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Groups: McCrory's Duke Energy ties cloud judgment on Utilities Commission

UPDATED:A pair of advocacy groups that have long challenged power companies are urging Gov.-elect Pat McCrory to cede his constitutional powers to appoint regulators to the N.C. Utilities Commission.

N.C. WARN and the state branch of the AARP are concerned that McCrory, a former Duke Energy employee and ex-mayor of Charlotte, will stack the commission with utility-friendly appointees who will side with the Charlotte power company on rates and other key issues.

Their concern is that McCrory has vowed to name regulators who view their job as providing a customer service to the companies they regulate. That concern is exacerbated by the fact that the commission recently concluded a contentious 5-month investigation of Duke, which ended with a settlement that will restructure the company's executive ranks.

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