The extraordinary revelations by a group of anonymous FPL whistle blowers and claims of rampant ethical lapses by senior managers and executives is no surprise, from the perspective of grass roots activists who have tried to slow down FPL's nuclear ambitions at Turkey Point. The manipulation of information related to local permitting and zoning-- aided and abetted by an unreformable majority of the local county commission in Miami-Dade-- is all of one piece with FPL's effort to bend state politics and the Public Service Commission to its will. The corporation virtually ran the Miami-Dade Department of Environmental Management during the zoning phase related to county regulatory thresholds for the new nuclear reactors. (The county commission surrendered its only leverage by approving an extraordinary use absent any data on the most important environmental issues related to water supply, quality, and rock mining.) The permitting of the new nukes, that ratepayers are already paying for thanks to FPL, is still moving forward. Miami Dade county could have put its foot down, with years of evidence that the existing nuclear reactors were destroying groundwater quality in South Dade; in fact, some private interests who have far better connections to the inside of county government tried. Their concerns were brushed off, too. One of the allegations by the anonymous employees: that FPL communications staff were sent out to the blogsphere -- one assumes blogs like Eyeonmiami-- to support the various aspects of its misinformation campaign. So far, Wall Street investors have not blinked. The company is trading on course with its utility brethren, despite its claims of doom and gloom with the PSC denial of a 30 percent increase by the PSC. Why does a corporation act this way? Why do local elected officials, do the same? Because they can. Because they get away with it, with rewards; multi-million dollar compensation packages, cozy relations with hand-picked directors and campaign contributors as the case may be: just check out our archives, or GOD's post on County Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz, yesterday. The PSC docket, that includes the submittal by the anonymous FPL employees is fascinating reading: don't miss it. That advice would extend to the editorial board of The Miami Herald. The Herald should just republish OPEDS from the staff of The Palm Beach Post or the St. Pete Times. Both newspapers were more nimble on this issue than our city's only daily newspaper. But then again, an $18 billion carrot (the projected price tag of the new nuclear reactors at sea level, at Turkey Point) was not dangling in front of their subscriber base. And advertisers. Why, in Florida, is bad business such good business?
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