Friday, February 16, 2007

Energy Diversity at Heart of Duke's Plan for North Carolina

In today's edition of the News and Observer, Duke Energy Chairman, President and CEO Jim Rogers lays out the rationale for his company's long-term plan to provide reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible energy to North Carolina.

Though Rogers may be talking about one state, the following three paragraphs could easily be applied to any region of the country:

Some people who oppose our plan do so out of a belief that renewable energy and energy efficiency alone can address our energy challenge, but that is wishful thinking. Having a duty to provide electricity to a growing customer base of 2.2 million, we do not have the luxury of detaching ourselves from reality. Instead we must meet our customers' growing demand for power with real electrons that customers can depend on.

Our duty is to provide reliable, affordable electricity to support a growing population. By 2030, North Carolina's population is predicted to grow from 8 million people to 12 million -- a 50 percent increase from 2000, bringing more homes, hospitals, schools and businesses in need of electricity. Increased demand is also driven by the growing appetite for computers, plasma TVs and other devices.

We stand at a crossroad. Business and government leaders must address this challenge in a way that says "North Carolina is open for business" -- and in an environmentally responsible way. Our plan does that. It assures adequate, reliable and affordable electricity to support economic growth. And it begins reducing the environmental impact of generation by retiring older and high-emitting coal plants and investing heavily in energy efficiency.

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