Rally in protest of the proposed Duke Energy carbon plan Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Press release from Third Act NC:

Third Act NC, WNC members, a group of volunteer climate activists over the age of 60, in cooperation with local climate activist groups, will hold a rally for WNC residents at Pack Square near the Courthouse on Tuesday, April 9th at 5:30 p.m. The rally is in protest of the fossil fuel heavy Carbon Plan proposed by Duke Energy. People of all ages are encouraged and welcome to attend.

After the rally, WNC Duke customers will voice their concerns about the proposed Carbon Plan by providing testimony at the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) Public Hearing. The hearing starts at 7 p.m. at the Buncombe County Courthouse, courtroom 1-A. Those who wish to speak need to sign up close to 7 p.m.

Our state legislature passed Bill 951 calling for the North Carolina Carbon Plan. It is a roadmap for reducing climate-changing and health-degrading carbon emissions in North Carolina. In simple terms, the Carbon Plan is a promise to save money, use cleaner energy, and strengthen North Carolina’s environment and economy. However, the NCUC appointed Duke Energy to draft our Carbon Plan. The proposed Carbon Plan continues to rely heavily on fossil fuels and investments in fossil fuel infrastructure while downplaying the importance of renewable energy such as solar and wind.

Speakers at the rally will discuss the negative impacts of the proposed Carbon Plan, which will continue to hurt all residents of WNC, especially people of color and low-income individuals already struggling to pay their energy bills. Community leaders and energy advocates will share insights on how North Carolina communities can build a collective voice.

As the home of the largest weather database in the country, one of the most diverse environments in the world, and an engaged and educated citizenry, residents in WNC are in a unique position to stand up against Duke Energy’s proposed Carbon Plan. Those who will speak at the rally will be addressing the following:

  • The Carbon Plan should reduce North Carolina’s electric power sector greenhouse gas emissions by 70% below 2005 levels by 2030 The Carbon Plan should provide the means to attain complete carbon neutrality by 2050.
  • Solar and Wind Energy combined with battery storage is the cleanest, cheapest, and most reliable form of energy production.
  • Instead of rapidly transitioning to clean, renewable energy sources, Duke Energy plans to expand the use of natural gas. “Natural Gas” is methane. Of all the fossil fuels, it has the greatest short-term, negative impact on our weather and climate.
  • Due to methane gas exposure and poisoning, people may suffer from a range of long-term effects including: cardiovascular, respiratory and neurological problems.
  • Meeting the targets will require curtailing the use of fossil fuels for power generation, improving energy storage and efficiency in our electric grid, and ramping up clean, renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.

There will be 4 additional Carbon Plan hearings in NC. Charlotte, April 10; Virtual, April 23; Wilmington, April 29; & Durham April 30

The NCUC must consider other plans, listen and respond to the concerns of and act in the best interest of North Carolinians and our future, and not just rubber stamp Duke’s proposed plan.

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