Fresh off Independence Day celebrations, we’re still dealing with a lack of consumer agency in the Duke Energy rate hike bill (Senate Bill 559).
Over the long weekend, The News & Observer published an op-ed from a North Carolina business owner highlighting how this legislation allows Duke to increase utility rates and earn excess profits.
Ratepayer and environmental stakeholders have been excluded from the legislative process, but we will be the ones saddled with the expense of Duke’s coal ash cleanup.
Yesterday, the House Rules Committee added an amendment attempting to disguise the bill’s ugly intentions, implementing broad language requiring investments in “low income communities.” In reality, this facade lacks the teeth to ensure such communities receive any benefit from Duke’s “investment.” The amendment merely allows the utility to place infrastructure in already disadvantaged areas, potentially heightening the risk of further harm and injustice to those communities.
SB 559 moves to the House floor this morning. It is imperative that legislators support the actual well-being of ratepayers — their constituents — and hold Duke Energy accountable for its dirty actions.
VOTE NO on this bill.
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