Debate over a controversial proposal on electricity rates ratcheted up this week with two environmental groups’ full-page newspaper ad asking the state Senate’s top-ranking Democrat, Dan Blue, to end his support for a Duke Energy bill and stop taking the company’s “dirty money.”The North Carolina Conservation Network was calling residents Monday, asking them to register their opposition to Senate Bill 559, which it described as a “blank check for Duke Energy.”
NC WARN in the News
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Every two years, critics blast Duke Energy’s long-term generation plan in North Carolina, decrying it for containing too much coal and gas and too little renewable power. Each time, regulators approve the company’s blueprint with few if any changes.
Op-Ed by Donna, Jean and Jim. Since 2016, Robeson County has seen three so-called “500-year floods” and other steady rains that have turned the Lumbee River – a lifeline for generations – into something people fear. Eastern communities are also suffering the storm of efforts by Duke Energy to push the dirty Atlantic Coast Pipeline through their communities. They’ve also been hit with repeated rate increases and toxic coal ash pollution while the utility blocks competition from cheaper, cleaner renewable energy solutions.
A newly-formed coalition of advocacy groups has launched a campaign to end Duke Energy’s longstanding monopoly control over most of North Carolina’s electric system in hopes that permitting competition among power generators would hasten the shift to clean energy and bring pollution relief to vulnerable communities.
Nine Mecklenburg Democrats in the N.C. General Assembly are calling on state regulators to hold additional hearings, including one with expert testimony, on the long-range plans for North Carolina’s three largest electric utilities.
Their petition calls on elected officials to transition the state to 100% renewables; end Duke Energy’s monopoly on generation; refuse to accept campaign contributions from the utility; and appoint citizen-oriented utility commissioners.
“This project is $3 billion over budget yet construction had barely begun when it’s been halted for many months,” Warren said. “My guess: 30 percent chance it’ll ever be completed.”
Op-ed by Beth McKee-Huger. For an expert engineer’s detailed analysis of opportunities for clean energy to transform our environment, mitigate climate change and create new employment, download North Carolina Clean Path 2025. With only a short time to turn around climate change, he describes what is economically and technologically feasible if we take bold action.
A new coalition of environmental groups called for a sea change Wednesday in how North Carolina does electricity: an end to Duke Energy’s monopoly. The group delivered letters to Gov. Roy Cooper and General Assembly leadership that said “the interests of utility monopolies no longer coincide with those of the state’s electric power customers.”
Cooper allowed permitting for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which would carry natural gas from West Virginia through Virginia and North Carolina. The pipeline has been delayed several times and mired in controversy, about its cost overruns, its environmental impacts and Cooper’s role in negotiating with its developer.