Editorial: Speaking of Duke Energy

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Talk about a power company. If Duke Energy and Progress Energy are allowed to merge, the combined political clout (ěcloutî in this case meaning ěmoney to give to politiciansî) could be potentially amazing. Over the past eight years, the companies together have spent $52 million on lobbying and political donations in North Carolina and at the federal level.
Whatís that? The contributions illustrate the energy giantsí interest in supporting those politicians who serve the people? Sure thing. Uh, huh.
But might it be that contributions to the pols, who ought to be turning down contributions from those companies regulated by the state (donít hold your breath), also help to make friends when it comes time to consider legislation that could help or hurt the bottom line? And by the way, the companies are seeking a law that would let them raise rates automatically to pay for nuclear or other power plants.
You can bet theyíve got a good chance of getting it.
ó The News & Observer