NC Utilities Commission Could Decide On Duke Energy Plants

A decision may come today from the state Utilities Commission on Duke Energy's proposal to build a pair of coal-fired power plants in Rutherford County.

Duke Energy says the two 800-megawatt coal-fired generators proposed for its Cliffside facility would be the most reliable, acceptable way of serving its customers in the Carolinas.

Environmentalists have argued that the utility didn't look into other, cleaner options to generate power, and critics have attacked the project's cost, which is now at 3 billion dollars.

Yesterday, 23 state lawmakers filed a letter with the commission voicing their support for the plan and saying the public has had ample opportunity to comment. Rutherford Democratic Senator Walter Dalton has filed a separate letter of support.

Mecklenburg Democratic Senator Dan Clodfelter also wrote the commission, calling the other letters inappropriate and urging it to resist what he called "political intervention by either side."