SELC op-ed: Duke’s coal ash record not clean

Duke Energy headquarters in downtown Charlotte. (© iStock)

Derb Carter, director of SELC’s North Carolina offices, quickly responded to Duke Energy’s recent claim of a clean coal ash record. Carter reminded readers that, actually, the utility is still on probation since pleading guilty to 18 state and federal crimes related to its coal ash pollution.

Read an excerpt of his letter below; the full piece is available here.


On April 28, Duke Energy’s North Carolina community relations vice president sent Capitol Broadcasting a column that contains this astounding statement:  “And for decades, we have stored coal ash in accordance with federal and state regulations.”  This statement is simply false.

Duke Energy companies pleaded guilty 18 times to nine coal ash crimes committed at their coal ash sites across North Carolina. Duke Energy companies paid $102 million in criminal fines and remain on criminal probation today because of their illegal practices at their coal ash storage sites.

The state of North Carolina found that Duke Energy violated the state’s clean water laws at every site where Duke Energy stores coal ash in North Carolina.

Yet, Duke Energy continues to fight in court and with lobbyists and trade associations to weaken coal ash protections and to leave coal ash in leaking pits on Lake Norman and Lake Wylie and in Mooresville, Stokes County, and Person County.

North Carolina deserves a public utility that obeys the law, cleans up the messes it has made, and tells the truth.

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