Clean Power

Published on May 4th, 2014 | by Derek Markham


Duke Energy Attacks Rooftop Solar Energy (VIDEOS)

May 4th, 2014 by  

Originally published on Ecopreneurist.

duke energy kills solar

The dirty little tricks that big energy companies use to maintain their stranglehold over their customers, while continuing to pollute the very regions the serve, have now taken on a new twist. Duke Energy, whose operations were responsible for spilling 82,000 tons of coal ash into the Dan River, is now trying to run a misinformation campaign that attacks rooftop solar energy across the company’s service territories in Southern states.

Duke Energy, which is the largest electricity in the United States, claims that moving their toxic coal ash dumps away from waterways is too expensive, and too lengthy of a process, and wants to get its customers to foot the bill for it. Coal ash contains high levels of arsenic, lead, selenium and other heavy metals that are believed to cause cancer and birth defects, and the coal ash dumps are predominantly located near and among low-income communities.

But Presente and The Other 98% aren’t taking this sitting down, and have retaliated by running their own version of the events, right in time for the company’s annual shareholder meeting, in which Duke Energy has been dubbed Dirty Duke:

“Latino communities are sick of Duke Energy poisoning our families and undermining our efforts to get clean energy. Times are changing, and Duke can no longer get away with polluting our communities in secret. We demand Duke stop destroying our climate, our health, and our neighborhoods. – Arturo Carmona, Executive Director of

If you’re in support of people being able to make the choice for clean energy, and not have to settle for being polluted by Duke Energy’s dirty coal plants, then send them a message at Dirty Duke.

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About the Author

lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, slacklining, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves good food, with fresh roasted chiles at the top of his list of favorites. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!

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  • Matt

    I do think Duke is correct in that they will have to raise their prices to cover all the clean up that they need to do, there is a lot. The key is that the regulators need to not allow this to mean bigger profits. Those cost come out of profits first, then result in higher user costs.

    • Paul_McClure

      Utilities unlike every other business is a regulated monopoly. As such they provide a service and their investors are guaranteed a dividend. Agreed that they have been under charging their customers for the real costs of coal. You could charge future customers for bad accounting or you could penalize the company for bad accounting by taking the cleanup loss out of their guaranteed profit. Actually criminal penalties should apply for the coal ash fiasco, but that’s another topic. If the company doesn’t pay dividends for a decade to cover past abuses, they are still a company and still a monopoly.

      • Calamity_Jean

        There’s three groups involved here; customers, who benefited from Duke’s sloppy coal ash “disposal” with lower than appropriate prices, investors, who benefited with higher dividends, and management who benefited with higher pay and bonuses. But only management made the decision to “dispose” of coal ash dangerously. Customers need to pay some for the cleanup, investors need to pay some, but current and past management should pay the most proportionately if not in absolute terms, because they are the ones that made that decision.

        Raising electricity prices will promote rooftop solar and lowering dividends will promote divestment, both good things. But taking enough of the cleanup costs out of the collective hides of Duke’s management to make them hurt will encourage the managements of every other coal-burning electric company in the US to improve their coal ash disposal, and that’s a very good thing.

        Letting Duke’s past and present upper management get away with pretending they are not the main part of the problem allows them to enrich themselves at the direct expense of customers and investors, and the indirect expense of the whole world.

      • johnny law


  • Rick Kargaard

    It would be a little fairer to present the entire statements from duke instead of taking quotes out of context. I think Duke is not the only one willing to use dirty tricks.

    • Bob_Wallace

      That’s the “Little Johnny pulled the cat’s tail, too” defense.

      Mommy and Daddy see right through it.

      • Rick Kargaard

        Exactly, I think the tactics of both sides are often childish

        • Bob_Wallace

          What, in your opinion, was used out of context?

          • Rick Kargaard

            I can only assume you did not watch the clip of Lynn Good. It’s entirety is out of context

          • Bob_Wallace

            No I didn’t. I rarely watch videos.

            I did ask you a question, however.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Noticed that the Duke video is only 48 seconds long, so I watched it. (My ISP is not cheap.)

            Lynn stated that solar is an important part of Duke’s portfolio (paraphrasing).

            It was pointed out that only 0.1% of Duke’s portfolio is solar.

            She didn’t say “currently very small but we intend to grow it”.

            How is that out of context?

          • Otis11

            I believe he’s referring to the “insuring that we get paid” part…

            And I have to say I was a little turned off the movement against Duke by that rell… not enough to change my mind (because I’m informed), but to people who don’t know better, it gives Duke a way to point fingers too.

            We need to be above reproach in the methods used to get clean energy. Might be a little slower at first, but it will be more productive in the long run.

  • spec9

    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

    Well, we are at stage 3. 🙂

    • LookingForward

      Indeed we are!!!

  • agelbert

    Yep. Duke Energy an excellent example of conscience free corporate mendacity in the service of profit over planet.

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