FIRST ON FOX: Consumers’ Research, a leading non-profit dedicated to consumer information, is launching a campaign targeting North Carolina-based Duke Energy for prioritizing a woke policy agenda over lowering electricity prices.
As part of the campaign, Consumers’ Research sent a letter Thursday to the North Carolina Utilities Commission highlighting Duke’s various woke programs and launched a website informing consumers about the company’s environmental, social and Governance (ESG) initiatives. The ESG movement broadly seeks to promote a green transition and left-wing social priorities through the private sector.
Consumers’ Research will also send mobile billboards critical of Duke to the company’s Charlotte, North Carolina, headquarters Thursday and outside a California event where Duke board member W. Roy Dunbar will speak about the “impact of ESG on business success” on Friday.
“As the nation’s oldest consumer protection organization, Consumers’ Research’s purpose is to educate consumers on issues that impact them and amplify their voice in the marketplace,” Consumers’ Research Executive Director Will Hild wrote in the letter. “It is for this reason that we implore the commission to put an end to the abuse of North Carolina consumers by Duke Energy.”
“Duke’s operations have become a laundry list of expensive boondoggles and distractions,” Hild continued. “When they aren’t pushing double-digit rate increases onto customers, they are busy wasting their time and customers’ money pushing political initiatives (some targeting children) and massive pay increases for their executive suite.”
The campaign against Duke Energy is part of Consumer’s Research’s multi-million dollar Consumers First Initiative launched to publicly call out companies pushing woke policies.
On Thursday, Consumer’s Research highlighted that Duke Energy — which is among the largest power utility companies in the nation — has explicitly created ESG commitments. On its website, the company states: “We strive to accelerate the transition to renewables and more sustainable energy. And in doing so, we’re helping to create a cleaner energy future for all.”
Duke Energy has also linked executive compensation to climate commitments in an effort to incentivize more green energy initiatives.
“Perhaps the most abusive use of Duke’s resources has been their political advocacy of anti-consumer ‘net zero’ policies which they boast about supporting at both the national and state level,” Hild wrote in his letter Thursday.
“It is a clear conflict of interest for Duke Energy to expend company resources supporting the enactment of policies that increase costs for Duke at the same time they ask those costs to be passed on to their customers in the form of rate hikes,” Hild added.
Duke Energy has announced a series of rate hikes to create more reliability and to support its investments in green energy sources like wind and solar power, the Wilmington Star-News reported in June. The company is reportedly slated to increase rates in North Carolina by about 20% over the next three years.
In addition, Consumer’s Research noted Duke has set racial and gender quotas for its workforce. The company said it is working to ensure 23% of its workforce consists of Black workers and 28% consists of women. Hild said Duke’s quotas are an “obvious affront to the civil rights of Americans, a distraction from their vital job of keeping the grid powered and will likely lead to lawsuits.”
And Consumer’s Research also highlighted that Duke Energy sponsored a “Youth Pride Carnival” for children last year. The event included a drag queen show intended for children as young as 12 years old.
Duke Energy didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.