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NC opens hearings on Progress-Duke Energy merger

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By EMERY P. DALESIO
AP Business Writer

RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- Critics are telling North Carolina regulators they should only allow Duke Energy and Progress Energy to merge and become the largest electric utility in the country if they also make revolutionary changes in how they operate.

The North Carolina Utilities Commission opened hearings Tuesday into whether to allow Charlotte-based Duke Energy and Raleigh-based Progress Energy to combine into one company with more than 7 million customers in the Carolinas, Florida, Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio.

Critics asked the commission to impose a long list of conditions on the merger. They include generating more energy from solar and wind power, more protection for the poor against future rate increases, major investment in energy conservation, faster installation of smart-grid technologies, and cutting off the connection between profits and the amount of power sold.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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OMG! These people are idiots

"....and cutting off the connection between profits and the amount of power sold."

They're electric utilities. They're in business to sell electric power. They're "the electric company."

Should their profits be tied to milk production? Burgers sold?

They sell electricity, you idiots!

I agree, they get the prize

I agree, they get the prize for the most idiotic statement of the day.

That is how it works

Exxon bases their profits on the amount of ice cream cones sold each summer while Ford uses the old reliable profit model of how many crabs are caught in the Bering Sea.

You'd be amazed at how many people use that logic

I get anywhere from sixty to seventy proxy statements every Spring (another use of the term "March Madness") and you'd be amazed at how many people are just as stupid as whatever Bozo decided that electric utility profits shouldn't be tied to electricity sales.

Every year we have to vote on shareholder proposals that exist between financial suicide and total insanity. And the problem is, anyone can get a proposal in, regardless of how nutty it is.

So when Maria Sophia DeAngelo of Bay Ridge passes away and leaves her 17.3 shares of Exxon Mobil (or Chevron, or Conoco-Phillips, or Occidental) to the Sisters of Saint Joseph's Holy Plumb Bob, next year the Sisters of Saint Joseph's Holy Plumb Bob will propose that Exxon-Mobil stop drilling for oil and dedicate all their resources to fighting global warming.

Another favorite is that ______________ (fill in any electric utility) disavow any use of fossil and nuclear fuels whatsoever and only use clean, renewable energy. However, if you're a Northern power company using a lot of clean hydroelectric power, the loon proposals, as I call them, want you to tear down the dams so that fish can freely fornicate. (I don't think that fish truly can fornicate, but it's a politically correct F word, so it will pass the censor.)