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Duke’s $2.8 billion in profits would clean up a lot of coal ash

News item from today’s Charlotte Observer:

“Duke Energy reported 2015 earnings Thursday of $2.8 billion on $23.5 billion in revenue, well up from the previous year but below analysts’ expectations.

The year’s net income was compared to about $1.9 billion in profit and $23.9 billion in revenue in 2014. Duke reported earning $4.05 a share compared to $2.66 in 2014.

Fourth-quarter earnings of $477 million compared to the $97 million in the fourth quarter of 2014. Mild December weather became a drag on earnings for the quarter.”

All of which leads to two obvious truths:

  1. You could clean up a heck of a lot of coal ash with that money. Heck, one could even let Duke keep a billion in profits and still make enormous headway in ending the outrageous poisoning of North Carolina’s water and the people who drink it.
  2. The notion that Duke is going to alter its borderline criminal behavior because the administration headed by its former longtime employee has slapped its hands with some comparatively paltry fines of a few million dollars (i.e. approximately one or two day’s profits) is just plain laughable.
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Duke’s $2.8 billion in profits would clean up a lot of coal ash