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There’s a lit stick of dynamite – and one unanswered question – being blithely passed from hand to hand in the backrooms of Raleigh: Who will the State Senators and Representatives make pay to cleanup Duke Energy’s coal ash ponds – which Duke says is going to cost $10 billion and which, Duke also says, in fairness ought to be added to its customers’ electric bills. 

Attorney General (and not one to look a gift horse in the mouth) Roy Cooper, who’s running for Governor, promptly disagreed, saying Duke ought to pay every penny which inspired Cooper’s Democratic allies to add an amendment to the Senate Republicans’ ‘Coal Ash Cleanup’ bill to make Duke pay. 
The old Bull Mooses promptly quashed the Democrats’ amendment then fell cryptically silent which oddly – given the murky waters of Senate politics – sent a crystal clear message: The Bull Mooses, after they’d just kiboshed Duke paying the $10 billion, faced a tough choice: Either tell consumers their electric bills would be going up or lay low and say nothing.
Silence spoke volumes.
Which attracted the attention of Conor (the Jessecrat) who grunted, What we have here is half-baked politicians coming up with the wrong cure for a problem.
Conor explained both Cooper’s and the Republicans’ solutions had more to do with politics than fixing the problem then added, The real question here is how much can Duke afford to pay?  If it has $10 billion, fine, let it pay it all.  But if Duke can only pay $1 billion then some poor soul’s got to find the backbone to tell people their electric bills are going up $9 billion.
Of course, even for our finest politicians, that would be just plain treacherous – imagine a Bull Moose, running for reelection, looking voters straight in the eye and saying, I voted to increase your electric bills, while at the exact same moment his opponent’s looking the exact same voters in the eye saying, Duke should pay it all.


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2 comments on “A Lit Stick of Dynamite

  1. Anonymous says:

    This problem happens at an interesting time in history. First of all, if energy were like the rest of the free market, there would be competition and prices would be much lower at this point in time. Then the company who owned the Coal Ash Ponds would face the following: Go bankrupt, clean up the mess and keep rates low or lose customers to other power companies. All this assumes our rulers were more free market which they are not. Power companies have a monopoly. Try and buy your electricty some where else. The other side to this coin is that as soon as the socialist that run the federal government pass Cap and Trade, power rates will double if not more. This on top of whatever happens with Duke power will mean only those people of considerable means will stay warm in winter and cool in summer. But don’t let that heat or lack of heat cause you fear, you are saving the planet, from it’s natural changes. The real problem comes when the people tell the Bull Mooses of both parties they have had enough.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Duke should pay it all. I’m normally not this direct, but that’s just how I feel. Sure, eventually they’ll get the utilities commission to raise rates enough to pay back those billions…but, in the short run, it’s absurd to ask the taxpayer to pay. I have read everything that opposes what I believe here and it hasn’t fazed my belief in this. I don’t care if the state inspectors didn’t do their jobs on the coal ash ponds along the way. I don’t care that there has been government corruption along the way. There was also Duke Power corruption along the way as well and even more than that……..right now, we-the-people just can’t afford the raise in rates and Duke Power CAN afford to pay for the clean up. It’s just that simple. Suck it up, Duke Power. Use some of those billions you’ve managed to make to do what’s right here.

    Next issue.

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