Letter to all Commissioners at the NC Utilities Commission and to Director of the Public Staff

Commissioner Finley and Director Ayers

While you managed to keep me out of the formal process on the Duke Energy/Piedmont Natural Gas Merger Dockets, life and climate change goes on.

Louisiana is suffering more damage from flooding than occurred with Hurricane Katrina, and July was the warmest month ever recorded since records began to be recorded in 1890.

Collectively the NCUC and Public Staff have adopted an outdated and inadequate methodology for evaluating cost/risk, and benefits from proposals (Dockets) that the utility industry brings before the Commission and Public Staff. Present day economic considerations take precedence over all consideration of long-term risks and consequences, despite your Constitutional responsibility to protect the Public Interest for now and in perpetuity.

All of Western civilization and law is constituted on the government’s legal, fiduciary and moral obligations to manage and protect the natural world for the benefit of future generations. We share an ethic that regards the sanctity of human survival, which is dependent on care for the earth. All of our sacred texts, including the US Constitution and NC Constitution are based on this ethic.

Both the US and NC Constitutions state clearly that your authority derives from the people and is constituted to protect the public interest, public health, public welfare and security in perpetuity.

There is common property – the land, waters, and atmosphere that is held in public trust by the government for our common benefit. You are our trustee, not the trustee for corporate welfare and profit. Electricity rates for current residents do NOT take precedence over your legal and fiduciary obligations to the land and the future.

The State, which means you collectively and individually, are our trustee. It is a perpetual trust. The Commission and Public Staff have no authority and right to destroy what the public legitimately owns for itself and its posterity.

The public has a right to a harmonious and self-perpetuating relationship between the people and the environment. It is nothing less than your legal obligation for our collective self-preservation. This is fundamental to a just civilization and democracy.

Your duty is to deny the Merger and completely revise your cost/risk/benefit methodology to reflect the realities of 21st Century life on planet earth.

Below is some evidence to support the serious risks that are facing North Carolina residents if you approve the Merger


Rising Sea Levels Could Cost U.S. Homeowners Close to $1 Trillion

North Carolina – over 57000 home, worth $20.6 Biliion destroyed


ClimateChange is Here and Now, Dire NOAA Report Warns

These recent news articles tell the story of what the Merger will accelerate. This is what your flawed process of risk/cost/benefit analysis will bring to bear on your children and grandchildren.

Shame on you if you persist in your continuing perpetuation of subservience to a failed view of your duty to the people of North Carolina.


Richard Fireman, M.D.

“In a free society, some are guilty; all are responsible.” – Rabbi Abraham Heschel

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