The Skywriter

Duke CEO Jim Rogers at Energy wouldn't be "change we can believe in"


Duke CEO Jim Rogers at Energy wouldn't be "change we can believe in"

In the never-ending rumor mill surrounding Obama's presidential transition, Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers has emerged as a potential Secretary of Energy.

If this rumor is to be believed (and that's a big "if", since most rumors surrounding the transition are just that: rumors) this would be a pretty bad idea.

How bad? Check out Frank O'Donnell's post in the Wonk Room about a recent NY Times profile on Duke.

But his company is leading one of the most vile dirty-air efforts imaginable: it has sued to overturn the effort by the EPA to reduce deadly sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides from coal-burning electric power plants like those owned by Duke. (This is one of the few positive moves made by the Bush EPA.) The EPA calculated these cap-and-trade rules would prevent 17,000 premature deaths a year — and yet Rogers wants those requirements thrown out so his company can make a few extra bucks!

I'm a bit tired of people throwing the phrase "change we can believe in" back at Obama every time he makes a decision they disagree with, but in this case it applies: A Duke appointment really wouldn't be change we can believe in. The Department of Energy will play a huge role in implementing Obama's renewable energy agenda, so its next secretary should be someone with better credentials than trying to block the EPA's efforts to regulate sulfur dioxide and excelling at green-washing.

You can let Obama's transition team know what you think here, or call 202-540-3000.

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