Duke Energy may have delayed rate case for a more favorable – and Gov. McCrory-stacked - Utilities Commission
Our fears are starting to become reality. According to a News & Observer report today, Duke Energy may have delayed filing a rate increase with the NC Utilities Commission until a future Gov. McCrory can stack the board with his cronies. Among the key points:
Republican Pat McCrory has emerged as the gubernatorial front-runner. McCrory is a former mayor of Charlotte and also a 29-year veteran employee of Duke Energy…
If McCrory were to be elected in November, he would immediately have a vacancy to fill on the Utilities Commission, which regulates rates and service for utility companies. Two more commission vacancies come open July 1, allowing the new governor to handpick three of the seven commissioners and a chairman within eight months of his election...
Robert Gruber expects to retire when his term expires June 30. Gruber has called for the resignation of Duke CEO Jim Rogers in the wake of Johnson’s ouster. He stopped short of saying McCrory would appoint Duke boosters, but he said McCrory could draw applicants from among utility lawyers and utility employees.
“It’s obvious to anybody that since we’ve had differences with Jim Rogers, if he gets new commissioners, he’s likely to get more favorable treatment,” Gruber said.
Pat McCrory's campaign refused to comment on the case, but referred to language on the campaign website about Pat McCrory theory on nominations for public positions.
The site says McCrory will want nominees who understand the private sector, fight onerous regulations and make government more responsive to business.
So McCrory will clearly be fighting for big business and presumably his former employer Duke Energy. After Duke mergers with Progress Energy, the combined company with have 3.2 million customers in North Carolina. Who will look out for them?
Cross posted at WhoPaysMcCrory.com.
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