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Duke Energy to face investors at annual meeting

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CHARLOTTE- Coming out of the Dan River coal ash spill, Duke Energy dealt with government scrutiny and protests.

Now they face investors.

Public pension funds in California and New York City who say they own millions of dollars in stock are urging investors in a letter to vote out four board members.

They say the members “failed to fulfill their obligations of risk oversight.”

But Duke's public relations are pushing the positives.

Set to brightly colored drawings, one commercial Duke has on YouTube says, “At Duke Energy, we know solar, wind and other renewable energy sources are an important part of that solution.”

That message will lead into the annual shareholders meeting said Duke spokesperson Randy Wheeless.

“You can learn a lot about Duke, not just the financials, but also the safety, economic development foundation giving,” he said.

Marketing professionals we spoke with say that's no accident.

As a publicly traded natural monopoly investors' opinions will most likely affect Duke's bottom line.

But that's not to say Duke hasn't taken on the big issues.

“We're taking responsibility on cleaning up the ash in Dan River, and other plans for other areas of the company,” Wheeless said.

It was part of their sustainability report released this week, which also noted their rising rankings in renewables, and solid financials.

But not everyone is satisfied.

An ominous Sierra club commercial says, “Coal ash pollution threatens our drinking water, rivers, lakes and streams. Yet Duke Energy still hasn't shown the leadership North Carolina needs.”

The Sierra Club released two tv spots ahead of the meeting.... and threatened buses full of protestors.

Duke says they're more interested in welcoming investors and are not planning to respond to the protestors.
Duke responded to their shareholders' concerns over coal ash in a letter filed with the SEC.

They say the four board members in question are qualified for their positions.

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