Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Confronting Duke Energy

Dear Readers

Hundreds of baffled and indignant citizens have been working to stop Duke Energy's planned Cliffside coal plants in North Carolina, which will generate 11 million tons of carbon dioxide every year. Duke has admitted that 600 of the 800 megawatts they would use from these plants could be met instead with energy-efficiency programs. They have also admitted that they prefer building more plants and selling energy rather than saving energy, because they don't make money saving energy.

The Carolinas Clean Air Coalition has arranged a meeting and a great speaker on global warming for this coming Sunday, Feb 11, at MP Baptist Church. Stephen Smith is from the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, and was trained by Al Gore to present this slide show based on An Inconvenient Truth. Stephen was on our local NPR station WFAE on the "Charlotte Talks" show on Monday Feb 6; you might have heard him.

Here is a printable flyer for the upcoming meeting with Stephen Smith.

In addition to the meeting, we are asking everyone to email the NC Utilities Commission at and write the Charlotte Observer at, expressing your opposition to Duke's Cliffside expansion. Ask 5 others to do the same.

Four points you might mention in your emails:
1. Cliffside would be a global-warming machine, emitting over 11 million tons of carbon dioxide into the air annually, the equivalent of adding 1, 700,000 cars to our roads.

2. Cliffside and 150+ other coal plants across the U.S. are being rushed into construction in hopes of getting exempted from looming federal CO2 regulation. This is a risky strategy, but Duke is not deterred because it assumes it could pass emissions costs on to ratepayers.

3. Many studies, including two recently ordered by the NC Utilities Commission, have shown that a blend of energy efficiency and renewable, clean energy could meet a significant portion of our energy needs.

4. Even after the price of Cliffside skyrocketed from $2 billion to almost $4 billion, Duke still did not consider conservation, energy efficiency, or renewable energy as less expensive options for ratepayers. That's because building new plants is the most lucrative option for them.

Thanks a lot everybody.
Sally Kneidel

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