11/16 Your letters: NC Conservation Network, Sons of Confederate Veteras

Don’t raise energy rates

Earlier this month, I delivered a petition with over 25,000 signatures to the N.C. Utilities Commission (NCUC), which is in a lengthy process to determine whether Duke Energy should be allowed to increase rates on customers by hundreds of dollars a year. The people behind those signatures hail from every county in the state, and they all have one thing in common: they oppose Duke Energy’s request to be allowed to hike up their energy bills.

The petition’s language notes that raising energy rates would “be an unfair burden for communities affected by coal ash, older residents on fixed incomes, low income families, and small businesses.”

Of particular concern is the request from Duke Energy that they be allowed to raise bills in order to pay for costs associated with coal ash management and cleanup. North Carolina law allows for a utility to recover costs from its customers only if they are reasonable and prudently incurred. Storing toxic coal ash in unlined pits beside waterways, despite the very real danger of spills and leaks (which ultimately happened), was bad management – neither reasonable or prudent. Duke’s owners shouldn’t get to pass off the resulting costs on customers who didn’t make those management decisions and never had the option to buy power from anyone else, since Duke is a monopoly.

We hope that the NCUC will take seriously the needs of the 25,000 signatories to our petition as well as the thousands of other customers who cannot afford a higher bill and reject Duke’s request on their behalf.

Jamie Cole

Policy advocate

NC Conservation Network

Respect our laws

The North Carolina Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, wishes to register publicly its outrage and disgust in response to Durham County’s apparent decision to drop felony charges against 12 of the criminals responsible for the destruction of Durham’s Confederate memorial statue. Previously, these individuals were charged with felonies by the Durham County sheriff in the aftermath of the Aug. 14 incident in which the memorial was pulled down by a mob composed of members of the communist Workers’ World Party.

Through various comments and media stories, the Durham County District Attorney Roger Echols has indicated his unwillingness to pursue full justice in this matter against the self-styled communists and activists that took the law into their own hands on Aug.14. Additionally, the Durham County Commission has estimated the damage at a laughably low figure of $28,000. In fact, from our own sources, including an insurance estimate, the figure should be more than four times that amount. It seems that on both fronts, the county is determined to undervalue the damage and selectively enforce the law based on political whims.

We demand that the individuals responsible, who have repeatedly reveled in their deeds, be held to account in accordance with North Carolina General Statutes and the rule of law. Instead of rewarding this behavior, it should be condemned and punished as if any other citizen of North Carolina had done it, or if any other historic monument had been attacked. Instead, these would-be felons are treated as celebrities and validated as freedom fighters. In fact, they are base criminals and immature demagogues who have chosen to self-righteously dismantle our society rather than work to improve it.

We encourage the great majority of North Carolinians who share our feelings on this matter to demand justice and obedience to the law from Durham County. We urge our fellow North Carolinians to call, email, or write the county commissioners and district attorney and let them know that the citizens of this state expect justice for all and respect for our laws.

North Carolina Division

Sons of Confederate Veterans

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