Duke Energy Bill a Money and Power Grab, Failing NC Clean Energy and Climate Goals
CHAPEL HILL, N.C.—The Southern Environmental Law Center today issued the following statement by senior attorney Gudrun Thompson regarding draft energy legislation circulated by North Carolina General Assembly staff following months of secret legislative negotiations with Duke Energy that excluded environmental groups, low-income consumer advocates and other key stakeholders.
“The result of secretive closed door negotiations in the North Carolina General Assembly that included our politically powerful public utility, Duke Energy, but froze out other stakeholder voices, is a bill that will produce a windfall for Duke Energy shareholders while locking in polluting fossil fuels and failing to meet North Carolina’s clean energy and climate goals. This bill would take away oversight power from the North Carolina Utilities Commission and allow the utility to over-collect hundreds of millions of dollars from its captive customers.
“Even provisions that purport to grow renewables include power grabs for Duke Energy, allowing the monopoly to own and operate more facilities while making it harder for independent renewable power producers to do so.”
“The bill was just released to the public for the first time late yesterday, but bill proponents appear poised to rush the legislative process despite the bill’s failure to meet the state’s clean energy goals and utility ratepayer protections.”
For more than 30 years, the Southern Environmental Law Center has used the power of the law to champion the environment of the Southeast. With over 80 attorneys and nine offices across the region, SELC is widely recognized as the Southeast’s foremost environmental organization and regional leader. SELC works on a full range of environmental issues to protect our natural resources and the health and well-being of all the people in our region. www.SouthernEnvironment.org