We live in a culture where money talks. People give to politicians to support them (and sometimes to gain access), corporations and unions give to politicians, corporations and organizations buy ads on television and radio to support their cause. Consumers have the option of believing or dismissing these ads. Public relations has become a major part of most businesses, politicians, and charities. Well, not everyone is happy with the idea of equal access to the playing field.
The County Compass posted an article today about two groups attempting to limit the free speech of a company they disagree with. NC WARN and Friends of the Earth have begun legal action to ban what the groups allege is pervasive influence spending by Duke Energy.
The article reports:
The petition calls for the NC Utilities Commission to prohibit the use of customers’ money for influence spending by Duke’s two Carolinas-based utilities and the parent corporation. It details how virtually all the spending for political and civic influence originates from customer bills, and how Duke Energy uses an “accounting fiction” to claim that its stockholders or employees pay for image-polishing propaganda, targeted philanthropy, political giveaways and other efforts to buy favor.
The article includes the reply by Duke Energy:
Reached Wednesday afternoon at Duke Energy headquarters, Meredith Archie with the Corporate Communications department released the following statement:
The claims by this organization about our company are patently false and misleading. Duke Energy is proud to make charitable contributions in the communities where we live, work and serve, as well as to participate in public discourse on important policy matters that affect our customers and our company. The dollars used to fund these efforts are funded by shareholders in accordance with the law.
The article concludes:
Chan (Michelle Chan), the V.P. of Programs at Friends of the Earth, echoed Bradford’s (Peter Bradford, a former chairman of the New York Utilities Commission) statements.
“Adequately responding to the climate crisis means not just tackling the technical question of transitioning to renewable energy,” said Chan. “It also means stopping corporate monopolies like Duke from corroding our democracy and standing in the way of the change we need to protect people and the planet.”
First of all, there is no evidence that man’s behavior is responsible for climate change. Secondly, Solar energy may seem like a wonderful thing, but what is the carbon footprint of manufacturing the panels and how can they be safely disposed of since they have a limited life span?
I am not really surprised that two liberal organizations are attempting to shut down the free speech rights of an organization they have decided to demonize. I just wonder what they would do if Duke Energy went out of business–do they use electricity?