“The FERCs decision to conditionally approve the Duke-Progress merger is a vital opportunity for the companies to make a binding commitment to renewable energy,” said Greenpeace Coal Campaigner Robert Gardner. While FERC has given its approval for the merger, there are still significant hurdles to come. Both the North Carolina Utilities Commission and the Public Service Commission of South Carolina have yet to make their rulings and FERC itself has imposed some additional conditions.
“Both the NCUC and PSCSC can compel greater renewable energy choice; but the real onus is on the companies,” said Gardner. “As the largest utility in the country, serving 7.1 million people in six states, Duke and Progress have the opportunity to substantively change their business models in a way that helps their bottom line and doesn’t poison communities or cause catastrophic climate change.
“FERCs order presents a real chance for the companies to show good faith, rather than continuing their current fossil fuel intensive strategy, with the predictable result being disastrous to human health and our environmental. Should the merger go ahead, there is a huge opportunity for the new utility company to put their weight behind the embrace of renewable energy,” said Mr Gardner