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Lisa Finaldi is the former National Campaigns Director for Greenpeace US.

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While the debate rages on about the Duke-Progress merger and the NC Legislature becomes more determined to create a dirty energy policy for our state, another course is being charted – one that does not involve fracking, offshore drilling, coal-fired power plants or more nuclear power.

© Greenpeace, David Sorcher, 2012

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The General Assembly returned to Raleigh last week and a controversial method of natural gas drilling – known as fracking – is already on the Republican agenda with the introduction of the Clean Energy and Economic Security Act – S820 (don’t be fooled by the title).  A recent development in the gas industry may foretell the future of the most cavalier of gas companies. Read More

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Duke Energy’s electricity rates are poised to continue skyrocketing over the next few years, but only some customers will feel the burn. While the utility lures the world’s elite technology giants to NC by offering cheap electricity, captive small business and residential customers are charged higher rates. The rate structure is patently unfair and is being challenged before the NC Utilities Commission by environmental watchdog NCWARN.

While this issue has been debated before Commission in the past, Duke Energy has successfully negotiated it away. The NC Attorney General also recognizes the unfairness but has yet to force a resolution to protect consumers. Read More

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On tax day, here’s some news that will make your blood boil – Citizens for Tax Justice re-released its report about Fortune 500s federal tax payments from 2008 through 2010, adding new information for 2011. One of our NC based companies – Duke Energy – paid a net federal tax bill of negative 3.5% for those years.

Duke Energy just received a big fat rate increase, is looking for another one this year and would love for the legislature to give them the ability to get even more money out of ratepayers to pre-fund nuclear power plants – plants that even Wall Street won’t invest in.

The report also shows that if companies actually paid the 35% corporate tax rate, it could help reduce the nation’s deficit.  If the Fortune 500s had paid the full 35% corporate tax rate between 2008 and 2011, we’d have $78.3 billion more in federal tax income.

Thanks to NC WARN for bringing this report to my attention.