Protesters Rail Against Duke Energy

By Meghan Cooke
macooke@charlotteobserver.com
Posted: Sunday, Apr. 01, 2012
  • Protesters gather outside the Duke Energy Center in uptown Charlotte Saturday, March 31, 2012. About 50 protesters came to voice their concerns about the environment and the company’s rate hike. Todd Sumlin – tsumlin@charlotteobserver.com

About 50 people gathered Saturday afternoon outside the Duke Energy tower in uptown Charlotte to protest the utility company’s recent rate hikes – an increase they say will be used to pay for dangerous coal-produced energy.

They held signs that read “Clean coal is a dirty lie” and “No rate hikes Dirty Energy,” and cheered as organizers using a loudspeaker railed against the power company.

“Our message is simple,” said Héctor Vaca, director of the Charlotte chapter of Action NC, which works on behalf of low- to moderate-income families. “Duke Energy, stop making us average North Carolinians pay to have you destroy our health. We average North Carolinians will not give you a stimulus.”

Greenpeace NC organizer Monica Embrey said the rally – organized by environmental and social justice groups, including Greenpeace, Clean Air Carolina, Charlotte’s chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Action NC, the Charlotte Green Party and Occupy Charlotte – was one of about 30 similar events across the state Saturday.

“North Carolina could be a leader in clean energy if Duke just put its money where its mouth is and started investing in clean, renewable energy,” Embrey said.

Read the complete Charlotte Observer article here