If you think some of the shenanigans by heavyweights like Duke Energy and the NC General Assembly are beyond wacko, you’re not alone. Uncle Sam may have your back. The federal government has a way of slowing down implementation of many unethical practices, which should encourage you to speak up, too. In the case of Duke Energy, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is thumbing its nose at Duke’s plan to satisfy a federal mandate to open at least some of its monopoly-controlled transmission lines to other suppliers, including those that think they can provide customers with cleaner energy at a lower price. Duke essentially told FERC that it is generously opening its transmission lines to its biggest potential competitor, Progress Energy, and that should be enough. FERC laughed, too, and pointed out the two companies are now controlled by one management.
Another federal agency may step in to question the crowd in Raleigh that believes you can stop the sea from rising by outlawing measuring tools. This time the pro-developers in the General Assembly are pushing legislation (Senate Bill 10) to gut the Coastal Resources Commission by firing its entire policymaking board, eliminating several seats designated for members with professional expertise, stacking the board with business and development interests, and ending conflict-of-interest standards for members. Even Gov. Pat McCrory’s Department of Environmental and Natural Resources is warning that the feds may jam up the implementation of such a law with demands for public participation, lengthy studies, and greater accountability. But the anti-environment lobby is not ready to say Uncle, so your voice is still needed.