Florida fades in use of renewable energy as big utilities call the shots

Some enterprising lawyer really should sue the state of Florida for misrepresentation. When it comes to energy resources, calling Florida “the Sunshine State” is as bogus as it gets.

1. Florida’s state government lacks any energy policy leadership and is bereft of significant energy goals.

2. Gov. Rick Scott has paid little attention to the state’s energy sector. So much so that his ignoring Duke Energy’s multibillion-dollar flubs with its nuclear power plants — expenses being charged to its hapless ratepayers in Florida — is now becoming an issue in this fall’s election.

3. Charlie Crist, Florida’s (then Republican) governor from 2007 to 2011 and now running for the same job again this year, made big promises when first entering office that Florida would be a leader in alternative and renewable energy. He never delivered.

4. Florida’s Public Service Commission, which is supposed to oversee electric utilities in the state, is perceived — on a good day — as incompetent and a puppet of big power companies and state legislators that control PSC nominations and enjoy utility largesse.

5. Florida consumers remain too disorganized, demoralized or distracted to rally in sufficient numbers to demand change in Tallahassee. A sprinkling of protests held outside Duke Energy’s state headquarters in St. Petersburg in recent years, for example, rarely attract more than a few dozen people who so far lack the resources to influence state policies.

 

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>>> Full article here

© 2014 Tampa Bay Times

Sources: Energy Information Administration, Wall Street Journal

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