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Greenpeace Report Shows a Cheaper, Cleaner Pathway for Duke Energy
Today Greenpeace released Charting the Correction Course: A Clean Energy Pathway for Duke Energy. Using modeling performed by Ventyx, an energy consultancy, the report details how Duke Energy can save their customers $108 billion over 20 years by investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency.
“Jim Rogers claims that Duke is a green utility, but the company continues to invest in dirty coal and deteriorating nuclear plants, all while raising rates for customers. His rhetoric doesn’t match the company’s reality,” said Mike Johnson, report author and senior analyst for Greenpeace.
Under Duke’s current plan, the majority of energy generated in North and South Carolina over the next 20 years will be sourced from 70-year-old coal plants and risky nuclear plants. Additionally, Duke will be expanding its natural gas fleet, thereby doubling the company's exposure to volatile natural gas prices. At the same time Duke Energy will quadruple electricity rates in the Carolinas within ten years, and increase them by nearly 20-fold by 2032 in order to pay for the company’s proposed construction.
The Greenpeace plan highlights specific changes Duke Energy can make to benefit ratepayers, the environment and investors. According to Charting the Correction Course, Duke could source 33 percent of its electricity from wind, solar and efficiency resources while saving ratepayers 57 percent on their bills over the next 20 years. The clean energy pathway proposed in the report would also reduce long-term debt for the company by 75 percent when compared to Duke’s current plans.
“It’s a win, win,” said Johnson. “Duke and their ratepayers save money while pollution is significantly reduced. This means better air quality and ultimately better health. By implementing a clean energy pathway, Duke has a chance to be the leader that Jim Rogers claims to be.”
If Duke took the suggested steps it would reduce its global warming pollution by 29 percent, acid rain pollution by 61 percent and smog-causing pollution by 47 percent. This includes 141 million tons of carbon dioxide, nearly 143,000 tons of sulfur dioxide and more than 114,000 tons of nitrogen oxides.
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By Jake Johnson
As a growing number of states move to pass laws that would criminalize pipeline protests and hit demonstrators with years in prison, an audio recording obtained by The Intercept showed a representative of a powerful oil and gas lobbying group bragging about the industry's success in crafting anti-protest legislation behind closed doors.
Speaking during a conference in Washington, DC in June, Derrick Morgan, senior vice president for federal and regulatory affairs at the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), touted "model legislation" that states across the nation have passed in recent months.
AFPM represents a number of major fossil fuel giants, including Chevron, Koch Industries and ExxonMobil.
"We've seen a lot of success at the state level, particularly starting with Oklahoma in 2017," said Morgan, citing Dakota Access Pipeline protests as the motivation behind the aggressive lobbying effort. "We're up to nine states that have passed laws that are substantially close to the model policy that you have in your packet."
Big Oil is now using its political power to try and criminalize protests of oil & gas infrastructure.— Friends of the Earth (@foe_us) August 19, 2019
"This legislation has potential to punish public participation and mischaracterize advocacy protected by the First Amendment."https://t.co/bmiHjONEhy
The audio recording comes just months after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law legislation that would punish anti-pipeline demonstrators with up to 10 years in prison, a move environmentalists condemned as a flagrant attack on free expression.
"Big Oil is hijacking our legislative system," Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network said after the Texas Senate passed the bill in May.
As The Intercept's Lee Fang reported Monday, the model legislation Morgan cited in his remarks "has been introduced in various forms in 22 states and passed in ... Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota."
"The AFPM lobbyist also boasted that the template legislation has enjoyed bipartisan support," according to Fang. "In Louisiana, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the version of the bill there, which is being challenged by the Center for Constitutional Rights. Even in Illinois, Morgan noted, 'We almost got that across the finish line in a very Democratic-dominated legislature.' The bill did not pass as it got pushed aside over time constraints at the end of the legislative session."
Many of the state bills restricting the right to protest have been "drafted by companies and passed through groups like ALEC, the secretive group of corporate lobbyists trying to rewrite state laws to benefit corporations over people." @greenpeaceusa https://t.co/ZxpTjWdrwT— Stand Up To ALEC (@StandUpToALEC) May 6, 2019
Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.