ASHEVILLE – The Western North Carolina Alliance has issued the following statement in response to retiring U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler’s new role as a lobbyist for Duke Energy, the country’s largest electric company. Shuler, D-NC, will become senior vice president of federal affairs for Duke on Jan. 4.

“We are pleased to hear about Rep. Shuler’s appointment at Duke Energy,” said WNCA Executive Director Julie Mayfield. “He has been a solid supporter of environmental issues – particularly public lands and climate change – during his time in the House, and we enjoyed a good relationship with him on those issues.

“Now that both Rep. Shuler and the Alliance have moved into energy work, I hope that positive relationship continues and that we are able to accomplish some good things together.”