Duke Energy has a long record of flexing its monopolistic muscle without fear of accountability. After all, my friend, corporations are people ... and big corporations are big people who can throw their weight around like bulls in a china shop, breaking whatever they want.
With that in mind, you'll be saddened to read the story below, received today via email, but you won't be surprised.
Thanks go out to usernamehere today for pointing to this blog post by Taylor Batten at the Charlotte Observer.
Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers was the keynote speaker at a business breakfast this morning. He opened it up for questions and I asked him for his take on the marriage amendment on the May 8 ballot.
Rogers hesitated, but then couldn't stop himself from telling the crowd of 200 or so how he felt.
If North Carolinians put the gay marriage ban into the state constitution, Rogers said, "You're sending a message to the world that we're not inclusive."
Rogers emphasized that he was sharing his personal view and was not speaking on behalf of Duke Energy. He said "I believe we're all children of God," and that it's wrong to pass measures that discriminate against individuals.
"If this passes, we're going to look back 20 years from now, or 10 years, and think of it like Jim Crow laws" that discriminated against African-Americans. North Carolina is competing with the world for business, he said, and "we have to be inclusive and open."
I want to thank Mr. Rogers for finally speaking up on this issue. Better late than never, I suppose. But the proof of his convictions will be in his follow-through. Rogers says he's not speaking for Duke Energy, but he should be. He's CEO for heaven's sake. Who else is speaking for the company.
Submitted by GrayNewman on Mon, 02/20/2012 - 11:36am
Street theater in downtown Charlotte:
Annie Vereen and Jack Kirven of Viscera Dance Theatre staged a protest this morning outside of Morton's Steakhouse in uptown. The event happened as Rogers was set to receive the "Business Person of the Year" award from the Charlotte Business Journal
Maybe they can also get Jimbo to answer James's question about Duke's stand on Amendment One: Still No Answer
Six Greenpeace protesters were arrested after unfurling a sign in front of the Duke Energy building Wednesday morning, protesting the company’s recently-approved rate hikes.
Perhaps if Duke Energy spent a little less money trying to buy it's way into the Governor's Mansion, they wouldn't need to raise rates on their captive customer base across North Carolina to fund improvements required to meet more stringent environmental laws.
Last month, the N.C. Utilities Commission approved an overall 7 percent rate increase for Duke Energy’s 1.8 million customers in the state. Monthly bills for typical residential customers will go up about $7.
Heaven forbid they should tighten the belt a little bit.
I guess it makes sense. If your "vision" is to have a governor who will suppress voting rights and discriminate against gays and lesbians, then by all means, let the awards begin! Congratulations, Mr. Rogers. It takes a big guy to pollute the planet, subvert democracy, and screw over your gay employees all in one career.
This week the NC Justice Center, NC WARN and the NC Housing Coalition challenged the proposed Duke Energy rate hike settlement that the NC Utilities Commission Public Staff is supporting. The organizations are highlighting how unfair the proposal for a 7.21% rate increase is to residential and most business customers, because the rate allocation method is biased to accommodate energy hogging industries.
There is nothing, not one damn thing, to be gained by the citizens of North Carolina in the merger of Duke Energy and Progress Energy.
Thanks to Citizens United, the sign currently in front of the Governor's Mansion is a For Sale sign. If Pat McCrory were to get his way, however, we'd soon see a more ominous sign out front. Though some carbonistas would love to see that happen, most sane people understand that the interests of Duke Energy and the interests of We the People have almost no commonality.
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