The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Perry Wheeler, Greenpeace Media Officer, or Monica Embrey, Climate and Energy Campaigner, 773-419-0963

Nation's Largest Utility Duke Energy Doubles Down on Dirty Fossil Fuels With Purchase of Piedmont Natural Gas


This morning Duke Energy, the largest electric utility in the country, announced its intention to purchase Piedmont Natural Gas for $4.9 billion in cash. The two companies are already partners in an effort to build the $5 billion, 550-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline to transport natural gas from the Utica and Marcellus shale basins in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania to Eastern North Carolina.

Greenpeace USA Climate and Energy Campaigner Monica Embrey responded with the following statement:

"By attempting to purchase Piedmont Natural Gas, Duke Energy is looking to expand its monopoly and lock North Carolina into dirty fossil fuels rather than the clean, renewable energy we deserve.

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"Duke Energy's long term plan calls for nine new natural gas plants to be built in the Carolinas by 2030. Shamefully only 4% of its energy will come from renewable sources like solar and wind. Ongoing rallies across the state clearly show that every day North Carolinians and the utility's major customers want solar, not natural gas, powering their homes, schools, and businesses.

"Duke Energy already has monopoly control in North Carolina and this purchase would further consolidate its stranglehold on where our energy comes from. Under our outdated state law, customers who want clean energy are not allowed to find another company to provide them power. North Carolina is one of only five states in the country that has an explicit ban on third party energy sales, which would allow competition in the electricity sector.

"North Carolinians deserve the choice of more wind and solar to protect our community's health, air and water, not coal ash spills or faucets that catch on fire. Duke Energy needs to listen to its customers by rejecting dirty fossil fuels and building 100% clean renewable energy for all."

Greenpeace is a global, independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

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