This isn't just about solar. Recently, Duke Energy's Eden Power plant spilled 35 million gallons of toxic coal-ash slurry into North Carolina's Dan River. The ash is now glued to the bottom and sides of the river.
Families in the vicinity are extremely worried - coal ash contains high levels of arsenic, lead, selenium and other heavy metals that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says can cause cancer and birth defects.
In Florida, Duke’s Crystal River power plant spews sulfur dioxide and mercury into the air from its coal-fired boilers and are a big concern to Tampa Bay families, as those types of gases are known to trigger asthma attacks and contribute to cancer.
Not only that, but carbon emissions from coal and gas plants are among the leading contributors to climate disruption and our communities around the Gulf of Mexico are already feeling the personal and economic effects - extreme weather storms and rising sea levels - all devastating consequences of being tied down to dirty energy sources.
And yet, Duke Energy is trying to block the growth of clean energy—like rooftop solar—because they’re afraid of market competition. This is outrageous because many of the states they serve - like Florida, North and South Carolina - have depressed clean energy economies at a time when other states are growing their jobs with not just solar but other renewable energy alternatives. In fact, the majority of Duke’s energy portfolio comes from dirty energy sources, while only less than 0.1% is solar.
We need to expand clean energy around the Gulf of Mexico and beyond – not suppress it – so we can get off the dirty power that Duke Energy wants to keep us chained to!
If enough of us in our community - along with our elected leaders - stand up for clean energy expansion, we’ll be able to break open Duke Energy’s stranglehold on our energy choices and secure a healthy clean energy economy for all!