Submitted by Katelyn Supa on Tue, 01/03/2012 - 7:39am.

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC (AP) -- The chief executive officer of Progress Energy is among those speaking at the Economic Forecast Forum in Research Triangle Park. Bill Johnson will discuss the role of energy in North Carolina's economy. Johnson will become CEO of Duke Energy in Charlotte when the two companies complete their merger. But federal regulators have delayed completion of that $20 billion deal because of concerns about their combined market power. Tom Skains, chairman, president and CEO of Piedmont Natural Gas, will discuss the role of natural gas in the country's future. Other speakers include Gov. Beverly Perdue and Kevin Kabat, president and CEO of Fifth Third Bancorp. The North Carolina Chamber and the N.C. Bankers Association sponsor the forum. (Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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