North Carolina Industry Executives & Others Hold Press Conference Opposing HB 951

RALEIGH, N.C. — June 28, 2021— Carolina Utility Customers Association (CUCA) held a press conference to highlight the devastating impact a 50 percent increase in industrial customer rates will have on its members. Kevin Martin kicked off the event with a simple message. “We held this press conference as a voice for all consumers. Duke Energy has not engaged customers on the rate increases associated with this bill, but the company has already discussed the impacts with investors. Consumers need to know and voice their concern. We heard from manufacturers today who say their continued investment in North Carolina is at risk.”

Several industrial executives personalized the impact these cost increases would have on the industry. Dan Nation, director of Government Affairs for Parkdale Mills, noted that his company has nine plants in North Carolina and a 50 percent increase in energy costs over the next 10 years would devastate his industry. Jim Booterbaugh, president and CEO of National Spinning, has 350 employees in North Carolina and stated that this rate increase would end any thought of facility expansion, a comment echoed by Allen Smith of Elevate Textiles who described the global environment in which the industry operates. Brian Rosenstein, the CEO of TSG Finishing, talked about the long history of textiles in North Carolina and how his firm has operated in the state since 1960. Jay Flanary, director of Manufacturing, Frontier Yarns, argued that his company competes in the market every day, and he encouraged North Carolina to study competition in energy markets.

CUCA was joined by environmental and consumer advocates including Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC), the North Carolina Justice Center (The Justice Center), and Appalachian Voices. Each of these groups also opposed the legislation for reasons such as it does not help North Carolina reach its climate goals, it replaces coal plants with natural gas, and it continues Duke Energy’s overearning as rate increases are allowed through a multi-rate schedule. SELC and the Justice Center spoke of the negative impacts to low- and moderate-income residents across the state.

Posted June 29, 2021

Source: Carolina Utility Customers Association (CUCA)