Memo to Duke: We want a “hold harmless” promise too

It seems that everyone’s getting numb to the disturbing stories coming out of the Duke-Progress merger, but this one ought to register something on the outrage meter.

According to AP and the Winston-Salem Journal, Duke Energy has agreed to hold some of its big wholesale customers “harmless” for any costs that they may incur as a result of the merger.

“Duke Energy said Friday that it has agreed to reimburse some of its largest wholesale customers if they incurred costs related to the utility’s merger with rival Progress Energy.

Duke inked deals with several of its biggest North Carolina customers, including smaller retail electricity providers as Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corp. and Piedmont Electric Membership Corp.

The utility filed documents related to its merger side deals with the N.C. Utilities Commission. The agreements focus on ‘hold harmless’ provisions with wholesale customers for costs they incurred or could incur related to the merger, such as legal fees in negotiating the settlements or the severance costs for future employee layoffs.”

Two groups clearly not included in such agreements: Average residential customers and average employees who lost or will lose their jobs as a result of the merger. Of course, the last group clearly does not include former boss Bill Johnson, who despite suffering the “harm” of losing his job will somehow make due with a $44.7 million severance.  


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