Senate Bill 559 is a bait & switch for the rejected $13 billion grid scheme and $10 billion in coal ash costs – further proof that it’s time to end the Duke monopoly.
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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With a headline predicting that natural gas “will thrive in the age of renewables,” the article made the case that there are limitations on solar and wind power and that … natural gas “is part of the solution.” Why was the Washington Post weighing in on the need for continued production of this fossil fuel in the face of climate change? Or was it?
A coalition of 14 environmental justice groups today called on North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper to appoint members to the North Carolina Utilities Commission that do not have ties to the fossil fuel industry and will protect public health and promote clean energy.
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.
NC WARN Executive Director Jim Warren was a guest on Charlotte Talks, the local talk show of NPR member station WFAE. He deftly countered Duke Energy’s corporate PR weasel-wording. It was a lively and feisty discussion that finally got the debate over North Carolina’s energy future out in the open. Listen here.
Two environmental advocacy groups, NC WARN and Friends of the Earth, filed a petition for rulemaking with the North Carolina Utilities Commission calling for it to block monopoly electric utility Duke Energy from spending its captive customers’ money to buy political influence.
Op-Ed by Jim Warren. There’s good news – outside of North Carolina – in the increasingly desperate fight to slow the climate crisis before its own momentum makes acceleration unstoppable. Economical storage, the long-sought Holy Grail of renewable energy, is surging in the marketplace while climate-wrecking fracked “natural” gas has begun to decline. Op-Ed also featured in Raleigh News & Observer, Fayetteville Observer, and Greensboro News & Record.
This Sunday, the entire New York Times Magazine will be composed of just one article on a single subject: the failure to confront the global climate crisis in the 1980s, a time when the science was settled and the politics seemed to align. Written by Nathaniel Rich, this work of history is filled with insider revelations about roads not taken that, on several occasions, made me swear out loud.
Op-Ed by Jim Warren. There’s good news — outside of North Carolina — in the increasingly desperate fight to slow the climate crisis before its own momentum makes acceleration unstoppable.
The world has warmed more than one degree Celsius since the Industrial Revolution. The Paris climate agreement — the nonbinding, unenforceable and already unheeded treaty signed on Earth Day in 2016 — hoped to restrict warming to two degrees. The odds of succeeding, according to a recent study based on current emissions trends, are one in 20.