The civil rights group is trying to stop state and local branches from accepting money from utilities that promote fossil fuels and then lobbying on their behalf.
Duke/Kochs' Control of Government
Duke Energy and others in the energy industry consistently use deceptive public relations – and millions of customer dollars – to distort the debate over important decisions. Duke’s control over NC state government is significant. We must face this “inconvenient truth” in order to make the shift to clean, safe energy. This corporate influence has, in the words of Dr. James Hansen, wounded our democracy.
Particularly egregious are efforts by Duke, the Koch brothers and other industry powers to slow the growth of solar energy and, in North Carolina, to prevent competition from third-party providers of no-upfront-cost solar deals that put solar energy within reach of many more homeowners and businesses. Another good example of corporate power is the passage in some states of Construction Work in Progress laws that allow utilities to charge customers in advance for building expensive new plants that aren’t even needed.
In 2015, Duke Energy, the Koch Brothers and others successfully kept the Energy Freedom bill bottled up in committee at the NC legislature. The bill would have opened up NC to third-party solar deals. Read about our 2015 Duke Hates Solar campaign in support of the bill.
Read about our Solar Freedom project at Faith Community Church in Greensboro — a test case in the state’s ban on third-party sales of electricity.
Direct Appeals for Dialogue with Duke Energy
NC WARN has repeatedly reached out to Duke Energy executives, seeking to collaborate with them on moving away from obstructionism and toward a clean energy future. A few examples are listed here.
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North Carolina voters are being badly misled by corporate propaganda from Duke Energy instead of accurately informed by news media and others, according to a statewide poll released today by NC WARN. In a state prideful of its civic accomplishments, these findings should be a wake-up call for news bosses, educators, public officials and other civic leaders.
This is an important win and we think we can improve the proposed rule. We appreciate our allies at Friends of the Earth, Center for Biological Diversity and Vote Solar for joining us in calling on the Commission to make the rules even stronger. And thanks to those of you who wrote to the Commission. If you didn’t already, tell the Commission you don’t want your money spent for Duke to spread its influence.
“I’m on the side of innovation and free markets,” Szoka said, adding that the “highly controlled monopolies” that run the industry today are approaching “a tipping point” where change is imminent. “Their best days are behind them and I think we need something else,” he said.
NC WARN and many diverse allies gained a major win yesterday with the defeat – after seven intense months – of Duke Energy’s $23 billion ‘ratepayer rip-off bill’ (SB 559). This is a major blow against Duke Energy’s dirty business model including its massive expansion of climate-wrecking fracked gas.
Thanks to all the NC WARN members and allies for keeping the pressure on the legislature. Linked here is a statement by Appalachian Voices on behalf of the Energy Justice NC Coalition.
Duke Energy Acknowledges Illegal Contributions; Dishonest Reporting Deserves $100,000+ Penalty: Seven months after it made illegal contributions to legislative leaders, the Duke Energy PAC tried to conceal its wrongdoing by filing a false and incomplete campaign disclosure report. The State Board of Elections should hold the company accountable.
In the wake of Hurricane Dorian, the Energy Justice NC Coalition today called on North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper to end Duke Energy’s monopoly and transform the state’s electricity system to 100 percent renewable energy as soon as possible.
In response to a petition filed last November by NC WARN and Friends of the Earth, the NC Utilities Commission today proposed rules that would prohibit Duke Energy’s public utilities from charging ratepayers for political contributions, charitable contributions and lobbying expenses.
The state Senate vote yesterday on Duke Energy’s highly controversial “alternative ratemaking” bill and subsequent appointments to a conference committee clearly show the utility company’s undue influence over the legislative and public policy process, says the Energy Justice for North Carolina (EJNC) coalition.
Senate Bill 559, approved by the Senate, is awaiting approval in the state House, where it is sitting in committee. The bill, which Duke Energy heavily lobbied for, consists of two parts — the first related to storm recovery funding and the second, more controversial part related to expanding rate-setting options.