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Duke Offers Carbon Offsets, Leaves Clean Coal Coalition

You can make up for the greenhouse gases an activity produces by buying carbon offsets from a variety of organizations.  And now Midwestern and southern-based utility Duke Energy is getting into the carbon offset business, offering a customers both a four and an eight dollar-a-month program.  Eight dollars would offset 1000 pounds of the global warming gas, the equivalent of about 1000 kilowatt hours of electricity, or what an average household uses in a month.  But the emission  reductions won’t necessarily be in this area.  Still, spokesman Lew Middleton says the carbon-reducing projects will be legitimate.“The carbon offsets will have to meet the standards established by the Environmental Defense Fund.  They have nine specific criteria, and some of those include the fact that the offset has to be on a direct carbon emission,"says Middleton.Middleton says the company is actively searching for projects in Indiana that are working to reduce carbon emissions directly.In other news, the utility is withdrawing its support of a controversial advocacy organization that supports the use of more coal as a means to responding to climate change concerns.  Spokesman Lew Middleton says the company will no longer be part of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.“We believe that some individual members of ACCE are working to pass climate change legislation, and we support that.  But we also believe that the organization itself is constrained by influential member companies who will not support passing climate change legislation either this year or next," said Middleton.Middleton refers to climate change legislation that’s struggled to move forward on Capitol Hill but that many believe would require limiting the kinds of carbon emissions produced by coal-fired power plants.  He says Duke is examining ways to control carbon through technology but has not yet achieved as much.

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