Greenpeace’s campaign to make Duke Energy into a true clean energy champion has started with a bang, and the reactions from both Duke Energy and Progress Energy (which are attempting to merge into the country’s largest utility) have been sadly predictable.
With the economy struggling to create new jobs, the climate inching closer to the tipping point, and coal communities fighting for their lives, talking points won’t be enough this time. We need leadership from Duke.
Both Duke and Progress are eager to explain that they’re doing the minimum required by law to reduce pollution from their coal plants. That’s not leadership, and it’s not enough to protect the communities suffering from the poison pumping from their coal plants.
Duke has touted its policy that states they’ll end their use of coal from mountaintop removal mining, just as soon as it’s cheaper for them to do so. That’s not leadership, and it won’t do a thing to stop the destruction of mountains and rivers in Appalachia.
Duke has touted the handful of investments they’re making in renewable electricity. But almost none of that investment is bringing renewable energy—or jobs—to the Carolinas, and it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the billions they’re spending on dirty energy like coal, nukes, and gas. That’s not leadership, and it’s not real progress for the climate.
If this company cares about climate change as much as their CEO claims, they should start acting like it. Stop using mountain top removal coal. Stop building coal and nuclear plants. Start investing in renewable energy, in a big way, now.
Talk is cheap. It’s time for action.