Letters to the Editor, March 22
Duke should remove ash ponds
During each of Duke Energy's applications for a rate increase during the past four years, they claimed the need for new revenue to repay "the $4.8 billion it has spent on transmission system upgrades, pollution controls....."
Jim Rogers, the ousted CEO, told the N.C. Utility Commission that Duke had spent $ 9 billion on new power plants and environmental controls in recent years (apparently none of this money was spent on ash pond pollution controls in North Carolina). Duke failed to secure federal permits for their ash ponds -- a requirement that has been in place for more then 10 years.
Duke Energy's 2013 financial results exceeded Wall Street projections and one of the reasons cited in their annual report was the fact their cost of doing business was less then they had initially forecasted. Duke, like just about any other company, can control their cost of doing business (reduce advertising, delay payments, and, of course delay maintenance costs).
Duke Energy should be required to remove, at shareholder's expense, the ash ponds, not simply move them. Heavy rains can cause the ponds, regardless of where they are, to cause overflows into waterways, farm land and residential areas.
Stored in solid waste facilities and covered with high density plastic sheeting will help insure that the ash waste does not intrude on our environment again.
Cheney the worst
Thank you for the political cartoon depicting the impact of Dick Cheney's attitudes and policies.
He did make America look stupid. At 89, I have had the opportunity to see many American leaders at work. In my opinion he is the worst leader that we have had in my llifetime.