some concerns.
It is patently dishonest for Duke Energy to imply it is helping slow climate change while pretending that the impacts of methane leakage somehow can be ignored – especially when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change now warns that methane is 86 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period. Your people surely know this. Why do you allow Duke officials to keep distorting this critical issue that defeats the notion of natural gas as a “bridge fuel”?