(Readers: Please note the blog about the 5th revolution in the US is constructed as a story. While not all chapters are linked, I think the story will be more meaningful by starting at the beginning.)

Want a PDF version for Entries #1-10, #11-20, #21-30 formatted for tablets and e-books?  Click links for download.  America’s 5th Revolution Volume I (Entries 1-10) America’s 5th Revolution Volume II (Entries 11-20) America’s 5th Revolution Volume III (Entries 21-30)

Scene: Jordan’s office with JC — conversation continues. 

Jordan: “OK, JC, we’ve got our coffee refill. What else qualifies Duke Energy for ‘Stupid Is as Stupid Does’?”

JC: “There are several. #1 is Duke, in their terms, wants to take a disciplined, fact-based approach to evaluating long-term solutions for coal-ash basins.'”

Jordan: “What more facts do they need?”

010414_1635_16TeachingS1.jpgJC: “Ya’ got me. Of course earthen dams can leak. Some of the coal ash earth dams have been there for decades. And CEO Goody-Two-Shoes claims Duke needs more time to study.”

Jordan: “That does seem a bit bizarre. Duke is supposed to monitor dams so where are the data?”

JC: Jordan, that coffee must be clearing your brain. You are starting to understand why people are so upset with Duke.”

Jordan: “What else are they doing?”

JC: “Duke wants to restrict the release of information it gives to legislators and environmental groups. Let me read what an attorney said who is representing Duke. Now Duke has an outside attorney as a talking head Goody Two Shoes IIinstead of a Duke employee. Here goes, ‘Duke Energy strongly denies it has in any way knowingly violated the law or committed a crime.’ OK, if no crime, then why outside counsel and not CEO Goody-Two-Shoes talking?”

Jordan: “Some info is private.”

JC: “Mmm. The info is about violations of environmental laws. And they want to withhold the info from the NC DNR.”

Jordan: “What’s their rationale?”

JC: “Duke claims the info might be used in a civil lawsuit against them.”

Jordan: “No info to regulators and no info to people who might want to sue Duke.”

JC: You got it. Goody-Two-Shoes heads a monopoly that is supposed to be monitored by government. Everything smells like Duke violated the law. Now, Duke refuses to provide any info and therefore no one can prove any wrongdoing.”

Jordan: “Are you implying a cover-up?”

JC: “I am not implying anything. I just look at the facts. Duke dumps coal ash into the Dan River, causing a major pollution problem. The NC DNR finally decides to investigate. And now Duke does not want to provide any info. What does that smell like to you?”

Jordan: “At a minimum, smells like a lot of arrogance.”

JC: “And what has been the pattern when companies display a lot of arrogance?”

Jordan: “Some type of wrong doing.”

JC: “And one other little item about Duke.”

Jordan: “What’s that?”

JC: “Gee, somehow Duke was caught dumping coal slurry into some river in eastern North Carolina.”

Jordan: “Illegally?”

JC: “They had a permit to release small amounts. But they were pumping many times over the limit.”

Jordan: “Who discovered it?”

JC: “Believe it or not, the NC DNR. As tight as Duke is…or at least was…with the DNR, the violation must have been really gross for DNR to report Duke.”

Jordan: “What you’ve told me is Duke seems to have a pattern of ignoring the law and/or viewing any fines if they get caught as a cost of doing business.”

JC: “The cost of which they probably figure out how to charge back to rate payers. I don’t condone that behavior from any organization. If a company acts that way, usually you can boycott them and buy a product from someone else.”

Jordan: “But not Duke, because it is a monopoly.”

JC: “Hey, he does understand. Duke is a monopoly that’s run amuck. Now, Jordan, what action is the government going to take.”

Jordan: “Good question. People need electricity. Converting Duke to a publically owned utility is an option but fraught with problems…and lots of lawsuits.”

JC: “What about changing CEO’s?”

Jordan: “The CEO sets the tone for the organization. We might be able to do that.”

JC: “Who was the former CEO at Duke? Something Rogers. All I can think of is Roy Rogers.”

Jordan: “It wasn’t Roy Rogers.”

JC: “But the guy was a cowboy. Seemed to shoot any executive that might question his judgment.”

Jordan: “He did fire his announced successor and then reinstated himself as CEO.”

JC: “Then he picked Goody-Two-Shoes to succeed him.”

Jordan: “The Board of Directors approved.”

JC: “Jordan, don’t be stupid again. Roy Rogers picked the Board members. Why wouldn’t they approve Two-Shoes?”

Jordan: “Alright. I see two major issues with Duke that flame public outrage. #1 is a monopoly disregarding the law. #2 is a monopoly that wants to withhold information from regulators and the public.”

JC: “Duke’s behavior is what leads people to seek revenge…like this revolution. Changing the CEO seems like a great first step.”

Jordan: “Let me get started.”

JC: “Don’t take too long. Duke is a loose cannon and the ship is headed into rough waters.”

Jordan: “Aye, aye, captain. I’ve got my orders. By the way, nice to see you JC.”

JC: “You too Jordan. Good luck.”

 

 

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