Public Demands More Clean Energy and Less Fossil Fuels

Members of the Public Urged NCUC to Reject Duke Energy’s Carbon Reduction Plan

Members of the public strongly panned Duke Energy’s “Carbon Plan” as the NC Utilities Commission’s (NCUC) public hearing schedule wrapped up last week in Durham. Multiple commenters pointed to the high costs of the plan to ratepayers, along with its failure to meet carbon emission reduction goals on time.

Melissa McCullough is a Chapel Hill Town Council Member, and former assistant national program director of sustainable and healthy communities research for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). She criticized “Duke’s counterproductive proposal” for relying on more methane gas use, as well as “a wildly expensive if not infeasible technology, hydrogen,” instead of the most cost-effective option, renewable energy. Jose Saucedo of Winston-Salem focused on the high consumer costs of the plan, and asked the NCUC to order Duke to stick to the decarbonization timetable with renewable energy instead. 

Clean Energy Campaign Director Speaks Up

In her comments to NCUC, Michelle “Meech” Carter, clean energy campaigns director at NCLCV, hammered some of Duke’s biggest failures. “To be clear,” she stated, “this Carbon Plan proposes one of the largest fossil fuel buildouts in the United States.” She continued by saying the plan “does not adequately consider the Inflation Reduction Act and EPA 111 rules, fails to meaningfully include environmental justice communities, limits renewable energy development, and overall is not affordable for families struggling to keep their lights on.”

To further explain, the EPA 111 rules force utility companies to either implement carbon capture or run any new gas plants at lower capacity. Duke is likely to run gas plants less often, making these plants less efficient and increasing the cost per kilowatt hour of energy from these plants. These rules are clearly intended to discourage new gas plants, so Duke Energy needs to rework its plans.

See our full written comments to NCUC here. 

See our abbreviated take on Duke’s calamitous Carbon Plan proposal here.

Take action and sign NCLCVF’s petition!

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