Duke Energy responded to our insistence for careful examination of the need for a large gas-fired power plant near Asheville by pressing the NC Utilities Commission to fast-track its approval of the controversial project. The Utilities Commission shouldn’t cut itself off at the knees by letting Duke avoid a full-blown review process.
Methane, Fracked Gas & Climate
Methane (the main component in natural gas) is 100 times as bad for the climate as carbon dioxide over the short term. Less CO2 is emitted by natural gas than by coal when burned. But significant leakage of methane before burning makes gas a disaster for the climate, even as utilities and the gas industry are feverishly promoting fracked gas.
NC WARN is working hard to connect the dots between climate change, methane leakage and the fracking boom that is driven by demand from the electric power industry.
“Everything You Need to Know About Methane”, a primer by Earthjustice.
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Several area environmental groups are questioning Duke Energy’s planned natural gas facility at Lake Julian and are asking to be heard on the proposal as it is considered by state utility regulators.
Two N.C. environmental groups have asked state regulators to let them participate in a review of Duke Energy’s proposed natural gas plant in Asheville, raising objections to part of the utility’s plan.
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.
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.
The NC Waste Awareness and Reduction Network (NC WARN), offers the attached comments on various fracking rules. Our members are deeply concerned that the fracking process leads to additional hydrocarbons, and in particular methane, being released into the atmosphere, leading to more severe climate change.
The S.C. Public Service Commission has unanimously approved Duke Energy’s proposed $700 million W.S. Lee combined cycle natural gas plant.