Testimony before NC Utilities Commission

Published 9:44 am Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Ellen Thomas of Tryon recently testified before the NC Utilities Commission on May 22 in Marion, N.C., about the Duke Energy application for rate hikes to build the Lee nuclear plant in Gaffney, S.C. Thomas requested that the Bulletin share her testimony.

“I’m Ellen Thomas, and I live in Tryon, N.C.  First, I want to thank the NC Utility Commissioners for having another rate-hike hearing. Once again I traveled quite a distance, the last time to film it, but this time I wanted to speak.

I want to talk to the representative from Duke Energy, because I’m not only a rate-payer but I’m also a shareholder.  When my mother died, she left me a few thousand dollars, and I bought a share in Duke Energy so I could come to a meeting and make a proposal.

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Unfortunately, I was not able to get to that meeting (this year; for one reason I did not get notice from Duke Energy, even though I was a shareholder, so I thought that I’d like to tell you today that if I had been there I would have proposed that instead of building nuclear reactors, Duke Energy invest in solar panels and windmills and promote retrofitting existing buildings).

That instead of monopolizing energy, you help create a cooperative that will include and foster and promote sources of alternative energy, not nuclear, and not fossil fuels, but help rate payers to install solar panels on their roofs, and windmills on top of their hills, and pay you off over a period of time, and build a Smart Grid that will make sense, so that instead of building new nuclear reactors, which I believe we do not need if we act wisely, use that money instead to create new businesses that will help to create a new energy economy.