CHARLOTTE, N.C., April 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good today spoke to a Hood Hargett luncheon in Charlotte. Here are excerpts of her remarks about the near-term steps that Duke Energy is taking regarding its management of coal ash following the Dan River incident Feb. 2.
"We are committed to a fact-based and disciplined approach to addressing the long-term policies of ash basin management and closing our ash basins at our coal plants. This must be fact-based and disciplined because the management of coal ash is a complex issue.
"We have been storing ash for nine decades. We operate 33 ash basins across North Carolina. There are 650 ash basins at utility power plants across the U.S. When you talk about something of that magnitude, effectively dealing with it is going to take science, it's going to take time, it's going to take engineering. Every ash site is situated differently, and needs to be addressed with an engineered solution.
"There are also regulations from the EPA expected later this year. We need to make sure that, as we develop solutions, those solutions make sense given where the federal regulation of coal ash is going.
"We need to continue to think about balance. Of course we must protect the environment. And, of course, we must promote safe, reliable and cost-effective electricity. We cannot do one; we have to do both.
"Our commitment to our customers in North Carolina is that, as we work through this, we will work through it in a fact-based and disciplined way. This state and its lawmakers have demonstrated an ability, over time, to lead on energy policy. I think about the early part of the 2000s -- the Clean Smokestacks Act was an initiative in North Carolina to really move forward and lead nationally on air quality. We now have the opportunity for North Carolina and Duke Energy to also lead on policies around ash and ash basins.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at: www.duke-energy.com.