It was an awesome day in our effort to move Duke beyond coal. A diverse coalition of groups– including AARP, Greenpeace, NC Housing Coalition, Sierra Club and more– came together this morning at the annual shareholder’s meeting.
We held a press conference in the morning and greeted shareholders with a photo petitions wall of 1,500 Duke customers calling for affordable rates for clean energy solutions. About 60 people stayed outside during the meeting for a demonstration and teach in about coal, clean energy, and organizing opportunities.
Some 30 people went inside the shareholder’s meeting. CEO Jim Rogers gave a presentation that was a small part about their financials and state of the company, and a large part about Duke’s investments in clean energy and expectations of being a leader on climate. He then fielded questions– he took about 15 from the crowd and all but one were from our people. We asked about the risk of coal, the opportunity in energy efficiency, offshore wind, solar, rate increased and more. Then he cut the questions off and ended the meeting. Jim Rogers is really, really slick. He says almost all of the right things. There are many things to digest, but here are a few of my take-aways:
- Duke does not support repeal the NC REPS. The first question was a guy affiliated with ALEC who asked Mr. Rogers to stand up against liberal extremists. And the CEO responded that this is a good, reasonable policy. He later clarified to the media that he does not support repealing the bill.
- He thinks solar will eventually outpace wind and wants to do utility scale solar in NC. Gave some comments about being “blocked” by the commission from having their renewable arm operate in the state.
- expects to be in front of the utilities commission this year on net metering and rooftop solar
– reiterates that there is “no wind resource” in NC; anticipates offshore wind development will be 10 years out.
– offered to meet with environmentalists to have a longer conversation
I was inspired by all of the hard work that went into this, the guts that people had to stand up and speak truth to power, and by the movement that we are growing every day.
Thanks to all of you for your awesome work!