Duke Energy customers: Don't make us pay for coal ash cleanup - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Duke Energy customers: Don't make us pay for coal ash cleanup

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

It was the coal ash spill along the Dan River that put Duke Energy on the radar of environmentalists and a number of governmental agencies.

The utility admitted creating potential harm because of a broken pipe, and plans to pick up tab for the costly clean up.

However, other issues connected to Duke and Coal Ash now has many customers crying foul.

Charles Pagan is a Duke Energy customer who doesn't like the idea of a higher bill.

"Why should we pay for something they did ?" he asks." It's not our fault."

Beyond clean up on the Dan River, it is the utility company's intent to pass the costs along customers.

A statement released by Duke said in part that "because coal ash was created over decades, in the generation of electricity for our customers, we do believe that ash pond disposal costs are ultimately part of our cost structure."

Sam Perkins is the Catawba Riverkeeper who has taken Duke to task over the issue of coal ash ponds.

"At this point, it's not our job to pay for it.The things need to be moved away from water and put in a lined land fill."

Eva Withers is another Duke Customer.

"Don't put that on my back, I can't afford it."

At a Duke Energy Payment Center, that was a common response coming from customers making good on their monthly bills.

"I shouldn't have to pay them for that. The bill is high enough," Pagan said.

The state utility commission is expected to make the decision over who picks up the tab for cleanup costs.

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