We envision a North Carolina that is fossil-free and powered by renewable energy like solar and wind. A state where everyone, no matter who they are or where they live, has a right to clean and affordable energy. CleanAIRE NC is working with our partners to ensure state leaders develop a strong and equitable NC Carbon Plan that rapidly reduces climate-changing emissions and puts North Carolina on a path to a clean energy future for all.
Duke Energy submitted an updated Carbon Plan to the NC Utilities Commission on Thursday, August 17, 2023.
While we need time to fully analyze this draft, it’s immediately clear that Duke’s plan calls for more investments in polluting, outdated fossil fuels. Continuing to rely on gas and coal would put our state’s climate targets out of reach. Duke Energy also wants to build nuclear reactors in our communities.
Fortunately, Duke Energy doesn’t have the final say. The N.C. Utilities Commission is responsible for submitting a plan that sets the best pathway for our state to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. That requires a plan that utilizes our full solar and offshore wind potential, sets ambitious timelines for closing dirty power plants, and heavily relies on community input. CleanAIRE NC will continue working with all stakeholders in this process to create a Carbon Plan centered around clean energy and people, not fossil fuel profits.
Last summer hundreds of people gathered across North Carolina for public hearings to protest Duke Energy’s proposed Carbon Plan; a plan that includes more expensive, climate-changing fossil fuels and higher energy rates for North Carolina residents.
In August 2022 the Biden Administration signed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) into law creating the largest investment to combat the climate crisis in U.S. history. This bill includes programs to make closing coal power plants more affordable, funding to encourage additional renewable energy generation, tax credits for consumers who invest in energy efficient appliances and home efficiency upgrades, new funding for low-income and environmentally sensitive communities, and more.
In total, the IRA contained $391 Billion dollars to encourage the transition to a clean energy economy over the next ten years. EPA received $41.5 billion in appropriations to develop and support 24 new and existing programs that monitor and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, protect health and advance environmental justice. Yet, during the Carbon Plan hearings last summer, Duke Energy said these new resources would not likely impact their planning or carbon reduction timelines.
CleanAIRE NC and numerous other partners have encouraged Duke Energy to take advantage of these Federal funds and reassess their options to more quickly reduce carbon emissions. Read our comments to the NC Utilities Commission >>
Now, it is up to all of us to ensure these historic levels of funding are delivered to communities that need it most in North Carolina, particularly those who have been most burdened by environmental, social, and economic injustice.
CleanAIRE NC’s Talking Points on the NC Carbon Plan.
CleanAIRE NC’s Review of Duke Energy’s 2020 Climate Report and associated Duke Energy climate strategies.
CleanAIRE NC’s comments submitted to the NC Utilities Commission on December 8, 2022
CleanAIRE NC’s petition to the NC Utilities Commission signed by 343 North Carolinians
CleanAIRE NC’s video blog: NC Carbon Plan Update
Webinar: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (June 2022)