Like many around the state, we were disenchanted by the release of Duke Energy’s Carbon Plan on May 16 because of the plan’s disregard for the state’s climate goals and its citizens.
The plan ignores the challenges North Carolinians face from the urgency of climate change and skyrocketing energy costs.There is a lot to highlight and be outraged about in this plan. All four scenarios in the proposed plan include fracked gas, and once again environmental justice was an afterthought. Duke held only one meeting with undisclosed environmental justice groups, and that wasn’t held until May 3, just 13 days before this plan was released. That lack of attention is evident in the final plan.
Duke is asking the utilities commission to approve all four scenarios to pave the way for fracked gas and nuclear expansion in the state, an expansion the plan described as “reasonable and prudent.” Simultaneously, three of the four plans proposed extending the state’s deadline of 2030 to reduce carbon emissions by 70%.
We don’t have the luxury of kicking the can down the road if we are going to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. We need, at minimum, a 70% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector by 2030.
The problem isn’t just Duke’s disregard for the timeline, it’s Duke’s failure to protect communities. With the expansion of harmful and polluting energy sources like nuclear and fracked gas, Duke would continue to burden and harm those of us targeted by extractive industries that impact our health and livelihoods, both within North Carolina and across other state lines.
The burden caused by increased demand for gas pipelines and nuclear waste disposal would fall on the same communities that always bear the brunt. There is nothing reasonable or prudent about that.
We can and will do better. While other organizations will be doing the important work of creating alternative plans, EJNC wants to hear from the people that have been impacted by the Duke monopoly. Please continue to be engaged.
The North Carolina Utilities Commission will host public hearings on the Carbon Plan across the state this summer. Please attend and remind Duke that they represent everyone in North Carolina, not just their shareholders. EJNC also wants to hear from you. Beginning in June, we will be working to learn about what actual ratepayers want from their utility companies and we need your help.
- Spread this to your friends and family and ask them to sign up for EJNC’s list to learn more about our People’s Energy Plan beginning in June. Information sign up here: June 14 at 7pm and June 16 at 2pm
- Follow People Power NC’s Carbon Plan in the Public Interest Scorecard release in June following their 12 principles for a fossil free NC.
- Attend a NCUC public hearing on the Carbon Plan:
- Durham – July 11, 2022, Durham County Courthouse at 7pm
- Wilmington – July 12, 2022 New Hanover County Courthouse at 7pm
- Asheville – July 27 2022 Buncombe County Courthouse at 7pm
- Charlotte – July 28th 2020 Mecklenburg County Courthouse at 7pm
- Virtual events – August 23 at 1:30pm and 6:30pm