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Duke Energy hires Shuler as lobbyist

U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler is cashing in.

Duke Energy announced Monday that it has hired the 11th District congressman as a Washington lobbyist effective Jan. 4.

Shuler has represented North Carolina's 11th District since he defeated longtime incumbent Charles Taylor in the Democratic wave of 2006. His current term expires Jan. 3. He announced his intention to retire from Congress last February after the Republican-held state Legislature redrew the 11th District to make it a likely pickup for the GOP. Republican Mark Meadows defeated Shuler's former chief of staff, Hayden Rogers, in the Nov. 6 election.

"We are pleased Heath will be joining our team in Washington," Keith Trent, Duke Energy's regulated utilities executive vice president, said in a news release. "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."

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.

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.

In accordance with U.S. House of Representatives ethics rules, Shuler will not vote on any matters affecting Duke Energy for the remainder of the 112th Congress.

Shuler will be based in Duke Energy's Washington office.

Before being elected to Congress in 2007, Shuler founded a real estate company in Eastern Tennessee that grew into the one of the largest in the region. Prior to that he played quarterback for the Oakland Raiders, New Orleans Saints and Washington Redskins.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and played college football at the University of Tennessee, where he was a 1993 runner-up for the Heisman Trophy, one of the most prestigious honors in collegiate sports.

Duke Energy is the largest electric power holding company in the United States with more than $100 billion in total assets. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 7.1 million electric customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. Its commercial power and international business segments own and operate diverse power generation assets in North America and Latin America, including a growing portfolio of renewable energy assets in the United States.

Headquartered in Charlotte, Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at: