February 22, 2013
An epic conflict of interest
Duke Energy is an electrical monopoly in North Carolina. As such, any effort by Duke Energy to raise the rates it charges its customers to provide electricity must be subject to the approval of the North Carolina Utilities Commission.
Senate Bill 10 would fire all existing members of the State Utilities Commission and give the Governor the power to appoint new members. It’s already passed the state Senate and is being debated in the House.
In addition to having received generous campaign contributions from Duke Energy (the company, its political action committee, employees, and their families donated over $240,000 to McCrory’s 2008 and 2012 gubernatorial campaigns and to the state Republican Party since he became the party’s nominee, according to a recent report by the liberal advocacy group Progress NC), McCrory worked for the company for 28 years, starting out digging ditches and eventually making his way to a position as senior adviser with Duke’s Business and Economic Development Group before retiring in 2007 to run for governor.
There’s more and it all adds up to a clear conflict of interest for Gov. McCrory, says Progress NC, which has launched a petition demanding McCrory veto SB 10 or divest his Duke Energy holdings and recuse himself from making any appointments to the State Utilities Commission.
Here’s the bottom line. Pat McCrory makes money if Duke Energy makes money. Now, SB 10 would let him appoint Duke’s regulators who could then approve Duke’s double-digit hike in your electrical rates. We say that’s malarkey!
If you agree, click here to sign the Progress NC petition to Gov. McCrory.