The nation’s third largest utility, Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) has announced it is terminating its membership in the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, citing disagreement over clean energy legislation.
"As the debate evolved, it became clear that there were some influential members who would never support climate legislation no matter what,” Duke spokesman Tom Williams told the press Tuesday.
Duke has also withdrawn its membership in the National Association of Manufacturers for similar reasons; the NAM is currently running a misleading ad campaign against clean energy legislation.
“The revelations from Duke Energy should not be surprising. It is clear that ACCCE does not have the best interests of the American public at heart," Bruce Nilles, Director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, said in a statement. "Their only goal is to preserve the dirty status quo for coal, and they will do whatever it takes to keep things that way."
“ACCCE’s idea of fixing the clean energy jobs bill is to kill it or weaken it until it becomes ineffective. The front group has actively been fighting the legislation using any means necessary, including contracting with groups with questionable ethical histories and admitted forgery scandals, like Bonner & Associates and astroturf firms like Lincoln Strategies. The defection of Duke Energy is a clear sign that this front group has gone too far—even for energy companies like Duke that are heavily invested in coal and are attempting to build even more polluting coal plants," Niles added.
Pete Altman of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) suggested in a blog posting that Duke might not have been the first big corporation to cut ties with ACCCE. He notes that Alcoa (NYSE: AA), which was a visible partner of ACCCE in April 2008, is no longer listed anywhere on the coalition's website. Read that posting at the link below.
Earlier this week Duke Energy announced plans to build and operate its ninth U.S. windfarm--a 200-megawatts (MW) project near Casper, Wyoming.