Our Power - Duke Energy NC Green Party members/supporters Action Call
Tuesday Jan 9 at 8:30
Dial-in Number: (712) 451-0200
Access Code: 345895#
At our Fall Gathering meeting last month, we decided to focus this month and the foreseeable future as making Duke Energy and ending for-profit energy as one of our highlighted issues to focus on as a state party. The issues surrounding Duke’s practices and malfeasance cover a tremendous cross-section of issues (climate change, making the working poor foot the bill for corporate crimes, the dead end of privatizing public resources, environmental racism, union busting, corporate domination of elections and the legal system, the economic decimation of coal country, etc) . Our first task will be to show up and help bring folks to the Duke Energy rate hike hearings in Greensboro, Charlotte, Franklin and a final hearing in Raleigh.
As many of you know, Duke Energy, (NC's for-profit energy utility monopoly and still one of the biggest greenhouse gas polluters in the world), has submitted a request to raise our electric bills by almost 17% http://www.journalnow.com/business/business_news/local/duke-energy-s-rate-hike-request-headed-for-public-hearings/article_ac6b3ad3-6d5d-5d9f-9a11-7b5d2b4e7166.html as well as to significantly raise its flat fee (another regressive corporate tax on the poor http://blog.cleanenergy.org/2017/12/11/overshadowed-by-coal-ash-issue-debate-continues-over-duke-energys-fixed-charge/ ).
Even more outrageous is that the principal reason Duke, is giving the NC Utilities Commission (which supposedly represents the interests of the people of NC) for such steep hikes is to pass the bill for cleaning up coal ash spills, ponds, and deposits to their captive consumers (who they were found guilty of poisoning): http://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/2017/11/27/duke-energy-rate-increase-focused-coal-ash-cleanup-cost/896912001/
Of course the Department of Environmental Quality’s response (under log-time Duke Energy Executive and shareholder, Gov McCrory) was so horribly suspect that the Dept. of Justice intervened with an investigation that ended up finding Duke Energy guilty of several violations of the Clean Water Act and fining it 102 million dollars http://www.wral.com/duke-energy-pleads-guilty-to-environmental-charges-linked-to-coal-ash-spill-leaks/14645414/ For a company as large as Duke (one of the largest energy companies in the world) this was little more than a slap on the wrist. However this is not surprising form the DoJ under Obama as Duke Energy provided the 2012 DNC event a 10 million dollar kickstart loan/line of credit http://polluterwatch.org/blog/dukes-dirty-dollars-alec-dnc .
At our Fall Gathering, we also discussed why and how position of the NC Green Party must stand apart from the Wall Street parties, At the gathering, we also discussed why we should not focus on pursuing short-term nonprofit projects that essentially seek to reform Duke Energy, (who has blatantly betrayed the public trust countless times in its existence), instead of simply questioning why we have dirty for-profit polluters as public utilities at all.
- We really need to be true to our platform and Jill’s 2016 Platform and call for making energy 100% publicly controlled and 100% renewable.
- Not One More Dime, Duke- Not Rate Hikes for the Dirty Crimes of For-Profit Corporations! Instead of raising utility bills we should be CUTTING energy bills for NC residents with the most need instead of raising them in the warmest summers and coldest winters that are a result of our unfurling global climate chaos, and
- We need to call for a moratorium on energy cut-offs for those who cannot afford their bills. Duke Energy has repeatedly broken federal law and betrayed the public trust. And yet both Wall Street parties are fine with Duke literally putting the lives of its captive customers in danger again by cutting off their power.
Tuesday we shall discuss these potential demands and actions on our phone call. We will discuss how to maximize the audience for our demands (press release?, fliering, MLK events, hearings themselves), and how to bring interested residents and NCGP supporters to the rate hikes hearings and events in the future. Can't make it? We will have several more calls this month!