Please fill out the form that appears below this letter if you would like to join us in calling on WUNC to more comprehensively cover climate and energy issues affecting North Carolina, including the role of Duke Energy. (If you heard Duke’s recent announcement about its emission reduction goals, you might be interested to read NC WARN’s analysis, which shows how important it is for WUNC and other media to dive below the surface of these issues.)
This letter was sent to WUNC on October 17, 2019. Your signature will be saved and given to WUNC the next time we are communicating with them on this topic. You can also email WUNC President and General Manager Connie Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
October 17, 2019
President and General Manager
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Subject: Your coverage of the climate crisis, solutions and Duke Energy’s vital role
Dear Ms. Walker,
Over the years, we have learned to trust WUNC as a reliable source of information on the important news of the day. We admire your news team, which is among the best anywhere. In addition to providing accurate news with cutting edge insights, we donors and listeners appreciate that WUNC coverage of controversial issues is fair and unbiased.
So we are concerned by the observations of NC WARN regarding Duke Energy’s underwriting and that WUNC may be downplaying the dangers of Duke Energy’s growing use of natural gas. As WUNC has previously reported, natural gas comes mostly from fracking and is mostly methane, a very potent greenhouse gas. Thus, this is a concerning omission (particularly since Duke Energy advertises prominently on WUNC).
We encourage you to bring WUNC listeners the same kind of comprehensive reporting on energy and climate that you bring to other issues. This would help to foster much-needed public dialogue about these matters, which are among the most important challenges for this state. We have grown increasingly disturbed about accelerating weather extremes and sea level rise that are harming many North Carolinians and others worldwide, and by the science showing that – without dramatic global action – humanity is fast approaching a climate point of no return. What can North Carolinians do to help?
As NC WARN’s letter indicates, essential ways to slow the climate crisis are available but remain mostly unexamined. Prominent scientists say natural gas is even worse than coal for the climate due to the venting of unburned methane into the air, and therefore that the large expansion of fracked gas by Duke Energy is taking this state in the wrong direction. We believe this must be part of the public debate.
Very hopeful trends in renewable energy, paired with battery storage – a combination that is beating coal- and gas-fired power on price and reliability – also warrant comprehensive attention. Given these trends, why is Duke Energy projecting to be only 8% renewable in 2033? What technical or political changes must North Carolina adopt to become a leader in the transition to truly clean, renewable energy? How can ordinary people help? We need your help addressing these kinds of questions.
We thank you again for your service to our community, and we look forward to the comprehensive climate and energy coverage that WUNC is uniquely positioned to deliver.