Duking It Out with Duke Energy - myfoxcarolinas.com

Duking It Out with Duke Energy

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Charlotte, N.C. (WJZY) -- This isn't a parade or music festival.

Folks from across North Carolina are shaking things up outside Duke Energy's annual shareholder's meeting.

"I'm here today primarily as a grandmother. It affects me deeply to know that my grandchildren may not be able to have the 71 years of life I've enjoyed due to the policies of Duke Energy," said Vicki Ryder.

Vicki drove here from Durham today. She's a Raging Granny - yup, that's really what her group is called!

"Raging Grannies is what we call an international disorganization of older women. We write lyrics to familiar songs that speak to the message of the day," said Vicki.

That message: a demand to clean up coal ash using the company's own money, keep energy rates low, and go green.

"The company has been going green for some time. You look at the stats, we've reduced emissions by more than 50 percent in most categories, some up to 75 to 80 percent like sulfur dioxide, carbon emissions by 20 percent over the last 5 years. These are huge achievements."

"In our view, you need all the above approach. You need renewables, wind, solar. We're looking at battery technology in other states. We also use traditional methods, coal, natural gas, nuclear," said Tom Williams with Duke Energy.

Nick Wood is a Duke Energy shareholder. He joined the rally after getting kicked out of the shareholder meeting.

"I raised the point, given what's happened with Duke Energy in the last year, I think we should have a discussion before we elect board of directors. That is literally all that I said," said Nick.

He says green energy is not coming to North Carolina quick enough.

"It is undeniable that they are investing billions of dollars in renewable energy, but they're not doing it in North Carolina. We don't have competition, they're a monopoly, their political contributions have made them the only energy company in North Carolina," said Nick, a shareholder.

The group of rate payers are demanding Duke Energy use its own money to pay for and clean up its mess.

"For the Dan River site, we've committed to remove the ash from the site. At the Riverbend site, we're working with the city of Charlotte to move some coal ash to the airport," said Tom with Duke Energy.

"They are poisoning our drinking water, polluting our air, and then passing the cost of clean up on to the users. That's you and me. If that's not legally a crime, it's definitely immoral," said Vicki.

Definitely something this Raging Granny wants to sing about.
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