On a major bill that will shape North Carolina’s energy future, Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican legislative leaders have reached what’s being called a compromise. But if that’s what House Bill 951 is, it’s an odd one.
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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Bipartisan support for energy bill as some worry over costs, ‘ambiguities’ – WRAL
NC WARN, often the state’s most ardent environmental advocate, blasted the bill and the governor for supporting it, saying it “gives cover for the Charlotte-based corporate giant to continue its climate-wrecking expansion of gas-fired power plants.”
NC Governor Heeds Duke Energy Instead of Climate Science — News Release from NC WARN
Deal over controversial energy bill leaves Duke on track to keep building 50 gas-fired units despite pleas by world scientists, new revelations on methane.
North Carolina tightens rules on how Duke Energy pays for political activity — Energy News Network
Regulators clarify that utilities cannot charge ratepayers for political spending, but they’re free to spend profits on campaigns, including dark money groups.
Utilities Commission makes it tougher for companies to charge political expenditures to ratepayers — NC Policy Watch
The NC Utilities Commission closed several, but not all, loopholes in rules prohibiting public utilities, notably Duke Energy, from passing along lobbying and advertising expenses to ratepayers, according to a ruling issued last week.
Duke Energy Scandal, Ruling Over Influence Spending — News Release from NC WARN
Duke Energy “Influence Spending” Addressed in Mixed Ruling by NC Utilities Commission. Order comes as “worst-ever” scandal shows energy giant poured money onto state legislators in lead-up to ongoing, controversial energy bill.
DUKE ENERGY – NEWS & OBSERVER
Letter to the Editor by Jim Warren. Articles Wednesday on the climate crisis and the controversial energy bill, House Bill 951, wrongly implied that Duke Energy is shifting off fossil fuels.
As Duke Energy promotes controversial legislation in N.C., money pours in and rumors fly — Energy News Network
An analysis from a campaign finance expert shows a surge in political spending by Duke Energy’s PAC, board members, and the company itself, with some Democrats fearing retribution for opposing its bill. As Duke Energy promotes contentious energy legislation in North Carolina, a new analysis shows the Charlotte-based company and its associates have been pouring money into state politics like never before.
North Carolina HB 951 could mean windfall for Duke, large rate increases for customers — Energy and Policy Institute
Duke Energy is attempting to win major concessions from North Carolina lawmakers on an energy bill that would fundamentally change the state’s regulatory landscape, setting up a potential veto showdown with Governor Roy Cooper, and a battle with some of the state’s largest employers.
State regulators: More info needed to approve Duke Energy’s natural gas, other construction plans — WRAL
State regulators will take a closer look at Duke Energy’s long-term energy plans, they said Tuesday, delaying required approvals on keystone documents. The North Carolina Utilities Commission’s announcement comes after regulators in South Carolina this month rejected Duke’s plans in that state, adding more uncertainty to energy giant’s future construction plans.