By John Downey NC WARN has filed an ethics complaint against Sen. Dan Blue, D-Wake, contending there is a conflict of interest between his sponsorship of legislation about utility regulation and his law firm’s work for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The complaint, filed Wednesday morning with the N.C. Ethics Commission, raises …
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 climate change group known for taking on Duke Energy filed an ethics complaint against Senate Minority Leader Dan Blue on Wednesday, suggesting that his support of key legislation for the company is tied to work his family law firm does for the Duke’s planned natural gas pipeline.
[NC WARN] says Blue, a Wake County Democrat and the Senate minority leader, has a glaring conflict of interest. He is the lead sponsor of legislation, Senate Bill 559, that would change the state’s utility commission’s rate-setting structure even as Blue’s law firm — which includes his two sons — is representing a holding company tied to Duke Energy in eminent domain cases related to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
A clean-energy advocacy group wants an investigation into whether a longtime North Carolina legislator violated ethics laws by pushing legislation sought by Duke Energy Corp. while his law firm did legal work for a gas pipeline project.
The top Democrat in the North Carolina Senate is facing accusations that Duke Energy is paying him as he helps advance the utility company’s legislative agenda.
A watchdog group today filed a lengthy complaint with the NC Ethics Commission outlining what they say is an improper arrangement between Duke Energy and Senate Minority Leader Dan Blue.
Visual Timeline: When Did Dealmaking Begin?
See articles by News & Observer Editorial, News & Observer coverage, WRAL, Associated Press, and Charlotte Business Journal
Duke Energy is the largest investor-owned electric utility in the U.S. But a new report by Environmental Working Group reveals another distinction: Its puny investments in renewable energy, schemes to penalize customers who want to go solar, and environmental record make Duke public energy enemy No. 1.
Debate over a controversial proposal on electricity rates ratcheted up this week with two environmental groups’ full-page newspaper ad asking the state Senate’s top-ranking Democrat, Dan Blue, to end his support for a Duke Energy bill and stop taking the company’s “dirty money.”The North Carolina Conservation Network was calling residents Monday, asking them to register their opposition to Senate Bill 559, which it described as a “blank check for Duke Energy.”
A report out today from a coalition of 14 community and environmental justice organizations reveals that Duke Energy skewed its political campaign contributions last year in order to gain support from Senate Minority Leader Dan Blue and other lawmakers instrumental in reviewing what is now a highly controversial bill.
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.