Complaint filed against Duke Energy with NC elections board


Rory McIlmoil, 828-262-1500,

Cat McCue, 434-293-6373,

Former Democracy North Carolina Executive Director Bob Hall submitted a complaint to the State Board of Elections today requesting an investigation into an alleged coverup of illegal campaign contributions from the Duke Energy Corporation Political Action Committee. The complaint states that Duke’s PAC violated state law by contributing $41,600 to eight members of the General Assembly, each of whom holds a top leadership position or sponsors Duke Energy’s controversial ratemaking bill, Senate Bill 559.

According to the complaint, Duke Energy “admitted that the eight contributions were illegal” and attempted to “rectify” their mistake by requesting (and receiving) refunds from each of the legislative recipients, thereby eliminating, in its own words, “any signs of impropriety.” However, as asserted in two reports published by Appalachian Voices and the Energy Justice for North Carolina Coalition this year (here and here), Duke’s campaign contributions — and in this case, allegedly illegal — were a clear attempt to buy support from key leaders of the General Assembly in order to pass Duke’s bill, which could provide a windfall in profits for the utility.

Statement from Rory McIlmoil, Senior Energy Analyst for Appalachian Voices:

“The complaint exposes the depth to which Duke Energy is willing to go to push its ratemaking bill through the legislature, which is not surprising, given the hundreds of millions, if not billions of additional profits that Duke stands to make if it passes. While Mr. Hall’s complaint seeks to hold Duke accountable for its actions, the public should hold these legislators accountable for taking money in exchange for supporting a bill that only benefits Duke Energy while harming families and businesses.”