Duke Energy Needs Serious Dose of Reality

Yesterday, 35 protesters were arrested for allegedly trespassing on Duke Energy property.

News ABC 13 reported that Duke Energy's spokesperson, Marilyn Lineberger said that Duke respects free speech but has a zero tolerance for illegal activity.

Yeah, right. Zero tolerance unless Duke Energy is the..ahem..alleged perp.

From Public Citizen:

  • In September 2003, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission fined Duke Energy $28 million for manipulating natural gas markets.
  • In December 2003, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission fined Duke Energy $2.5 million, resolving an investigation into allegations that Duke engaged in market gaming practices during the California energy crisis.
  • In July 2004, the California attorney general announced a $207.5 million “electricity price-gouging settlement” with Duke Energy for the company’s role in ripping off the state’s consumers during the energy crisis that led to forced blackouts and almost bankrupted California, harming many small businesses and consumers.
  • The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) in 2001 rescinded $14.4 million in payments Duke Energy had received after the company did not make its power plants available for the California market. The CAISO then issued a $4.5 million fine against Duke for failing to follow California market rules during a declared system emergency.
  • In July 2005, the Securities and Exchange Commission imposed a cease-and-desist order on Duke Energy because Duke’s internal accounting controls were insufficient to ensure that its traders properly recorded their trading activities. As a result, Duke Energy illegally classified $56.2 million of the company’s speculative power and natural gas trading operations.

If you're really curious about just how much tolerance Duke Energy has for illegal, unethical or unfair activity just do the following Google searches:

  • Duke Energy fined
  • Duke Energy violated
  • Duke Energy guilty
  • Duke Energy settles

OK, Marilyn, you want to give that whole zero tolerance thing another go?