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Duke Energy Shareholders Meeting Photos

Earth Club went to the Duke Energy Shareholders Meeting yesterday at Duke Energy’s headquarters in uptown Charlotte, and the turnout was amazing. The police and security folks were very nice, as long as we stayed in front of the little line, of course. Here is a press release that June Blotnick sent out from the Carolinas Clean Air Coalition:

Questions about Cliffside and Climate Change Dominate

Duke Shareholder Meeting

Charlotte, NC—Shareholders concerned about climate change, mountaintop removal of coal, health risks from air pollution and the effects of carbon legislation on Duke Energy’s Cliffside plant dominated the discussion period at Duke Energy’s Shareholder Meeting this morning. While a dozen questions were raised by shareholders inside the meeting, demonstrators gathered outside with banners, signs and literature encouraging Duke to stop construction of its Cliffside coal plant in Rutherford County.

Duke views Cliffside as its transition plant to a low-carbon future but the expanded 800 megawatt plant will emit close to 10 million tons of carbon dioxide a year for the next 50 years.

Duke shareholder Chatham Olive raised the issue of stockholder liability surrounding new coal plants given the national push for carbon regulation, the growing rate of global warming and exposure to toxics emitted by coal fired power plants.

Alice Loyd, director of NC Interfaith Power and Light, a program of the NC Council of Churches, also attended the meeting. Speaking afterward, she stated “We see our response to climate change as a moral issue. Building new coal plants that add substantial amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere contributing to global warming is not an ethical business practice.”

Environmental, public health and citizens groups call for Duke to make an immediate and massive push toward investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy such as wind, solar, biomass and geothermal to meet the energy needs of the Carolinas.

Here are the links to media coverage at the Triangle Business Journal, the Associated Press at MSNBC.com, and the Charlotte Observer.

Of course, Duke Energy knew we were coming, so they brought out the plug-in vehicle.


Greenscam Inspector

Indiana, NC Press Presidential Hopefuls Over Coal & Climate Crisis

Several groups (including Earth Club) have signed a letter asking the main presidential candidates to call for Duke Energy to cancel their new coal plants in Cliffside, NC and in Edwardsport, Indiana. Here’s the press release, courtesy of the NC Waste Awareness and Reduction Network:

Indiana, NC Press Presidential Hopefuls Over Coal & Climate Crisis

18 Groups Say ‘Stand up to Duke Energy, Launch Mobilization to Avert Disaster’

Statement by Grant Smith, Citizen Action Coalition of Indiana and Jim Warren, NC WARN:

DURHAM, NC – A diverse, two-state alliance of public interest groups today called on Senators Clinton, McCain and Obama to defy the out-of-control corporate influence that is preventing urgently needed action on global climate change. Eighteen organizations called for the presidential candidates to take genuine, decisive action on the climate crisis by seeking cancellation of new coal-fired plants planned in Indiana and North Carolina by Duke Energy – the nation’s third largest CO2 polluter. And we are calling for leadership to avoid false “solutions” promoted by polluters, and launch the massive national effort needed to avert the most catastrophic impacts of climate change.

In a letter sent today – and copied to gubernatorial candidates in both states – environmental, faith, campus-based and consumer advocates emphasize that climate change is far worse than most Americans realize. This is because the science is emerging rapidly and because our public information system has failed, largely due to energy companies’ efforts to distort climate change and stifle action.

Weather-related disasters have quadrupled since 1987, climate change is accelerating, and this month, British researchers joined other researchers in warning that sea level could rise five feet this century. Research just completed by NASA’s James Hansen – the foremost U.S. expert – shows that atmospheric carbon levels are already 10% higher than the upper limit required to maintain the climate to which humanity and wildlife are adapted. Major CO2 reductions are urgently needed – beginning now.

Dr. Hansen and others stress that cancelling new coal-fired power plants must become the top U.S. priority. In March, Hansen wrote to Duke CEO Jim Rogers: “The Earth is nearing climate ‘tipping points’ with potential effects, many irreversible, including extermination of countless species … and intensified regional climate extremes.” He cited the warning by U.S. generals that a world filled with desperate climate refugees would be tragic as well as dangerous for everyone.

A well-informed, rational society would be well underway in deploying feasible, economically beneficial measures to reduce emissions. We seek true leadership for the following:

1) a moratorium on any new coal-fired power plants not yet in operation;

2) a greatly expanded, immediate deployment of energy efficiency, cogeneration and renewable power – available with existing technologies; and

3) the repair of our wounded democracy by standing up to out-of-control corporate influence

All the campaigns seem to have fallen for corporate PR jargon such as “clean coal” and “advanced” nuclear power. Instead of pouring billions of public dollars into those dangerous, pie-in-the-sky distractions from genuine climate solutions, we urge these candidates to step up and prove that their talk of “change” is more than campaign rhetoric.

Because of Duke Energy’s prominence, cancelling the Cliffside and Edwardsport plants could represent a “tipping point” toward climate protection, leading others to make the needed, immediate correction toward energy efficiency – the most rapid, economically sound way to reduce emissions.

Continuing to ignore the experts’ warnings will be disastrous.

Kansas Gov. Keeps Putting the Smackdown on Dirty Energy

The Kansas City Star reported yesterday that the Kansas House of Representatives couldn’t gather up enough members to override Gov. Kathleen Sebelius’ third veto of two proposed coal plants in western Kansas.

Gov. Sebelius is making sure that Kansas considers renewable energy, as Sunflower Energy, the corporation proposing the new coal plants, is being forced to invest in renewable technology and energy-efficiency.

It’s too bad we can’t convince Gov. Easley to place the same standards on Duke Energy for the new Cliffside plant.

Solar as Inexpensive as Coal?

Over at EcoGeek, there’s an article about a solar company whose goal is to make their solar installations as cheap as the current costs per kilowatt of coal. Granted, nothing is as expensive as coal’s embodied cost.

Sunrgi hopes to reduce the price of solar power to $0.05/kW through the use of their “Extreme Concentrated Photovoltaics.” Basically, they’re concentrating the amount of light that reaches the PVs by putting large magnifying glasses above them. Sunrgi explains the technology a bit further here. Sunrgi has also created a cooling system for their installation, so buyers won’t have to worry about the PVs heating up to extreme temperatures.

For the sake of our planet, I hope Sunrgi reaches its goal. Who knows, maybe we’ll be able to install one of their systems atop the SAC, or the new student union.

Power Vote!

Power Vote
Earth Day is over and you’re wondering what’s next? POWER VOTE! – A campaign of the Energy Action Coalition – will harness the power of over 1 million young voters to hold our elected officials accountable to the climate!! Sign the pledge, invite your friends, join the movement!


In November 2007 Energy Action Coalition brought thousands of young people together in Washington, DC to demand a Power Shift within our government. Thousands of youth met with representatives from nearly every district to demand bold solutions on climate change.

But we need more than thousands to win this fight. We need millions of young people committed to creating a better, healthier, more just, and sustainable future.

Through Power Vote we are doing just that. We are building a youth voter bloc 1 million strong to demand bold federal climate legislation, a moratorium on coal and other dirty energy, and to create millions of good, green jobs. Youth will start by signing our Power Vote pledge and then get plugged into the incredible youth climate movement sweeping the nation.

Sign the Power Vote pledge and declare to the candidates, that come November, you’ll be voting for a just, sustainable and clean energy future!

Sign the pledge at http://www.powervote.org

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