Coal Ash Wednesday: hide your wallets

NC Senate Republicans want you to pay for the cleanup:

N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) says the General Assembly may be ready to act as early as next week on coal ash legislation that stalled last week over differences between Senate and House versions of the bill. He says negotiators are working on consensus language to iron out differences over a House provision in the legislation. And he believes a solution can be found by Aug. 14, when the House and Senate expect to be in session, “or thereabouts.”

House conferees had agreed to accept a Senate provision that allows Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) to seek permission starting in January to charge customers for the cost of cleaning up its 33 ash ponds across the state. But, in return, they wanted to change some of the Senate’s language on treatment of ponds that were considered low-risk.

Unless I'm mistaken, Duke Energy already has the ability to seek rate increases from the North Carolina Utilities Commission for costs they incur. Any legislative language added now won't just give them the permission to do this, it will tilt that decision-making process heavily in their favor. Something a super-majority of NC citizens don't believe should happen. This is not a compromise, it's a betrayal of ratepayers, and it will be a serious campaign issue for those who support it.

Comments

Found on the Facebook:

Beyond permission

Said scharrison:

Unless I'm mistaken, Duke Energy already has the ability to seek rate increases from the North Carolina Utilities Commission for costs they incur. Any legislative language added now won't just give them the permission to do this, it will tilt that decision-making process heavily in their favor.

Right you are (as usual).

A Senate amendment to prohibit Duke Energy & Pollution from charging customers for their fouling of the environment failed.

Then Rep. McGrady of the House introduced this amendment, which passed, and which tilts the decision-making process heavily in Duke Energy & Pollution's favor, as a wise guy man said.

Nothing in this section prohibits the utility from seeking, nor prohibits the commission from authorizing under its existing authority, a deferral for costs related to coal ash combustion residual surface impoundments.

Translation: Look, Duke, we said "not prohibit" but we all know what it means (wink, wink).

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"What I see from the folks who are opposing our agenda is whining coming from losers." -- Thom Tillis