Duke CEO Recieves Hypocrite of the Year Award!

November 23, 2009 at 4:12 pm 1 comment

Charlotte November  2009- Just one day after Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers was subpoenaed to testify in Duke’s case against Charlotte attorney Ken Davies, the case was dismissed by the court. On April 20th of this year 43 protestors were arrested for trespassing at Duke Energy Headquarters as part of a demonstration aimed at canceling the construction of Duke’s Cliffside coal-fired power plant. Ken Davies, one of those arrested, was convicted and subsequently appealed for a trial by jury, to have begun today.

Davies said that he is disappointed and had planned to defend his actions in April as a minor crime necessary to stop the greater crime of a coal plant that will poison local communities and contribute to dangerous climate change. A rally was planned in support of Davies and activists went forward with the rally, calling on Duke and Rogers to come clean and speak to the public honestly about the risks of the Cliffside plant. Davies is asking Jim Rogers to debate the issue publicly.

“I was disappointed to not have the opportunity to get Jim Rogers to go on record responding to the dangers of Cliffside,” Said Davies, “I challenge Rogers to discuss Cliffside publicly with members of the environmental community opposed to the plant.”

Later that night, at the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce annual meeting, citizens awarded Jim Rogers “Hypocrite of the Year.” A group of 30 demonstrators gathered outside the meeting to protest the Chamber’s “Citizen of the Carolinas” award. Greenpeace organized the protest along with members of the Stop Cliffside Coalition to call out Rogers on his greenwashing.

Rogers has spent the last year traveling the country and world to talk about the urgency of solving climate change, while at the same time he is constructing a new coal plants and is lobbying on Capitol Hill for a climate bill that will line the coffers of coal companies but not combat dangerous global warming. Here in North Carolina Duke Energy is building a new coal plant that will emit 6 million tons of global warming pollution every year and release toxic chemicals that will poison our air and water.

“Jim Rogers knows that his grandchildren should not grow up in a world dirtied by coal and devastated by climate change,” said Brian Staton, a Greenpeace Lead Activist, “we need Duke to immediately cancel the construction at Cliffside and begin investing in clean energy run our homes and hospitals.”

At issue is also the climate legislation that is moving through Congress. Rogers has worked hard in Washington to help craft a bill that is friendlier to fossil fuel companies than it is to the clean energy in its title. The House version known as the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) gives tens of billions of dollars of support to the coal industry, and scant amount to renewable energy like wind and solar. The design of the cap and the offsets market ensure that no meaningful reductions will happen in the crucial short term; before 2020. Rogers has applauded this measure as a bill that will fight climate change, when it will do little in this regard, but will help his company make profits.

Jim Rogers referred to protesters outside the Charlotte Convention Center where the chamber met Monday.“I was very happy to see there were two groups out there — one on the far right and one on the far left,” he said. “I thought ‘My God, I am right where I need to be in the middle of the road.’” and further patronized by saying he “admires the spirit of the protestors”.

A note from ‘the protesters’: Jim WE DO NOT WANT YOUR ADMIRATION- We want your commitment to a sustainable and just North Carolina.

You can Check out the “Creative Loafing” blog about the court house event HERE

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