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Duke Energy: membership on clean coal group is now counterproductive

Duke Energy has severed ties with a clean coal lobby group over disagreements on climate legislatoin. WFAE's Simone Orendain has more: Duke Energy left the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity last week. Spokesman Tom Williams says it's directly related to proposals that would put limits on carbon emissions. "It was becoming increasingly apparent that many members- influential members of that group were against the passage of climate legislation this year or next year. No matter how the legislation was written. And we're for the passage of climate legislation as soon as possible," says Williams. Duke Energy is a strong supporter of the so-called "cap and trade" system where a limit on carbon emissions would be set and permits to pollute would be traded on the open market. In other words, if one company has taken measures to lower emissions and is far from hitting the allowable rate to pollute, it can sell its permit to pollute to another company that's either near its limit or past it. Opponents of the cap and trade system say it would increase energy costs and it doesn't help the environment. Calls to the American Coalition on Clean Coal Electricity were not immediately returned. Williams says Duke Energy first joined the coalition two years ago to publicize its efforts to clean up emissions at its coal plants. But he says this June the coalition tried to kill the cap and trade bill that passed the House and it became counter-productive to be a member.