Big News! Riverbend Steam Station will be closing THIS April, two years ahead of schedule. That’s two less years this community will be exposed to mercury, soot and a host of other toxic substances that spew out of Riverbend’s stacks whenever it runs. Our community spoke up and it made a difference. We signed petitions, we held events, we went to meetings. We wrote emails. We talked to the media. We shed light on the problems with coal and it made difference. We don’t have millions of dollars to spend on tv ad campaigns or glossy brochures, or Washington lobbyists or PR firms. But we have something even mightier. The power of the people. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that people don’t have power. We do.
In a few days you will have an important opportunity to exercise that power. After receiving thousands of petitions the North Carolina Utilities Commission has agreed to hold a public hearing here in Charlotte on February 28th on Duke Energy’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). Because Duke Energy is granted a monopoly in North Carolina, every two years they must submit a plan for the future 20 years called an IRP. The problem with Duke’s most recent IRP is just how backward it is. You’d think the nation’s largest utility would have a progressive plan for cleaner, more efficient energy for the next 20 years. In fact, it’s just the opposite. According to Duke’s Sustainability Report, they currently generate a little over 2% of their energy from renewable sources. Their plan calls for that same tiny amount of renewable energy, even as far ahead as 2032. We consumers won’t be getting any more clean energy, yet Duke will continue to ask for rate increases. So many rate increases that in 20 years our rates will be double what they are now. Does this make sense to you? Me neither.
The North Carolina Utilities Commission is charged with regulating utilities on behalf of the people. Their Mission Statement says that their first purpose is to “Provide fair regulation of public utilities in the interest of the public.” Come join us on February 28th and tell the Utilities Commission to regulate for us, the public. Tell them that what is in your best interest is clean, affordable energy.
North Carolina Utilities Commission Public Hearing
February 28th @ 7pm
Mecklenburg County Courthouse
832 E. Fourth Street