N.C. environmental group promises legal challenge on climate change | News

N.C. environmental group promises legal challenge on climate change

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Europe should expect more of these. Thanks climate change! - CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE
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  • Europe should expect more of these. Thanks climate change!

This isn't the first time someone has accused Duke Energy of "criminal behavior."

Earlier this year, when the energy giant pleaded guilty to nine misdemeanor violations of the Clean Water Act, federal prosecutors accused the company of ignoring repeated warnings that its coal ash ponds were not safe. Many speculated that criminal charges could be filed against individuals in Duke Energy, although that has yet to materialize. 

Now, N.C. WARN (Waste Awareness and Reduction Network), a longtime critic of the utility company and an anti-climate change advocacy organization, is promising a legal challenge, in which they will call on Attorney General Roy Cooper to "use his explicit constitutional authority to police Duke Energy's persistent criminal behavior." 

The organization said this week that it will demand for Cooper to require that Duke Energy executives "help slow the accelerating climate crisis instead of making it worse, to stop blocking clean energy competition, and to stop polluting state government." N.C. WARN did not elaborate on the nature of their legal threats. 

The organization was founded in the late 1980s to protest a company's controversial plan to build hazardous waste incinerators in the state. In the last decade, its efforts have been primarily focused on climate change and protesting Duke Energy's Harris nuclear power plant in Wake County. 

This week's challenge comes one year after the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which includes some of the world's foremost experts on climate change, issued its most scathing report yet. The panel, which was jointly established by the U.N. and the World Meteorological Association in 1988, is now "95 percent certain that humans are the main cause of current global warming," the report said.

The IPCC also said the crisis will "require an urgent and fundamental departure from business as usual" across the world. N.C. WARN also cited increasing evidence that the climate change problem is worsening faster than we previously thought. 

Speaking of Duke Energy, in tomorrow's Indy, we'll dig into last week's surprise coal ash settlement between the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Duke, and how it will affect claims on coal ash contamination going forward. 

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