Originally in Associated Press

April 26, 2018

North Carolina's attorney general is challenging regulators for allowing Duke Energy to start charging consumers hundreds of millions of dollars to clean up coal ash dumps, plus a potential profit margin.

State Attorney General Josh Stein's office on Wednesday said he considers the decision by the North Carolina Utilities Commission to be "unlawful, unjust, unreasonable, or unwarranted." Stein is appealing the February decision to the state Supreme Court.

The commission allowed the company's Duke Energy Progress operating subsidiary to charge customers $232 million over five years for coal ash clean-up costs racked up already. Regulators simultaneously assessed the company a $30 million mismanagement penalty for what it called pervasive shortcomings in handling coal ash.

Duke Energy spokeswoman Meredith Archie says the commission's decision was fair to the company and consumers.