Regarding the June 30 news article “Nonprofits contest $240M bond to fight Duke Energy”: Duke Energy and regulators are trying to use a giant bond to prevent NC WARN and The Climate Times from appealing the fast-track approval of a $1 billion power plant in Asheville.
In fact, there is no precedent for requiring any bond to appeal such a construction project.
The Utilities Commission seems desperate to shield itself and Duke Energy from scrutiny of the nationally unprecedented, fast-track approval.
Regulators bypassed the normal quasi-judicial process and approved the plant in 45 days without cross examination of Duke officials and while disregarding our three experts. Those experts sought to testify that Duke can close the site’s coal units without building gas-burning plants due to a glut of regional supply, that the future supply and price of natural gas are highly risky and that Duke’s shale gas plant would amplify greenhouse pollution at the worst possible time.
The stakes are enormous. Duke Energy plans to build 15 to 20 large gas-fired power plants along with a large pipeline into North Carolina from the shale fields. We believe Duke will seek similar, fast-track approvals for those plants.
We’re asking the N.C. Court of Appeals to require an open, careful debate over Duke’s project.
Executive director, NC WARN