Asheville — The North Carolina Utilities Commission, the government body tasked with regulating Duke Energy’s activities in NC, is holding a public comment session on Wednesday September 27th 7-10pm. Community Roots, an Asheville based nonprofit, is organizing a Street Theater Rally and March starting at the Vance Monument at 5pm. Duke Energy is requesting a 16.7% rate increase from residential customers to cover, among other things, cleanup of their coal ash and the construction of new gas-fired plants including the one in Arden. Community Roots and its partners believe the public must take advantage of this opportunity to voice their opinions to the Commissioners and Duke Energy.
Asserting Our Rights to a Clean Environment
“When it comes to our energy future, who has more rights: one large energy monopoly, or the combined citizens of Asheville?” asks Jamie Friedrich, an organizer with local nonprofit Community Roots. You probably guessed correctly. Corporations have been seizing power all over this country, with disastrous effects upon our air, water, and land. Our pro-corporate, heavily Republican state legislature currently has the power to pre-empt any local laws that are in conflict with the corporate agenda. But people are organizing to challenge that, thanks to the work of Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) who have been working on Community Rights since the 1990s.