Duke Energy Asks Court To Dismiss Merger Appeal
Duke Energy has filed a motion to dismiss an appeal of the ruling that confirmed the merger with Progress Energy.
The appeal from the environmental group NC WARN says the state Utilities Commission was wrong to exclude outside parties from an investigation of the merger. Regulators were looking into why Progress Energy CEO Bill Johnson was ousted as leader soon after the deal was complete last year.
Jim Warren of NC WARN says his group should have been allowed to ask questions because the investigation led to changes in the merger settlement.
"They didn't really have a procedure to follow. They made a lot of mistakes in terms of excluding parties. It was everything but an open and transparent proceeding," Warren says.
Duke also objected to not being allowed to intervene in the hearings, but the company now says the Utilities Commission was correct in its decision.
"At the time, there was discussion along the lines of what input should be gathered from various parties, but the commission made clear that they would be in charge of the investigation, which we respected fully, and they had the full authority to do so, and so the investigation moved on from there," says Duke Energy spokesman Dave Scanzoni.
Duke reached a settlement last December in the merger, which created the country's largest utility.