Duke Energy CEO on 'elite' list

January 5, 2009
The CEO of the biggest electricity provider in Indiana, who once worked in Plainfield as head of the former PSI Energy, has been ranked No. 50 on "The Global Elite" ranking of 50 influential individuals compiled by Newsweek.

Jim Rogers, who these days leads North Carolina-based Duke Energy, "is no green saint," but oddly enough, "could make dreams of renewable power a reality," says the weekly magazine.

That explosion you just heard was environmental leaders erupting in spontaneous human combustion.

Yes, Newsweek states in its new issue, Rogers has been panned before by environmentalists, noting Duke is the nation's third-largest emitter of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.

Closer to home, Rogers and his company have been criticized for the $2.3 billion-and-counting coal gasification plant being built in Edwardsport. It will spew a relatively smaller percentage of harmful chemicals than conventional coal plants but will still make lots of CO2, environmentalists complain.

Like him or not, Rogers "has aligned at least some of Duke's investments with his rhetoric," said Newsweek, noting for example Rogers' calls for mandatory greenhouse gas reductions and Duke's recent investments in solar and wind power.

"Congress will need to hear from CEOs like Rogers who can see past next quarter's bottom line," added Newsweek.

Among those ahead of Rogers on Newsweek's 50 global elite individuals list were North Korea's loveable dictator Kim Jong-il and, at No. 1, President-elect Barack Obama.
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