Business & Economy
3:10 pm
Fri September 9, 2011

Environmental Groups Challenge Duke, Progress Merger

Several environmental groups have filed a challenge to the proposed merger of Duke Energy and Progress Energy. The merger between the two North Carolina-based companies would create the country's largest utility. Southern Environmental Law Center attorney Gudrun Thompson says that makes Duke and Progress responsible for leading the way in developing clean energy resources.

Gudrun Thompson: "The merger would not have the right protections in place for consumers and the environment to make sure that it's a good deal, not only for the company's shareholders, but for their customers and for North Carolina's environment."
Progress spokesman Mike Hughes says the company operates under state policy, which calls for a mix of energy resources at the lowest possible cost to customers.

Mike Hughes: "We are, and Duke is, both aggressively promoting and pursuing energy efficiency. We've got an array of programs designed to reflect today's customer needs. We also have to do that, while aggressively, we have to be responsible."
The two sides will make their cases in front of the state Utilities Commission at a public hearing in two weeks.