Written By: John Shimkus
Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers is facing scrutiny and possible job termination for being… overtly democratic? Yes, apparently these days being an energy executive who actually displays concern for the environment and supports the democratic party is an act worthy of being fired, especially if your energy company tends to service majority conservative U.S. states.
Conservative Tea Party group FreedomWorks has gathered a list of nearly 13,000 signatures in favor of firing Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers. “Due to ethical and business issues that have damaged the reputation of Duke Energy and put shareholders and ratepayers at risk, we urge you to exercise your fiduciary responsibility as board members and dismiss Jim Rogers from his position as chief operating officer (COO),” the group says on its FireJimRogers.com web page (note they mislabel Rogers’ title, which is CEO not COO).
FreedomWorks’ reasons for the requested termination of CEO Rogers are as follows:
- Rogers supports efforts to combat global climate change
- Rogers supports carbon regulation
- Duke Energy has agreed to a $10 million line of credit to support the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, which is to be paid back in full by the Democratic National Committee (so shareholders aren’t really losing anything)
- Overrunning of costs to construct the Edwardsport Power Plant in Indiana, a first-of-its-kind commercial scale coal-gasification plant aimed at reducing emissions from coal-derived energy production.
“Jim Rogers may like cozying up to Barack Obama to suit his own political appetites, but in his role as head of Duke Energy it is completely inappropriate and unacceptable,” says FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe. “Policies that he is embracing like cap and trade and other elements of the Democrats’ war on reliable American energy threaten Duke Energy shareholders and ratepayers alike.”
SEE OTHER TOP STORIES IN THE WDM CONTENT NETWORK
Collaboration and Consensus Building for Arctic Offshore Oil and Gas
Beyond Solar Panels: Six Types of Solar Power Plants
The Remote Controlled Mine: Robotic and Virtual Mining Machinery and Equipment
Check out the latest edition of Energy Digital!
Ok Tea Partiers, let’s break this down shall we? First, Duke Energy should be applauded for its efforts to create the first commercial coal gasification plant. It offers a way to still use coal for energy generation while reducing emissions, which one would assume would appease both liberals and conservatives. The plant will serve as a model for next generation cleaner coal plants, not to mention that gasified coal can be converted to vehicle fuel, which may be a step in the right direction for reducing foreign oil dependence.
Also, cap and trade was originally a conservative-led initiative! Nothing screams free-market ideals like being able to buy and sell pollution. How is it that this has been forgotten so quickly?
I don’t quite understand why supporting clean energy would result in a CEO being fired. Perhaps it’s because… and I’m sorry if this offends… the majority of Tea Party members—roughly 70 percent—are white Christians, and of them, roughly half are evangelical. When you hold true a religious notion like the Christian “Rapture”—the belief that the world is going to end any day now and all Christian believers will disappear, leaving this world behind—then of course environmental degradation doesn’t matter. But for the rest of us, who would like our children to have a clean world to live in, free from toxic waterways and unbreathable air, then environmental stewardship is vital, especially at this volatile conjecture in human history. Sorry Tea Party, but your reasons for terminating Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers are unfounded, and instead Mr. Rogers should be handed a bonus for steering the energy company-which has faced scrutiny from environmentalists in the past-in the right direction. But he’d probably just donate it to Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign.