by Whit Jones, Campaign Director, Energy Action Coalition
I'm writing from Charlotte, NC where the Democratic National Convention is in full-swing.
You can feel it in the convention hall, in the streets, and on Facebook--the pressure is mounting for Duke Energy to stop playing dirty politics and dump ALEC for funding voter suppression.
Over 150,000 people, and a big coalition of environmental, civil rights and democracy reform groups have called on Duke Energy to Dump ALEC. And later today, we're going to deliver those signatures in a big creative action here in Duke's home city of Charlotte, and in a number of their other service states.
Yesterday, I got a chance to find out if Duke Energy is listening to these demands to dump ALEC. I tracked down Duke Energy's CEO Jim Rogers to ask if he would listen to the over 150,000 people demanding Duke leave ALEC and stop funding voter suppression. Watch the video:
In short, I asked Duke's CEO Jim Rogers if he would listen to the over 100,000 people who are calling on him to have Duke Dump ALEC and stop funding voter repression. He responded that "he'd be listening," and when I pressed him for a commitment to drop ALEC he said "I'm not going to give you [a commitment right now] but you can trust that I'm paying attention to what you're saying, and you'll know in due time."
If justice came on the heels of "due time", we'd pack up and head home right now. But we refuse to wait around while the country's largest coal utility funnels their profits from polluting our atmosphere into polluting our democracy.
And we're not alone in wanting urgent action from Duke Energy.
Yesterday, Senator Chuck Schumer of NY told us that “Duke should leave ALEC ASAP… if not sooner!”
And Senator Durbin gave us his opinion too: "If you're embarrassed by ALEC, then distance yourself.'
We're not done yet--get ready for street pictures from a creative rally this afternoon at Duke's HQ in Charlotte as well as petition deliveries in other cities, and more reportbacks from our online storm to demand DUKE dump ALEC.
Check out the videos of our political and corporate bird-dogging at the DNC below. We'll be updating the Storify below throughout the day, so be sure to check back.