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Duke Power looks like Enron

March 1, 2002 | Page 4

Dear Socialist Worker,

In Charlotte, N.C., auditors recently began an investigation into what energy giant Duke Power calls "balance-sheet irregularities." The power company apparently underreported roughly $100 million worth of profits between 1998 and 2001.

Duke Power is a regulated public utility. If their profits rise too high, the states are obliged to lower consumer rates. By fudging the facts, Duke's accounting offices were able to keep energy rates high while pocketing the extra undocumented income.

And the timing couldn't be worse for already strapped Carolinians. The unemployment rate is the highest it has been in 17 years, as many manufacturing and textile jobs are closing shop for cheaper labor in Mexico.

This scandal reeks of corporate greed, consumer victimization and the kind of book-doctoring that has the money mongers at Enron scrambling for cover.

Doug K., Winston-Salem, N.C.

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