The Alliance to Protect Our People and the Places We Live was formed in late 2016. But the vision and work behind it has a long history.
Duke Energy, which became the largest utility in the world when it merged with Progress Energy a few years ago, has provided North Carolina with reliable electricity for many years. But in exchange for the reliability it has come to dominate and corrupt NC state government and politics. Duke has inflicted enormous environmental damage on communities all over the state, especially in dumping of toxic coal ash from its many coal fired power plants. This has poisoned rivers. public water supplies, wells, families and communities all over the state. Because of Dukes’s refusal to embrace good solutions, coal ash is still not properly and safely regulated or disposed of, and people are still being poisoned. Also, as a regulated monopoly Duke has been able to extract huge profits from ratepayers (the public). These profits in turn have enabled Duke to increase its influence over state government. The consequence of all of this in 2012 was that a former 28 year Duke employee, Pat McCrory, was elected governor; other former Duke employees play important roles in state regulatory agencies; tax credits for wind and solar installations, which compete with Duke, have been eliminated; and third party sales of electricity have been made illegal. North Carolina has become Dukes’ state, and Duke’s interests clearly take priority over the peoples’ interests
In recent years, as the environmental damage from coal has become evident to everyone, as Duke’s profits have soared, as the damage being done to NC from climate change – hurricane Mathew in the east and forest fires in the mountains being recent examples – organizations and individuals all over the state have been questioning Dukes policies and priorities, and advocating the embrace of more wind and solar energy. It is well known that there is enough off-shore wind in NC to power the whole state and more.
Instead, in the last few years Duke has developed plans to install about 12,000 megawatts of fracked gas power plants, which will wed the state to fossil fuels for another half century, well past the time when climate change and global warming will become irreversible. And in order to get the gas for these power plants Duke has (falsely) claimed that in partnership with Dominion Resources of Virginia it must install the $5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The ACP during installation will disturb over thirteen thousand acres of land, including farms, wetlands, rivers, mountains, and public parks and forest land; and endanger homes, churches, schools and businesses along its 550 mile route. Duke has also falsely claimed that fracked gas is “cleaner” than coal. While it is true that gas burns cleaner than coal, overall because of methane leaks in extraction, transport and combustion, gas turns out to be a more potent source of climate change than coal.
So after Hurricane Matthew, after the forest fires in the mountains, and at the same time Duke and Dominion were bullying landowners to sacrifice their land and water rights and grant the ACP easements along the pipeline corridor, APPPL was formed to help protect our people and our land, and to challenge the ACP’s offensive. APPPL is a coalition of organizations and individuals from around the entire state committed first of all to stopping the ACP, and as we do so, to turn our attention to other environmental threats to our people.
This website explains APPPL’s present activities in detail, and how you or your organization can get involved.
Can You Pitch In?
There is work to be done if we’re going to protect North Carolina.
Please let us know if you’d like to get involved!