Regarding “Debate rages as Atlantic Coast Pipeline nears construction” (July 24): Duke Energy has selected natural gas (methane) to be its preferred fuel for electricity in North Carolina because huge profits can be extracted from ratepayers for building the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and future gas power plants. Duke Energy is a monopoly utility in North Carolina, and its energy miscalculations will harm us all.
Duke Energy’s heavy investment in natural gas is risky business for these reasons:
Electricity demand is projected to be flat until 2030, so why rush to build the Atlantic Coast Pipeline? North Carolina already has surplus gas with the Transco gas pipeline.
Natural gas prices will eventually rise since the current low price is unsustainable for fracking companies.
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Every day solar, wind and batteries become cheaper and more competitive with natural gas pricing. Cheaper batteries will revolutionize renewable energy storage. With cheap renewables and battery storage, natural gas will become too expensive.
Duke Energy must seek to avoid damage to the climate from leakage of fracked gas methane, which is 100 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Why continue the harm? Renewable energies are the moral energies that North Carolina needs.
‘Ashamed’ at UNC vote
Regarding “UNC panel votes to bar new clients for civil rights center” (Aug. 2): I am a graduate of two of the constituent UNC institutions – UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C. Central. I would say “proud graduate,” but that comes with an asterisk. I am very aware of the long sorry history of racism at Chapel Hill, with Confederate statues and halls named for Ku Klux Klan leaders and all-white sports teams – and, unfortunately, much more.
Alumnus Julius Chambers’ Center for Civil Rights and the litigation in which that center has participated is a small step in the direction of overcoming the university’s burdensome past. Accordingly, when the other shoe drops (as it almost certainly will) and the center loses its ability to litigate on behalf of poor and disenfranchised North Carolina residents, I will cease being a dues-paying UNC-CH alumnus. None of my dollars are going to voluntarily support – in any manner – this crypto-racist move by a faction within the BOG. I realize that UNC-Chapel Hill did not instigate or encourage this action, but neither will I support an institution that seems willing to just shrug off a terrible slight to a brilliant, richly accomplished alumnus and the residents served by the center he established. I’m ashamed for all of us.