Duke Energy critics speak out during public hearing


State law requires Duke Energy to rely more on renewable energy sources in the near future. Environmentalists said, instead of moving in that direction, Duke is polluting the environment and passing the costs off to consumers.

"Outrage, outrage, outrage. Everyone is talking about this," said Nick Wood, with NC WARN. "You mention the name Duke Energy, they mention, 'Why should we have to pay for this?'"

It started with about a dozen or so people with NC WARN gathering outside the Dobbs Building before a State Utilities Commission public hearing on Duke's long-term integrated resource plan.

Several of them were talking about Duke's recent coal ash troubles. They are angry first of all that the customers will have to foot the $10 billion cost to clean up the recent Dan River spill.

Just about all 11 people who testified Monday night said the spill highlights the dangers fossil fuels and their byproducts have on the environment.

One group, known as the Singing Grannies, put it this way: "It poisons all the air we breathe, puts toxins in the soil. Duke's integrated resource plan will kill us all."  

The state's Renewable Energy Portfolio Law requires sources such as solar and wind to account for three percent of Duke's sales this year. The number must rise to 12.5 percent by the year 2021.

However, the environmental advocates say the threshold should be much higher for Duke given what's happened.

Right now, Duke Energy is in compliance with the law.

Copyright © 2024 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.