Activists take Duke Energy to task over fossil fuels policy
Activists take Duke Energy to task over fossil fuels policy.
Activists from 10 community organizations gathered outside Duke’s Charlotte headquarters Thursday to slam the company’s proposed fracked gas pipeline, which would run through Robeson County, one of North Carolina’s poorest and most racially-diverse areas.
The protest was held while Duke officials held their first ever online-only annual meeting, which barred direct interaction with CEO Lynn Good and the board of directors.
“The best way to deal with air and water pollution from coal ash and fracked gas is to switch to clean, affordable energy like solar,” said Hanna Mitchell, an organizer with Greenpeace.
“We are at an energy crossroads and Duke must not lock our state into dangerous and unnecessary pipelines and gas plants.” Duke is co-owner of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which would transport shale gas from the Marcellus reserves in West Virginia to eastern North Carolina.
“These are the lands where I was born and raised, the rivers where I learned how to fish and swim, the fields where I ran around as a kid.
I don’t want future generations to miss out on its beauty.” The Rev.
Nelson Johnson, a civil rights activist and minister at Faith Community Church in Greensboro, criticized Duke’s monopoly on energy in the state, particularly its reluctance to provide cheaper alternatives to fossil fuels.
“We have been fighting Duke’s ban on no-money-down solar options for almost two years, because we know that renewable energy is cleaner and cheaper for our congregation.” Duke critic Debra Baker of Belmont, whose well water has been contaminated by the utility’s coal ash pits, said Duke still hasn’t complied with state law that mandates it provide residents near coal ash dumps permanent supplies of clean water.
“We pay for Duke’s dirty energy every month through our bills, and we pay for it with our health too,” she said.