Duke Energy Had a Very, Very Good Week | Triangulator | Indy Week
Pin It

Duke Energy Had a Very, Very Good Week 

It's been a great week for Duke Energy.

Let's begin: on Friday, Governor McCrory—a former Duke executive, of course—signed House Bill 630, the coal ash sweetheart deal that environmentalists say lets Duke, a company that saw revenues in excess of $23 billion in 2015, off the hook for its toxic coal ash pollution.

By court order, Duke has to clean up seven of fourteen coal ash sites across the state. The bill gives the utility giant the option of drying out and capping that coal ash in place rather than excavating it at a greater cost, provided the utility supplies a clean drinking water source to households near coal ash ponds by 2018. Almost all of Duke Energy's coal ash ponds are located near state waterways.

"There are families across North Carolina who cannot drink their own well water because it's contaminated with the cancer-causing chemicals found in Duke Energy's coal ash," Dan Crawford, director of governmental relations for the N.C. League of Conservation Voters, said in a statement.

And then: Duke Energy (likely) got win number two on Tuesday when the state's Utilities Commission heard its proposal to acquire Charlotte-based Piedmont Natural Gas in a $4.9 billion merger. (The commission was expected to vote on the merger after we went to press Tuesday, though there's no definitive timetable.) Duke Energy says the merger will save North Carolina ratepayers money by allowing Duke to borrow cash for projects—including building more gas-fired power plants—at better rates, at a time when the energy market is moving away from coal. Duke says the move will also save PNG customers money on their electric and gas bills.

Proponents of renewable energy sources, who fear the acceleration of climate change by methane-releasing natural gas operations, staged an elaborate protest Monday afternoon. A bride and groom wearing gas masks—symbolizing Duke Energy and PNG—were wedded by a stand-in pastor representing McCrory.

"I'm concerned about the increasingly overwhelming political power of monopolies and the effect of that on our democracy," said Beth Henry, a Charlotte attorney who participated in the skit and testified before the Utilities Commission on Monday. "Duke can already go to the legislature and basically get whatever it wants. The bigger they get, the more money they'll have, the more powerful they'll be, and the harder it will be for anyone at any level of government to say no to them."

triangulator@indyweek.com

Tags:

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Triangulator



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

"Powell has another idea. "I really wish Wake would experiment with taking officers out of the school and evaluate the …

by Educate1` on After an Incident at Rolesville High, Activists Wonder if Schools Need Cops (Triangulator)

Just to clarify, basically the only people currently eligible for Medicaid in North Carolina are pregnant women, families with minor …

by Smilla on Good News: Roy Cooper Wants to Expand Medicaid. Bad News: It Might Be Illegal. (Triangulator)

Yolanda Stith could not be less qualified for this position. What a blatant political giveaway.

by J.P. McPickleshitter on On His Way Out, Pat McCrory Places Close Advisers on Key State Boards (Triangulator)

FYI, you have the pictures of Lee Roberts and Andrew Heath switched.

by Bob Coats on On His Way Out, Pat McCrory Places Close Advisers on Key State Boards (Triangulator)

Thanks, Lewis. We've made a correction to the info graphic.

by Susan Harper, INDY Publisher on On His Way Out, Pat McCrory Places Close Advisers on Key State Boards (Triangulator)

Comments

"Powell has another idea. "I really wish Wake would experiment with taking officers out of the school and evaluate the …

by Educate1` on After an Incident at Rolesville High, Activists Wonder if Schools Need Cops (Triangulator)

Just to clarify, basically the only people currently eligible for Medicaid in North Carolina are pregnant women, families with minor …

by Smilla on Good News: Roy Cooper Wants to Expand Medicaid. Bad News: It Might Be Illegal. (Triangulator)

© 2017 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation