State regulators must fully examine Duke Energy’s upcoming application to build a large gas-fired power plant or reject the plant. The project is already highly controversial and will grow more so as the public learns that the plant is not needed, that it would accelerate the climate crisis and would create the risk of soaring electricity rates due to the extreme volatility of natural gas supply and pricing.
Duke Energy Gas Expansion
Duke Energy is planning a massive increase in its burning of natural gas to produce electricity. This would be a climate disaster because of the large amounts of super-potent methane that leak unburned from gas operations, particularly fracking. Recent science from the United Nations and others show that new gas infrastructure is incompatible with the goal of preventing catastrophic climate change. Read more here and in the news items below about NC WARN’s work to block Duke’s fracking gas future.
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As Paris negotiators seek to avert irreversible global climate disruption, the nation’s largest carbon-polluting utility has been steaming full-speed backward with a climate- and economy-wrecking plan to greatly expand the burning and piping of fracked and conventional natural gas. Today NC WARN and The Climate Times openly pressed Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good to slow down, to weigh the evolving science and economics of natural gas, and to realize that she must share such critical decision-making with the people of North Carolina.
Reactions to Duke Energy’s $4.9 billion takeover of Piedmont Natural Gas are skewing mostly to wait-and-see at this point. But at least one Duke watcher has some concerns.
It is patently dishonest for Duke Energy to imply it is helping slow climate change while pretending that the impacts of methane leakage somehow can be ignored – especially when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change now warns that methane is 86 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period. Your people surely know this. Why do you allow Duke officials to keep distorting this critical issue that defeats the notion of natural gas as a “bridge fuel”?
Duke’s shift toward gas began in earnest about seven years ago, triggering the closure of coal-fired plants in Eden and six other North Carolina communities, replacing them with five plants that use gas as their primary fuel. Clean-energy advocate Jim Warren believes Duke is reaping a public relations bonanza by shifting from a bad fossil fuel to another that’s only a bit less problematic.
Duke Energy Corp. customers in the Carolinas looking for relief from rate hikes are likely to be disappointed over the next several years. That is particularly true for customers at Duke Energy Progress, which forecasts the need for as many as five new natural gas plants between now and 2022.