May 19 2009

Duke Employee Website

Independent Duke Employee Website Responds to Blog;

Property Owners Have Posted on the Employee Site


We previously wrote about the troublesome “family tree” connection between Duke Energy and Spectra Energy.  See link:

In that blog, we noted:

  • Spectra Energy was spun off from Duke energy in 2007.
  • Before that, in 1999 (we recently learned), an employee-controlled website rose to challenge the integrity of Duke management and its treatment of employees.
  • At least 7 former Duke Energy execs are running the show at Spectra Energy.

This corporate gene pool raises an important issue for property owners and other stakeholders:  If a company cannot persuade its own employees that it is ethical and acting in their best interests – how can it possibly be credible with external stakeholders, including property owners?

Recently, I received a cordial response from the “webmaster” at:

In addition to explaining that the website started in 1999, the webmaster noted that “Duke Energy has encountered its own difficulties over property rights, and yes, pipelines were involved.”

Four links were offered to illustrate the point (see below).  The first two are reprints of news coverage; and the last two are from a property owner who contacted the Duke employee website.

The four postings offer lessons for landowners who are fighting energy companies to protect their property rights.  Following are excerpts that highlight those lessons:

  • “Opponents say that the pipeline would make money for Duke at the expense of local landowners, the environment and public safety. It would transmit natural gas from Tennessee to markets in North Carolina, they say, with little benefit to those along the way.”  [From “Pipeline Battle,” an article from the Winston-Salem Journal by Michael Biesecker, November 17, 2002.]
  • Virginia Property Owner Olen Gallimore, quoted in the same article (emphasis added): “There’s nothing patriotic about stealing people’s land,” says Gallimore, who owns about 170 acres near Poplar Camp, land that surrounds the rustic home built with timber he cut himself. “I’ve worked 30 years to get what I’ve got. When somebody tries to take what’s yours, you have to fight.  [From “Pipeline Battle,” an article from the Winston-Salem Journal by Michael Biesecker, November 17, 2002.]
  • New Mexico Property Owners Roy & Louise Dearing who contacted the Duke employee website:  “I don’t know if you remember about the 12 people who were killed by a pipeline explosion (El Paso Natural Gas). It was only 20 miles from our home; we could see the fire ball from it. Duke Energy never slowed down with their plans to put this Compressor Station in.” [From “Peaceful Home Becomes A Nightmare,” a property owner message posted with permission, August 6, 2002.]

When someone wants to know whether you are trustworthy, they can always look at demonstrated performance, your track record.  Energy companies like Spectra Energy have a track record that communities and property owners can evaluate. 

In addition, they often have “family trees” that let you look at the corporate gene pool to better understand the company’s value system – whether it has one, and whether it actually practices those values consistently.

Remember, Duke Energy and Spectra Energy are branches from the same tree.

Pipeline Battle

 Duke Energy Steam-rolls Pipeline

 Peaceful Home Becomes a Nightmare

 Citizen Victorious Over Duke


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