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INSTITUTE INDEX: Monkey-wrenching the Duke-Progress merger?

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Date on which two North Carolina lawmakers introduced a bill barring the state from approving the proposed merger of Duke Energy and Progress Energy until the N.C. Municipal Power Agency, representing 32 cities, got some relief from the debt it incurred buying into Progress Energy's nuclear and coal plants in the 1980s: 5/30/2012

Current size of that debt: $2 billion

Percent by which eastern North Carolina's power costs exceed those of coastal Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia because of that debt, which hurts economic development: 30 to 50

Date on which it was reported that NC WARN, an energy watchdog group, also planned to challenge the merger over concerns about the cost to customers for the transmission upgrades, the growing expense of a nuclear construction project in South Carolina that Duke is reportedly being pressured to buy into, and repairing Progress Energy's crippled Crystal River nuclear plant in Florida: 6/14/2012

According to an unnamed source who contacted NC WARN claiming to represent Duke shareholders, number of people involved in an external study approved by the company's board of directors into the cost and feasibility of repairing Crystal River, which will be presented to the board shortly: over 40

Date on which the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) gave conditional approval to the planned merger between the North Carolina-based companies: 6/8/2012

Value of the deal: $26 billion

Number of job cuts expected to result: 1,860

Date on which the N.C. Utilities Commission issued an order fast-tracking the deal's review: 6/12/2012

If the merger is completed, rank of Duke Energy, as the combined company would be known, among the largest regulated U.S. utilities: 1

Number of customers the combined utility would serve in the Carolinas, Florida, Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana: 7 million

Date on which Duke and Progress first proposed the merger: 1/2011

Date on which FERC raised concerns that the deal would eliminate competition for wholesale electricity in certain markets in the Carolinas: 9/2011

To address FERC's competition concerns, megawatts of power the companies have agreed to sell to power traders: 700

Value of new transmission lines and infrastructure the companies offered to build to make it easier for competitors to sell power in wholesale markets: $110 million

Number of days FERC gave Duke and Progress to accept the conditions and move ahead with the merger: 15

Date by which the companies need to complete the deal in order to avoid paying hundreds of millions of dollars in penalties: 7/8/2012

(Click on figure to go to source.)

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