Jim Rogers (Duke Energy CEO)

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James E. Rogers (died in 2018) was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Duke Energy, a major U.S. power company with interests in nuclear power, thermal power stations and hydropower stations.

Rogers became president and CEO of Duke Energy after Duke and Cinergy merged in April 2006. Prior to the merger, Rogers was Cinergy’s chairman and chief executive officer for over 11 years. Previously he was chairman, president, and chief executive officer of PSI Energy, beginning in 1988.[1]

Rogers has served as deputy general counsel for litigation and enforcement for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and as executive vice president of interstate pipelines for the Enron Gas Pipeline Group. He has also served as a partner in the offices of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, as a law clerk for the Supreme Court of Kentucky, and as assistant attorney general for the Commonwealth of Kentucky.[1]

In December 2008, Rogers was rumored to be a candidate for the Secretary of Energy position within the new Obama Administration.[2]

"Rogers was a long-standing board member of CIGNA Corporation and served on numerous boards, including Duke University's Nicholas Institute, Aspen Institute, and The Brookings Institution. In 2010 and 2011, he was named by the National Association of Corporate Directors’ Directorship magazine to its annual Directorship 100, recognizing the most influential people in corporate governance. Rogers advocated investing in energy efficiency, modernizing the electric infrastructure, and pursuing advanced technologies to grow the economy and transition to a low-carbon future. He served as vice chairman of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. He was chairman of the Edison Electric Institute when it changed its position to support federal climate change legislation in 2007. He was also the founding chairman of the Institute for Electric Efficiency, a board member of the Alliance to Save Energy and past co-chair of the National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency. Rogers was a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations and in September 2011, UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon named him to a blue ribbon commission of business and NGO leaders known as the High-Level Group on Sustainable Energy for All. Rogers attended Emory University and earned Bachelor of Business Administration and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of Kentucky." [1]



In May 2007, Forbes listed Rogers as receiving $10.2 million in total compensation for the latest fiscal year. He ranked 10th on the list of CEOs in the Utilities industry, and 174th out of all CEOs in the United States.[3]

Rogers suggests Duke moving away from coal

In May 2009, Jim Rogers told reporters that that Duke was likely building its last two coal plants, until and unless carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology becomes commercially available. Rogers said he would instead focus on nuclear power generation. He said nuclear power presents less of a waste disposal problem than coal plants, because a smaller area is required for waste storage, and because CCS will require a system to transport CO2 gas long distances.[4]

In June 2008 Rogers argued that the potential for CCS has been overstated. "CCS as a magical technology that solves the carbon problem for coal plants is oversold. … I think there is a lot to learn, and it is going to take us a lot longer for us to figure it out than a lot of us think."[5]

Duke/Progress merger

On January 9, 2011, Duke Energy said it agreed to buy Progress Energy for $13.7 billion in stock. The companies merged on July 2, 2012. Progress CEO Bill Johnson assumed the CEO position at the combined company, signing a three-year contract. One day later, on July 3, Johnson resigned. Regardless, Johnson will receive exit payments worth as much as $44.4 million, according to Duke regulatory filings. Johnson’s replacement is former Duke CEO Jim Rogers.[6]

Citizen action and protest against Duke Energy

The two polar bears, immediately after their arrest for blockading the Duke Energy headquarters in Charlotte, NC, on Nov. 15, 2007.

Nov. 15, 2007: Student blockade of Duke Energy headquarters

On November 15, 2007, two Warren Wilson College students - dressed as polar bears - chained themselves to the door of Duke Energy's headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, in protest of Duke's plans to build the Cliffside coal-fired power plant in western North Carolina. Several dozen people held a rally in support of their blockade, dressing as Santa Claus and elves and presenting a stocking full of coal to the company. The two students were arrested on charges of trespassing and disorderly conduct.[7][8]

April 1, 2008: Rising Tide/Earth First! occupation of Cliffside construction site

On April 1, 2008, as part of the Fossil Fools International Day of Action, a group of North Carolina activists with Rising Tide and Earth First! locked themselves to bulldozers to prevent the construction of the Cliffside coal-fired power plant proposed by Duke in western North Carolina. Others roped off the site with "Global Warming Crime Scene" tape, and held banners protesting the construction of the plant. Police used pain compliance holds and tasers to force the activists to unlock themselves from the construction equipment. Eight people were arrested.[9][10]

April 20, 2009: Hundreds protest in Charlotte, N.C. against Duke's proposed Cliffside plant

Hundreds of people marched and rallied against Cliffside in Charlotte, N.C. The demonstration was organized by more than a dozen environmental, faith-based, and social justice groups, which are calling on Duke Energy and the state of North Carolina to cancel construction of the Cliffside plant. 44 activists were arrested.[11]

To see video of this protest, see Stop Cliffside

May 7, 2009: Activists protest Cliffside Plant at Duke Energy shareholder meeting in Charlotte, NC

Activists dominated Duke Energy's annual shareholder meeting in Charlotte, NC. About 25 protesters gathered outside the company's headquarters, calling for Duke to cancel its proposed Cliffside Plant. Inside the meeting, activists who own shares of the company grilled CEO Jim Rogers about the company's coal and nuclear investments.[12]

Proposed coal plants sponsored by Duke Energy

Existing coal-fired power plants

Duke had 70 coal-fired generating stations in 2005, with 18,591 MW of capacity. Here is a list of Duke's coal power plants with capacity over 100 MW:[13][14][15]

Plant Name State County Year(s) Built Capacity 2007 CO2 Emissions 2006 SO2 Emissions
Gibson IN Gibson 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1982 3340 MW 20,400,000 tons 155,057 tons
Belews Creek NC Stokes 1974, 1975 2160 MW 13,600,000 tons 95,290 tons
Marshall NC Catawba 1965, 1966, 1969, 1970 1996 MW 12,600,000 tons 85,050 tons
Zimmer OH Clermont 1991 1426 MW 8,597,000 tons 22,054 tons
Miami Fort OH Hamilton 1949, 1960, 1975, 1978 1378 MW 7,546,000 tons 62,028 tons
Beckjord OH Clermont 1952, 1953, 1954, 1958, 1962, 1969 1221 MW 6,330,000 tons 62,480 tons
Wabash River IN Vigo 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1968, 1995 1165 MW 4,738,000 tons 58,793 tons
Allen NC Gaston 1957, 1959, 1960, 1961 1155 MW 5,864,000 tons 45,395 tons
Cayuga IN Vermillion 1970, 1972 1062 MW 6,914,000 tons 86,174 tons
Cliffside NC Cleveland 1940, 1948, 1972 781 MW 3,591,000 tons 28,878 tons
East Bend KY Boone 1981 669 MW 4,332,000 tons 3,947 tons
Gallagher IN Floyd 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961 600 MW 3,383,000 tons 50,819 tons
Riverbend NC Gaston 1952, 1954 466 MW 1,676,000 tons 16,481 tons
Buck NC Rowan 1941, 1942, 1953 370 MW 1,626,000 tons 12,054 tons
Lee SC Anderson 1951, 1958 355 MW 1,151,000 tons 10,256 tons
Dan River NC Rockingham 1949, 1950, 1955 290 MW 827,000 tons 7,882 tons
Edwardsport IN Knox 1949, 1951 109 MW 680,000 tons 8,281 tons

In 2006, Duke's 17 major coal-fired power plants emitted 103.8 million tons of CO2 (1.7% of all U.S. CO2 emissions) and 811,000 tons of SO2 (5.4% of all U.S. SO2 emissions).

In 2006, Duke's Gallagher plant emitted more tons of SO2 per MWh than any other major power plant in the country; Wabash River ranked 6th in tons of SO2 per MWh, and Cayuga ranked 8th.[14]

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Duke Energy coal plants

In 2010, Abt Associates issued a study commissioned by the Clean Air Task Force, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, quantifying the deaths and other health effects attributable to fine particle pollution from coal-fired power plants.[16] Fine particle pollution consists of a complex mixture of soot, heavy metals, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides. Among these particles, the most dangerous are those less than 2.5 microns in diameter, which are so tiny that they can evade the lung's natural defenses, enter the bloodstream, and be transported to vital organs. Impacts are especially severe among the elderly, children, and those with respiratory disease. The study found that over 13,000 deaths and tens of thousands of cases of chronic bronchitis, acute bronchitis, asthma, congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, dysrhythmia, ischemic heart disease, chronic lung disease, and pneumonia each year are attributable to fine particle pollution from U.S. coal plant emissions. These deaths and illnesses are major examples of coal's external costs, i.e. uncompensated harms inflicted upon the public at large. Low-income and minority populations are disproportionately impacted as well, due to the tendency of companies to avoid locating power plants upwind of affluent communities. To monetize the health impact of fine particle pollution from each coal plant, Abt assigned a value of $7,300,000 to each 2010 mortality, based on a range of government and private studies. Valuations of illnesses ranged from $52 for an asthma episode to $440,000 for a case of chronic bronchitis.[17]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Duke Energy coal plants

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 951 $6.94 billion
Heart attacks 1,447 $158.1 million
Asthma attacks 15,714 $817.1 million
Hospital admissions 696 $16.2 million
Chronic bronchitis 579 $257.2 million
Asthma ER visits 912 $0.33 million

Source: "Health Impacts - annual - of Existing Plants," Clean Air Task Force Excel worksheet, available under "Data Annex" at "Death and Disease from Power Plants," Clean Air Task Force. Note: This data includes the following plants owned by Duke Energy and subsidiaries Cincinnati Gas & Electric and PSI Energy: Beckjord, Miami Fort, East Bend, W.H. Zimmer, G.G. Allen; Buck, Cliffside, Dan River, Riverbend, W.S. Lee, Marshall, Belews Creek, Gibson, Wabash River, Cayuga, and Gallagher.



  1. 1.0 1.1 James E. Rogers, Duke Energy, November 14, 2008.
  2. "Next on Obama's Dance Card, Mother Nature," Washington Post, December 5, 2008.
  3. CEO Compensation: #174 James E Rogers, Forbes.com, May 3, 2007.
  4. Gerard Wynn, "Duke Energy building "last two" coal plants: CEO," Reuters, May 26, 2009.
  5. "Carbon storage technology is far from ready, utility execs warn", E&ENews, June 17, 2009. (Sub req'd).
  6. Philip Bump, "Duke Energy CEO Bill Johnson resigns after one day, gets $44 million in severance," Grist, July 6, 2012.
  7. Students Chain Selves to Duke, Raleigh News & Observer, November 16, 2007.
  8. Direct Action at Duke Energy Over Proposed Coal Expansion, It's Getting Hot In Here blog, November 15, 2007.
  9. "Eight Climate Protesters Arrested at U.S. Coal Plant", Reuters, April 1, 2008.
  10. "Eight Arrested as North Carolina Residents Shut Down Construction at Cliffside Coal Plant", Fossil Fools Day blog, April 1, 2008.
  11. "Hundreds March and 44 Arrested to Stop Cliffside Power Plant," Power Past Coal, April 21, 2009.
  12. "Coal debate highlights Duke meeting," Triangle Business Journal, May 8, 2009.
  13. "Existing Electric Generating Units in the United States, 2005", Energy Information Administration website, accessed April 2008.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Environmental Integrity Project, Dirty Kilowatts: America’s Most Polluting Power Plants, July 2007.
  15. Dig Deeper, Carbon Monitoring for Action database, accessed June 2008.
  16. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  17. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010

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