NCSEA Statement in Response to Duke’s Carbon Plans

In response to the September 17th announcement from Duke Energy about their plans for achieving net-zero carbon emissions, NCSEA General Counsel Peter Ledford responded:

“NCSEA is disappointed that Duke is doubling down on new natural gas in what is supposed to be an announcement about reducing carbon emissions. The United States has crossed the natural gas bridge – its time as a transition fuel to renewable energy has come and gone. The falling prices of energy storage technology is quickly rendering gas peaker plants obsolete. We need to accelerate the retirement of uneconomic coal and natural gas plants through securitization and competitive, market-driven, needs-based procurement, rather than investing in new natural gas generation that will take decades to pay off. It appears that Duke is using this carbon commitment to justify their planned massive spending on gas pipelines and generation – plans which, just last month, the Utilities Commission declined to approve.”

Ledford continued, “it’s also notable that Duke is making this announcement on the same day that the conference committee report for Senate Bill 559 is likely to be reported to the floor. The statement that Duke aims to “collaborate and align with … stakeholders as we transform” rings hollow, given Duke’s refusal to engage with stakeholders during the SB559 legislative process. Not only is Duke doubling down on natural gas, but they’re also doubling down on an outdated business model that limits the market competition that would benefit ratepayers.”

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