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.
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The NC Utilities Commission told our attorney and other intervenors late Friday that it will conduct a two-day technical session to take a deeper look into Duke Energy’s hotly contested 15-year Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) on September 30 and October 1.
Great TV story exposing Duke Energy on bogus data given to regulators to justify building 50 gas-fired power units. The public hearing is actually March 16.
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.”
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.
See coverage by WFAE
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.