Duke Energy could not have “not known” of the accumulating liability of the coal ash. It was obvious enough that even those not knowing the details could see this was sweeping the dust under the rug. The company is certainly entitled to charge rate payers for the usual or unforeseen costs of operation. This was a large and grave liability that was not going away and was the responsibility of top management and the directors to address a long time ago. It was a gross failure of management to address an obvious problem.
In view of this, I think it is the right thing to do for stockholders to pay for this cleanup. One cannot expect the 14th Amendment to protect them from dereliction of duty. I am a longtime stockholder.