Duke Energy roundup: keeping records private, shareholders upset, and Locke Foundation makes snowballs in hell
Duke Energy has filed a motion with a Federal judge asking that records requested during the Federal investigation into the company's coal ash debacle be kept from state regulators and environmental groups that had sued Duke Energy under the Clean Water Act.
Frank Holleman, senior staff attorney with the environmental law group, said Duke's motion is a stalling tactic.
"They are using the fact that they are caught up in a federal criminal investigation related to their coal ash storage as an excuse to try to postpone the enforcement of the law against them," he said. "It's exactly backward from how you think the law would operate."
Meanwhile, a group of 20 institutional shareholders wrote a letter to Duke Energy's Board of Directors to call for a probe of the coal ash spill.
"In the wake of this catastrophic spill, shareholders are demanding answers and action," said Oregon State Treasurer Ted Wheeler. "As the owners of public corporations, shareholders expect companies to do business the right way, which will bolster public confidence, sustain the environment, and enhance long-term share value."
After an initial dip, the company's stock price has remained largely steady at about $70 a share since the spill. The nation's largest electricity company, Duke reported $24.6 billion in total revenues for 2013, with nearly $2.7 billion in net profits.
Last Sunday, Duke Energy took out a full-page ad in newspapers around the state, saying the company wants to regain the confidence of North Carolinians.
But they do share a goal: Change the state law which grants Duke Energy a monopoly in most of North Carolina and bars "third party" sales of electricity by anyone else.
Duke would still own the transmission wires. But it would no longer be the only company generating power for sale.
You know things must be completely out of control if one of Art Pope's stink tanks agrees with progressives on something.