Duke Energy cannot shift about $1 billion in environmental clean-up costs in North Carolina onto Duke’s South Carolina ratepayers, the South Carolina Supreme Court affirmed in a ruling issued Oct. 28.
Wyche Law Firm, which represented the South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff in the case, said the ruling blocks Duke’s bid to raise electricity rates in South Carolina in order to pay for the cost of disposing of coal ash at the utility’s North Carolina properties.
North Carolina law goes above-and-beyond federal coal ash disposal minimums.
“Federal law sets the minimum requirements for disposal of coal ash,” Wyche’s Wallace Lightsey argued. “Any state can require more if it wants to. But what a state cannot do is to shift the costs of its own unique requirements onto the citizens of another state. This is exactly what Duke is trying to do here.”