Environmentalists call out Duke Energy over 'influence spending'

Environmentalists call out Duke Energy over 'influence spending'
Duke Energy says its top executive's compensation has nearly doubled over the past two years. (Source: WECT)

RALEIGH, NC (WRAL) - Duke Energy spends tens of millions a year in North Carolina on lobbying, public relations and advertising, focusing in its most recent TV and radio spots on the "smarter energy future" it's working toward.

The Charlotte-based utility, which has a public relations staff of more than 100 people, spent $5.5 million on advertising in the first three quarters of 2017, according to data gathered by REDBOOKS, which tracks media spending. It spent $7.8 million the year before that and more than $10 million in 2015.

Why does a monopoly need to advertise?