Monday, September 23, 2019
Duke Energy to stop burning coal by 2050 as part of pledge to eliminate or offset all carbon emissions
"Duke Energy Corp. agreed to eliminate carbon emissions from its power plants and offset those that it can’t by 2050, joining a slew of power producers taking steps to limit the effects of global warming," Chris Martin reports for Bloomberg. "Duke, one of the largest U.S. emitters of greenhouse gases, plans to shift away from burning coal and invest in solar, nuclear and other carbon-free technologies, as well as natural gas, during the transition."
Duke joined a host of other power providers in its pledge. According to the Clean Air Task Force, utilities that provide about a third of the electricity in the country have promised to cut carbon emissions, Martin reports.
However, critics say the plan isn't as squeaky-clean as it looks on the surface. Dave Rogers, a regional campaign director for Sierra Club's "Beyond Coal" campaign, noted that Duke's most recent plans show that the company expects to burn coal until 2048 and will also ramp up its natural-gas capacity. "Both of those commitments are totally incompatible with a clean energy future that avoids the worst impacts of climate change," Rogers said in a statement. The greenhouse-gas impact of gas is about half that of coal.