Tuesday, June 03, 2014

FPL Chief on Obama initiative to cut greenhouse gas emissions: tip-toeing toward the NRC … by gimleteye

Yesterday's announcement of the reduction of greenhouse gases by the United States, through an EPA order to the states and utilities, is the first clear indication to the rest of the world that the US government takes its responsibilities seriously.

Environmentalists unanimously praised the President. Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters, said, "This is the biggest step we've ever taken for the biggest challenge we've ever faced. It helps meet our moral obligation to future generations to act on climate change at a time when we’re seeing impacts on our health and our communities nationwide. This is a plan that can be shaped by the states, giving governors the flexibility they need."

Clearly, the administration's choice to give "flexibility to the states" deflects GOP objections rooted in federal mandates of any kind.

The holding company of Florida Power and Light issued a guarded response along the same lines: "As a clean energy leader, NextEra Energy appreciates the shared responsibility we have to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment, while ensuring affordable, reliable energy for our customers. At NextEra Energy, we have positioned our business to manage the opportunities and risks presented by climate change issues, while simultaneously lowering emissions. And for customers of Florida Power & Light Company, we have been investing billions of dollars to modernize our system, converting older, oil-fired power plants into high-efficiency energy centers that run on clean, U.S.-produced natural gas and increasing our use of emissions-free nuclear and solar energy. While we will continue to review the proposed guidelines in detail, we appreciate that EPA's plan provides for compliance flexibility in terms of enabling states to choose how they will meet their goals. We also appreciate that EPA's plan recognizes the efforts that states and companies have taken already toward balancing the needs for cleaner power, lower emissions and affordable energy."

There are a lot of people who would take issue with NextEra's, "… we have positioned our business to manage the opportunities and risks presented by climate change". FPL is marching its ratepayers toward the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and an application for new nuclear reactors at Turkey Point. The company has cultivated its relationships with federal elected officials, including President Obama.

But NextEra is skipping past the objections of critics who believe that both the ratepayer base and location (ie. at virtual sea level) make the its plans uniquely unsuited for the risks of climate change.

No comments: