Letter to The Editor: Duke Energy Hikes Rates While Giving CEO a Raise

 

[This letter was written by LWV-Wake member Margie Maddox and published in The News & Observer. Ms. Maddox submitted the letter as a private citizen and not on behalf of the League.]

The News & Observer - March 18, 2018

Regarding “Duke Energy: Utility CEO’s pay hit $21M last year” (Mar. 14): Although North Carolina did not require coal-ash dumpsites to be monitored until 2010, coal ash from Duke Energy’s 14 coal-fired power plants was dumped throughout the state. These 50 coal-ash impoundments are estimated to have the capacity to hold 19 billion gallons of coal ash.

Following the Federal Tax Cut overhaul, Duke Energy has no doubt received its share of corporate income tax benefits. Additionally, Duke Energy Chief Executive Lynn Good’s income has been reported to have doubled from $10.8 million in 2015 to $21.4 million in 2017. During the past two weeks, Duke Energy has been requesting large monthly rate hikes ranging from 4.5 percent to even 14 percent from their customers before the NC Utilities Commission.

Based on the fact that Duke Energy is required to pay for the cleanup of their coal-ash ponds, why are they giving Lynn Good a tremendous income raise instead of using some of these funds to help pay for the cleanup? Is Duke Energy planning to share any of their corporate income tax cut with their customers or use it to help pay for this cleanup?

And finally, why should the customers be charged an additional rate hike to help pay for this cleanup, which should be the responsibility of Duke Energy and its shareholders and was mandated by the General Assembly as Duke Energy’s problem to fix?

Margie Maddox

Cary