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Environment
Coal ash is the waste that remains when coal is burned. It is usually collected in a dump, known as a pond. North Carolina has more than 30 such sites in 14 different locations across the state. A pipe running under one of the ponds run by Duke Energy in Eden NC ruptured in February of 2014. The coal ash spilled, largely affecting the Dan River which flows into Virginia. The spill is the third largest of its kind in U.S. history.Many see potential complications because North Carolina's governor, Pat McCrory, worked for Duke Energy for 28 years.

Duke Energy Wants Coal Ash Costs Passed To Consumers

The Dan River bank with residual dark grey coal ash.
Steven Alexander
/
USFWS
Duke Energy wants to pass the cost of coal ash cleanup on to consumers. Pictured here, the Dan River bank with residual dark grey coal ash after coal ash spill.

Duke Energy argued this week in hearings before the North Carolina Utilities Commission that the cost of cleaning up coal ash spills should be passed on to consumers. 

Duke Energy is asking for rate hikes that would also factor in the costs of distributing water bottles to customers who live near coal ash pits. WUNC daily news producer Will Michaels says Duke Energy is falling back on its enduring argument that consumers benefited from affordable coal electricity for decades, and that the rate increase is justified.

Michaels shares stories from Duke Energy consumers who are not convinced by the company’s rationale. 
 

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