State ethics investigators are moving forward on a complaint by NC WARN alleging an improper relationship between Duke Energy and Senate Minority Leader Dan Blue. The 2019 complaint says Blue was lead promoter of hotly contested – and ultimately failed – legislation sought by Duke Energy while his family law firm was suing 32 landowners to make way for the proposed Atlantic Coast fracked gas Pipeline.
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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A coalition of public interest, social justice, watchdog and environmental groups are joining forces to hold Duke Energy, the largest investor-owned U.S. electric utility, accountable for its policies, which impact almost 8 million Americans in six states – and by extension, impede the nation’s progress toward a clean energy future.
Industry, governments, schools, are paying thousands for services they aren’t getting – a “double whammy” for workers and “financial cascade” for state economy Manufacturers across North Carolina are seeking temporary power-bill relief for services not being received by a host of business, government and nonprofit facilities during the coronavirus crisis. …
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a long way from being constructed, but it’s already proving a leaky conduit for cash.
More than 70 youth, social justice, clean energy and faith groups, among others, today called on North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper to join more than 1,400 local and national governments by formally declaring a climate emergency.
Duke Energy, the North Carolina-based monopoly electric utility giant, is among the corporate sponsors of programming on WUNC, the flagship National Public Radio member station serving North Carolina’s Research Triangle Region, which includes the state capital of Raleigh. The Duke Energy-underwritten spots — third-party pieces read aloud by station personnel — are the target of a complaint that was filed this week with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) by the climate justice advocacy group NC WARN, which says the station is violating the agency’s rules for noncommercial radio.
Watchdog group NC WARN today is filing a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) charging that public radio station WUNC repeatedly airs sponsorship announcements by Duke Energy that violate rules for noncommercial stations. We are calling for the federal regulators to end the deceptive ads and require full disclosure of Duke Energy’s spending with the station.
See coverage of our complaint in Facing South
A group of legislators in the Carolinas wants the two states to work together on proposals to overhaul utility regulation and set up a regional transmission organization (RTO) to promote competition to the existing power monopolies established for Duke Energy and Dominion Power.
Concern about competition for energy production in the Carolinas has now led to a call by legislators in both states to consider broad utility reform.
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.