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/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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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.
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.
Legislators from North Carolina and South Carolina told a clean energy group Tuesday the two states should work together in developing new, better and more innovative ways to distribute the benefits of solar power and other forms of renewable energy.
“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.