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North Carolina AG challenging Duke Energy coal ash charges

RALEIGH (AP) North Carolina’s top state lawyer is challenging a decision allowing Duke Energy to charge consumers billions of dollars to clean up coal ash dumps while tacking on a potential profit margin.

State Attorney General Josh Stein said Friday he believes the North Carolina Utilities Commission decision last month was wrong. The decision allows the company to charge consumers in central and western North Carolina the $546 million in coal ash cleanup costs incurred from 2015 to 2017.

Stein said previously he’s appealing to the state Supreme Court to reverse an earlier decision allowing Duke Energy Progress to charge its eastern North Carolina customers to excavate some ash pits and cover others.

Stein says many of the costs Duke Energy racked up were due to mismanagement by executives.

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