And we're going to end up paying for it:
This is not an isolated repurposing from Duke, but merely the beginning of a wave as Duke seeks to build 15 or more such plants across North Carolina in the coming years. As welcome as the news was for us locally that our toxin-spewing, mountain-destroying coal burner would soon be put out to pasture, this new development is hardly an improvement. Statewide, Duke is simply trading in one destructive, extractive energy source for another while continuing to milk legally guaranteed profits from its outrageous monopoly privilege over North Carolina ratepayers.
Like many of my environmental friends, I have been pleased to see the closure of several old and dirty coal plants in Duke Energy's "fleet." They closed more than I thought they would, which brought me to (at least) two realizations: 1) They're up to something, and 2) They had a hell of a lot more capacity than they have claimed. Another realization: Even with these closures, they are still able to provide for current power demands. Meaning, the smaller incremental addition of renewable energy generation via wind and solar farms (and waste-to-energy projects, geothermal, etc.) could easily keep up with increasing demand. But guess what? Large power plant construction projects are moneymakers. Billions, which is the only unit of measurement Duke Energy pays attention to. But forget about money for a second while we examine the climate change dangers of ramping up nat gas plants: