Duke Energy's Merger With Piedmont Natural Gas Goes Before N.C. Utilities Commission Next Week | News
News
INDY Week's news blog

Archives | RSS

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Duke Energy's Merger With Piedmont Natural Gas Goes Before N.C. Utilities Commission Next Week

Posted by on Thu, Jul 14, 2016 at 5:05 PM

click to enlarge duke-energy-logo-2013.jpg


It will cost Duke Energy $6.7 billion, but there are lots of reasons why the utility giant wants to merge with Piedmont Natural Gas. 

For one, the merger would add a million customers and the state of Tennessee to Duke Energy's portfolio. For two, it would consolidate the electric and gas utilities into a hugely powerful mega-monopoly. And, as usual, it's the ratepayer— who actually prefers clean, renewable energy sources, like solar, over fracked gas and gross climate emissions—that will suffer. 

An evidentiary and public hearing on whether to allow the merger will happen before the North Carolina Utilities Commission on Monday at 2 p.m., because this can't happen soon enough. Duke Energy has already been able to fast-track review of the merger by the Federal Trade Commission which, in late 2015, actually allowed termination of a thirty day waiting period for approval normally required by U.S. law. 

And if you're in any doubt about what the Utility Commission's decision will be, note here that the public staff—the ostensibly independent body charged with representing ratepayers' interests to the commission—has already recommended approval of the merger, and that four of the seven current members of the commission were appointed by long-time- Duke Energy-employee-slash-manservant Governor Pat McCrory. 

"Duke has opposed more access to solar for customers by their opposition to the Energy Freedom Act, a bipartisan policy that would expand consumer choice of electric utilities in the state and expand solar purchasing opportunities," a Greenpeace press release states. "By trying to purchase this natural gas company, Duke Energy is prioritizing their fossil-fuel centered business model and not what  the citizens of North Carolina are demanding."

Greenpeace says natural gas prices are risky long-term, and that investing in natural gas infrastructure would amplify greenhouse emissions.

"People want solar, freedom of choice about where their energy comes from and more than four percent renewable by 2030, which is Duke's extremely low goal in their long term plans," the group states. 

Duke Energy spokesman Randy Wheeless says the company has thirty-five solar farms in North Carolina and the state is third in the nation for solar, where the industry is growing at a rate second only to California's. He adds that Duke Energy's overall energy mix is 4.5 percent wind and solar and 7.8 percent renewable hydro. 

Greenpeace will be protesting the merger outside the Dobbs Building at 430 North Salisbury Street beginning at 12:30 on Monday. 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Pin It

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 News



Twitter Activity

Comments

It would have better served the community to televise the debate on one of the local news channels. Many of …

by K. K. on Raleigh Mayoral Rivals Nancy McFarlane, Charles Francis to Tape Debate That Will Air Friday and Sunday (News)

According to this reporting, Mayor Bell seems to be endorsing Ali primarily to keep Steve Schewel on the Council because …

by Linda Belans on Bill Bell Endorses Farad Ali for Mayor of Durham (News)

Most Recent Comments

It would have better served the community to televise the debate on one of the local news channels. Many of …

by K. K. on Raleigh Mayoral Rivals Nancy McFarlane, Charles Francis to Tape Debate That Will Air Friday and Sunday (News)

According to this reporting, Mayor Bell seems to be endorsing Ali primarily to keep Steve Schewel on the Council because …

by Linda Belans on Bill Bell Endorses Farad Ali for Mayor of Durham (News)

So I guess the only question open in this election is:
Who, if anyone, does Pierce Freelon endorse?
(As …

by JoeJoey on Bill Bell Endorses Farad Ali for Mayor of Durham (News)

Yes, I really hope this is put on YouTube or something. It would maximize voter reach, especially as there are …

by JohnnyDollar on Raleigh Mayoral Rivals Nancy McFarlane, Charles Francis to Tape Debate That Will Air Friday and Sunday (News)

We are lucky to have had such a primary field of bright, excellent, visionary candidates for Mayor of Durham, and …

by Sam M-B on Bill Bell Endorses Farad Ali for Mayor of Durham (News)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation