Power giant Duke Energy nabs retiring Rep. Shuler

“Heath is well known in Washington for working with leaders from both political parties and for bringing people together in his district in Western North Carolina,” said Keith Trent, a vice president with Duke Energy's regulated utilities.

Shuler, who announced in February that he was not seeking reelection, will be based in Duke's Washington, D.C., office.

A Duke spokesman, citing House ethics rules, said Shuler would not be “actively lobbying” for one year but could do so after that period. Shuler will be overseeing and determining how to strengthen Duke’s D.C. office, spokesman Tom Williams said.

“Shuler's focus in 2013 will be on building the federal affairs team and working with leaders in energy associations in which Duke is involved to support federal issues important to the company's customers and shareholders,” the company said.

“He will also focus on helping employees become more informed and involved with federal issues that impact the company's customers in the Carolinas, Florida and the Midwest,” Duke said.

Duke, which provides power to customers in the six states in the Southeast and Midwest, owns a range of coal-fired, natural-gas, nuclear and hydroelectric plants.

The power giant is affected by Environmental Protection Agency air pollution rules and a suite of other federal policies and bills. 

Duke’s merger with Progress Energy, completed in July, made it the nation’s largest electric utility.