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Duke Energy shareholders to meet uptown as coal ash questions swirl

All is quiet early Thursday outside of Duke Energy’s building on Church Street before the annual shareholders’ meeting.
All is quiet early Thursday outside of Duke Energy’s building on Church Street before the annual shareholders’ meeting. WBTV

Shareholders of Charlotte-based Duke Energy are set to gather uptown Thursday for the company’s annual meeting, as the energy company continues to deal with fallout from coal ash contamination.

Unlike in years past, however, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police have said they don’t expect large protests. The meeting has not been declared an “extraordinary event,” a designation that gives police increased powers and bans some items, such as hammers, from the area.

In the meeting, shareholders will have a chance to question Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good and the board of directors.

Duke Energy agreed in March to pay $146 million to settle a shareholder lawsuit that claimed the company misrepresented who would run the company following its 2012 merger with Progress Energy. In February, the company agreed to pay $102 million to settle federal charges that it violated the Clean Water Act, following a 2014 coal ash spill that contaminated the Dan River in North Carolina.

Also at the meeting, shareholders will elect the company’s board of directors and hold a nonbinding vote on pay for top Duke executives. Other shareholder proposals include a limitation on accelerated payouts for executives and a requirement for Duke to disclose more about its political contributions and activities. A proposal from the New York City Employees’ Retirement System asks for the chance to get “proxy access,” giving shareholders more ability to nominate directors.

Duke Energy’s board has recommended voting against all three of those proposals.

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Twitter: @ESPortillo

Place and time

The meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. in the company’s building at 526 South Church St. Shareholders may attend, and an audio webcast of the meeting will be available online at www.duke-energy.com/investors/.

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