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Friday, October 9, 2015

Environmental group calls for N.C. Attorney General to investigate Duke Energy

Posted by on Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 3:17 PM

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N.C. Waste Awareness and Reduction Network
, better known as WARN, is taking aim at Duke Energy again.

On Wednesday, the nonprofit said its attorney filed a complaint with Attorney General Roy Cooper's office asking Cooper to "assert his explicit legal authority" in an investigation of the billion-dollar utility. WARN said the investigation should determine whether Duke's corporate charter in North Carolina should be revoked "due to its history of criminality."

WARN is a longtime critic of Duke. The group has been calling for the company to phase out its use of fossil fuels for years, but has intensified its criticism since last year's mammoth coal ash spill in Eden's Dan River. 

According to the group's 27-page complaint, Duke has violated its corporate charter by "criminal activity; fouling the air, land and water; injustices against low-wealth customers; manipulating state agencies and elected officials, and; stifling clean energy competition to maintain monopoly control." 

"Mr. Cooper has shown courage in standing against several Duke Energy rate increases that were unjust," said N.C. WARN Organizing Director Connie Leeper. "We urge him to use this opportunity to provide unprecedented leadership to slow climate change  before it spins entirely out of human control." 

As we mentioned earlier this week, the vast majority of the scientific world believes we must act soon to attempt to reverse climate change. Read last year's supremely gloomy report from the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

In its complaint, N.C. WARN says it is not asking Cooper to "dissolve" Duke Energy, but to force action from the company.  No reply yet from Cooper, who will challenge Gov. Pat McCrory in 2016. 

Duke spokeswoman Paige Sheehan responded to the complaint this week. "This is the latest in a string of meritless allegations and gimmicks by NCWarn that are consistently rejected by regulators and an informed public," Sheehan said.

"It's unfortunate when discussions of our energy future are clouded by mis-information. This is a nuisance filing that drains taxpayer dollars and chews up state resources. Stunts like this and the publicity they generate are the lifeblood of NCWarn."   

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