Environmental watchdog group NC WARN wants North Carolina’s attorney general to investigate whether Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers improperly negotiated directly with N.C. Utilities Commission Chairman Ed Finley to settle the commission’s inquiry into Duke’s $32 billion purchase of Progress Energy.
Duke Energy & State Regulators
NC WARN regularly challenges Duke Energy to make a rapid transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy and energy efficiency. We intervene at the NC Utilities Commission in cases involving Duke’s rate increases and 15-year Integrated Resource Plans (IRPs). And we have repeatedly reached out directly to the corporation’s executives, seeking to collaborate with them on finding ways to avert climate catastrophe. A few examples are listed here.
- Check out the new coalition: Energy Justice NC: End the Duke Monopoly
- Duke Energy page on Energy & Policy Institute website
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Last week the Charlotte Observer published an interview in which Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers said he had resolved the major scandal following his acquisition of Progress Energy by personally negotiating the settlement with NC Utilities Commission Chairman Ed Finley. Today NC WARN called on state Attorney General Roy Cooper to investigate that negotiation, which we believe was an unlawful communication that led to a multi-billion dollar miscarriage of justice against North Carolina’s electricity customers.
A Durham advocacy group has asked attorney general Roy Cooper to investigate whether Duke Energy and the N.C. Utilities Commission engaged in illegal “backroom deal-making” during talks to settle the Duke-Progress Energy merger probe.
Several energy watchdog groups told Eyewitness News a new settlement with Duke Energy will not help customers’ monthly power bills. Details of the settlement between Progress Energy and Duke Energy were released Thursday afternoon. If approved, it will end a months-long battle over their controversial merger.
The number immediately jumped out to Jim Hoard: $9 million. That’s the amount Progress Energy expects to save within its first year of the merger with Duke Energy, according to the rate increase request Progress filed this month. The savings would come from streamlined operations and staff cuts that will eliminate 1,860 positions over three years.
NC WARN will be watching to see if Progress Energy tries to slip in $100s of millions in improper annual expenses – as its parent corporation Duke Energy did in its past two rate cases.
Progress Energy Carolinas is asking state regulators for a rate increase that would boost the average household electricity bill of its North Carolina customers by nearly $180 a year.
Over the years Progress Energy customers have fine-tuned the art of kvetching about their power bills, often forgetting that electricity costs here are well below the national average. That conversation is about to be pitched a few octaves higher.