Rogers repeatedly assured investors he expects N.C. Utilities Commission members to treat Duke fairly in rate cases and other issues despite current anger over Duke's surprise decision to oust Bill Johnson as CEO. And he said if Duke cannot get proper regulator treatment, “we might not be headquartered in North Carolina in the near future.”
"Fair treatment" is a subjective and relative activity, Jimbo. When a convicted felon is released from prison, his activities are both limited and monitored. By the same token, when a businessman takes a step that calls his integrity into question, he should expect closer scrutiny in the future. It may not seem fair, but it is.
The week also brought news that Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers was holding a fundraiser for House Speaker Thom Tillis. Rogers is a supporter of President Obama and was the co-chair of the Democratic convention in Charlotte this year.
Tillis is Republican who disagrees with Obama on virtually everything and wants the Affordable Care Act repealed. Rogers supports and contributes to them both.
It’s clearly not about ideology with the power company CEO. It’s about access to political leaders who make decisions about regulations and tax policy that directly affect his company’s bottom line. He has now guaranteed himself special access to the president and the man in charge of the state House.
Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers postponed a National Press Club event scheduled for Monday in Washington, D.C. A Duke spokesperson says Rogers is very busy because of recent events with the Progress Energy merger.
I'm sure he is busy, at least until he gets his Romulan cloaking device fixed.
Thanks go out to usernamehere today for pointing to this blog post by Taylor Batten at the Charlotte Observer.
Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers was the keynote speaker at a business breakfast this morning. He opened it up for questions and I asked him for his take on the marriage amendment on the May 8 ballot.
Rogers hesitated, but then couldn't stop himself from telling the crowd of 200 or so how he felt.
If North Carolinians put the gay marriage ban into the state constitution, Rogers said, "You're sending a message to the world that we're not inclusive."
Rogers emphasized that he was sharing his personal view and was not speaking on behalf of Duke Energy. He said "I believe we're all children of God," and that it's wrong to pass measures that discriminate against individuals.
"If this passes, we're going to look back 20 years from now, or 10 years, and think of it like Jim Crow laws" that discriminated against African-Americans. North Carolina is competing with the world for business, he said, and "we have to be inclusive and open."
I want to thank Mr. Rogers for finally speaking up on this issue. Better late than never, I suppose. But the proof of his convictions will be in his follow-through. Rogers says he's not speaking for Duke Energy, but he should be. He's CEO for heaven's sake. Who else is speaking for the company.
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