Year in Review: Greenpeace North Carolina built momentum in 2013
by Monica Embrey
Greenpeace North Carolina activists have been fighting their utility, Duke Energy to demand cleaner, cheaper energy. Despite the fact that Duke is the largest power company in the country and one of the dirtiest (both in its energy sources and its politics), Greenpeace North Carolina activists have accomplished quite a few things in the past twelve months. In 2013:
- Activists called on the NC Utilities Commission to hold the first ever public hearing in Charlotte on Duke Energy's 20 year business plan (Integrated Resource Plan), in which Duke projects that only 2.5 % of its energy will come from clean sources by 2028. Over 200 concerned ratepayers turned out for a record attendance to voice their opposition to Duke's reliance on dirty and expensive energy.
- Hundreds of people testified against two Duke Energy rate hike requests at public hearings across the state. As a result, the NC Utilities Commission reduced Dukes requests by more than half and prohibited any rate hike requests by Duke Energy for several years.
- Pressure from local community members got Duke Energy to commit toshutting down two of their dirtiest coal-fired power plantsnear Charlotte years ahead of schedule. Riverbend (Mountain Island Lake) and Buck (Stanley) had operated for over 80 years and had no modern pollution controls.
- Supporters collected over 1,500 photos of Duke Energy ratepayers holding signs against rate hikes for dirty energy. These were displayed to Duke Energy executives and shareholders at their Annual Meeting in May, in the form of a wall that was 9 feet tall by 28 feet wide. Check out the photosonline here.
- Greenpeace joined the MoralMondaymovement to take a stand for justice and representative democracy in North Carolina, including taking vans of Charlotte area activists to Raleigh on Mondays and supporting the events in Charlotte over the summer.
- Greenpeace activists kicked off their successful Cleaner is Cheaper: Go Solar campaign through our educational house meeting drive, talking to Charlotte residents in their living rooms across the city. We continued that work at our kickoff Solar Panel event, partnering with 18 social justice, faith-based and environmental groups to educate the crowd of over 150 people about options to bring solar energy to Charlotte. Check out the eventonlineif you missed it!