Critics say that Duke’s plan for the next 15 years is heading in the wrong direction. Climate and Energy Watchdog Jim Warren, who heads NC WARN calls Duke’s utility plan “Ruinous.”
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A coalition of public interest, environmental and economic justice organizations will convene the first-ever hearing to examine Duke Energy’s policies and practices, which have polluted and financially punished its low-income ratepayers and communities of color throughout its vast six-state service area.
Rita Leadem with the environmental group NC Warn said many of the grid upgrades are unnecessary and that Duke should invest more in solar energy. “The smarter investment at this time would really be in the clean energy resources, backed up with battery storage, that would provide the resiliency that we need and really pave the way forward,” she said.
As a long-awaited hearing begins next Monday, attorneys for NC WARN and allies will firmly oppose Duke Energy’s request for yet another electricity rate hike even as the Utilities Commission’s Public Staff and other parties recently announced settlements with Duke on portions of the rate request.
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A coalition of environmental groups have petitioned N.C. regulators to rule Duke Energy and other utilities must get regulatory approval before modifying coal plants to burn natural gas. Jim Warren, executive director of the Durham-based watchdog group NC WARN, which is one of the petitioners, says it appears Duke is “spending millions on Band-Aids for coal plants instead of retiring them.”
Duke Energy, the nation’s largest investor-owned electric utility, claims to make affordability, efficiency and access to renewable energy for its low-income customers a priority. But an investigation by the Environmental Working Group shows that just the opposite is true.
Despite growing frustration across the political spectrum with Duke Energy’s rising rates and meager clean energy plans, there’s no clear path to ending the 115-year-old utility’s monopoly outright.
A prominent energy engineer [Bill Powers] is contesting Duke Energy Carolinas’ request for billions of dollars in rate increases, showing in written testimony that the corporation is trying to pad investors’ pockets through pre-approval of grid projects that are either unneeded or could be better handled with solar-plus-storage investments.
This letter continues the flow of evidence that Duke Energy’s massive expansion of fracked gas is a reckless waste of money that’s harming humanity’s chances of averting runaway climate chaos. Today we are urging North Carolinians to tell Gov. Cooper to stop Duke Energy’s climate-wrecking gas expansion – starting with the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.