Updated: "We Definitely Want Retail Choice," Coalition Member Says Of New North Carolina Competition Petition
New "Energy Justice" Coalition Seeking To End Utility "Monopoly" In North Carolina; Calls For, "Competitive Energy Market," "Consumer Choice"
February 14, 2019 Email This Story Copyright 2010-19 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • email@example.com
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Update, 12:41 pm, 2/14
Jim Warren, Executive Director of NC WARN, a member of Energy Justice NC, told EnergyChoiceMatters.com that, "We definitely want retail choice, and not to have Duke as the only load serving entity available to customers."
A new coalition of 15 local, state and national groups have launched in North Carolina what they called a vigorous statewide campaign to end Duke Energy’s monopoly control of North Carolina’s energy markets
The coalition is named Energy Justice NC: End the Duke Monopoly
Among other things, the coalition has created a petition called "Petition for Energy Choice in North Carolina", under which signatories, among other things, call on officials to: "End Duke Energy’s Monopoly: Oppose monopoly control of our power grid and support a just and equitable transition to a competitive energy market that creates thousands of jobs[.]"
Energy Justice NC said that, "The coalition is pursing legislation to open the state to electricity competition."
In a letter to the Governor and lawmakers, Energy Justice NC said that, "North Carolina must open the electricity market up to competition[.]"
Other language from Energy Justice NC states support for, "market competition and consumer choice"
Specific details concerning what constitutes electricity competition and choice were not immediately available
In the letter to lawmakers, Energy Justice NC noted that, "Members of this coalition and other stakeholders have ideas and expertise about what utility reform should look like, and we call on you to facilitate an open process to determine the best path forward. What is non-negotiable is that the current system is badly broken and must change."
A representative from one of Energy Justice NC's members told EnergyChoiceMatters.com that while a set of goals for restructuring North Carolina's electric industry comprehensively is being developed, nothing was prepared for release yet
Whether the coalition proposes retail electric choice (LSE choice) similar to Texas or Pennsylvania is as of yet undetermined. The goal is to build upon lessons learned in other states that have opened up to energy choice, a representative from one of Energy Justice NC's members said
Energy Justice NC does emphasize renewable energy in its calls for competition
Energy Justice NC's Petition for Energy Choice in North Carolina states:
North Carolinians are suffering. Due to the broken nature of our monopoly electricity system, our residents and businesses are facing:
• Constant Rate Hikes as Duke Energy uses its customers’ hard-earned money to rig the system into allowing construction of unnecessary fracked gas pipelines and power plants;
• Environmental Devastation from repeated floods and worsening hurricanes, while Duke evades responsibility for cleaning up its toxic coal ash pollution and promotes methane from hog waste as “renewable” energy as that waste poisons communities;
• Pollution of Our Political System as Duke Energy executives abuse their monopoly power with campaign money and undue political influence;
• Lack of Choice and Stalled Job Growth while cheaper clean and renewable energy rapidly replaces fossil fuels and drives economic development in states with competitive energy markets;
WE THE UNDERSIGNED CALL ON OUR ELECTED AND CIVIC LEADERS ACROSS NORTH CAROLINA TO:
• End Duke Energy’s Monopoly: Oppose monopoly control of our power grid and support a just and equitable transition to a competitive energy market that creates thousands of jobs;
• Transition to 100% Renewables: Support policies to rapidly transition our state to 100% renewable energy in a manner that prioritizes communities most harmed by the fossil fuel economy, and protects the beauty, integrity and productivity of our land, forests, and waters;
• Pledge to Refuse Toxic Money: Stop taking Duke Energy’s influence money that is increasingly polluting our democratic process; and
• Appoint Utilities Commissioners Who Will Protect the People: Make appointments to the N.C. Utilities Commission who will prioritize the interests of North Carolinians over corporate monopolies
The Energy Justice NC Coalition describes itself as, "a new collaboration of 15 local, state, regional and national organizations focused on promoting common sense energy policies that will shift the state to a more affordable, safer and secure electric system, and create local jobs and community wealth through allowing consumer choice and competition."