INSTITUTE INDEX: Duke Energy donates to block the 'blue wave' and climate action

Duke Energy's Sutton power plant near Wilmington, North Carolina, was left underwater after the intense flooding the state experienced last month due to Hurricane Florence, whose record-breaking rainfall scientists have attributed in part to climate change. The monopoly utility company is contributing heavily to Republican politicians, whose party has proven resistant to addressing the deepening climate crisis. (Photo by the Waterkeeper Alliance via Flickr.)

Number of Duke Energy customers who lost power when Hurricane Florence hit the Carolinas in September: 1.5 million

Of the 2.5 million people who lost power when Hurricane Michael hit the Florida Panhandle in October, number who were Duke Energy customers: 77,700

Percent heavier that Florence's rains were due to climate change: 50

Degrees Fahrenheit by which water temperatures in the northern Gulf of Mexico exceeded normal readings due to global warming, fueling Michael's devastation: 3 to 5

According to a report released this month by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), year by which human civilization could descend into a crisis of hunger and wildfires if nothing is done now to curb greenhouse gas pollution: 2040

Years that emissions of methane, an extremely potent greenhouse gas, have been soaring, a period that roughly corresponds to the fracking boom: 12

Under Duke Energy's latest 15-year plan submitted to North Carolina regulators, which relies heavily on methane-rich natural gas to replace coal, number of new fracked-gas power plants it intends to build in the Carolinas, where it's also building the controversial fracked-gas Atlantic Coast Pipeline: 24

By 2030, percent of Duke Energy's power expected to come from renewable sources: 7

Amount Duke Energy's political action committee has contributed to candidates at the federal level so far this election cycle: over $680,000

Percent that's gone to members of the Republican Party, whose platform states that climate change "is far from this nation's most pressing national security issue," and which accuses the IPCC of "unreliability": 78

Amount it's given this cycle to U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, a Florida Republican who recently called on President Trump to reconsider the decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement but who has voted against numerous bills to address climate change: $10,000

Amount it's given to U.S. Rep. David Rouzer, a North Carolina Republican who has attacked climate science to block action on related sea-level rise and who has voted against every bill to address climate change that's come before him: $9,000

Amount it's given to U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx, a North Carolina Republican who has said that environmentalists "think that we, human beings, have more impact on the climate and the world than God does": $7,000

Additional amount Duke Energy has contributed to the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee, which are working to block any potential Democratic "blue wave" from sweeping over Congress: $60,000

At the state level, amount Duke Energy has contributed to individual candidates so far this cycle: $525,250

Percent that's gone to Republicans: 85

Total amount the electric utility industry as a whole has contributed to individual candidates at the state and federal levels so far this election cycle: almost $26 million

Percent that's gone to Republicans: 61

(Click on figure to go to source.)