TO THE EDITOR:
Following the settlement by Duke Energy for the Dan River coal ash spill, the utility company has claimed responsibility for the repercussions. Their actions suggest otherwise. Duke’s energy monopoly pollutes our water, is “ordered” by the state to clean up other coal ash ponds and finally pays a meager fine two years after identifying the spill and doing little to clean it up. This is clearly not enough.
The people of North Carolina should not allow companies to apologize for poisoning us by simply paying us off before continuing on with their business as usual. According to an investigation, the majority of the pollution from the spill still contaminates much of the river and surrounding land. I am appalled that such a settlement was even accepted.
It is vital that we prevent such devastation from occurring again. We are allowing a corporation to control our basic needs because we are dependent upon them when a transition toward energy democracy would improve the lives of North Carolinians. It is unreasonable to entertain the idea of constructing new coal-fired or fossil fuel plants when we are aware of the harm they have caused to our environment and well-being.
North Carolina’s energy system is already becoming more renewable thanks to solar farms, but for a more equitable and rapid transition, we need to curtail the influence Duke has on renewable energy generation and distribution.
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