Saturday, August 09, 2014

A simple question for the voters of Florida … by gimleteye

Why do you approve early cost recovery -- forcing yourselves to pay millions of dollars for FPL to build the wrong type of nuclear reactor -- but don't approve the use of your money to develop a new generation of safer nuclear reactors now?

I know this is confusing. Voters don't understand that they set policy -- through the public officials they elect -- for the reimbursement of electric utilities for nuclear power we may need but may never get built because, like Turkey Point, it is the wrong technology in the wrong place.

In fact it is the Florida legislature and the Governor, through his or her appointees to the Public Service Commission, that set policy and reward electric utilities.

Why are Floridians so disconnected from their government? The culprit is the usual one: too much money in politics. The money creates an alternate reality: just ask any of the Republican officials who were whisked by private jet to the King Ranch in Texas, for hunting trips bought and paid for by Big Sugar.

Since you can ask but they won't tell, let's do a little imagineering. You are a state legislator from West Dade. You've waged an election campaign involving fundraising and know that the little dollar contributors count but the big dollar contributors count more. Maybe they've told you what they want when you are elected, but the money flows in: God knows where it is really from.

Once you are in Tallahassee, no one from West Dade is watching you or your votes or the luncheons or meetings you take with teams of lobbyists and special interests. You know there's a lot of money at stake, and one day you are offered to see what it buys. You are told not to worry, because the cost of hunting trip will be paid as a "contribution" to the Republican Party of Florida.

You drive your Nissan with 90,000 miles on it to the private hanger terminal at the Tallahasee airport. A well dressed staffer for Big Sugar meets you in the parking lot and tells you to leave your luggage by the car. Someone will take it for you. The boy from West Dade is directed into the private lounge of the private hanger. Polished marble and valuable hardwood and muted tones in the upholstered furniture.

It's not like your office in a strip mall in Westchester where the a/c in undersized or the ceiling tiles leak. Then you are lead with your colleagues into the hanger that is spotless where a $50 million private jet is parked on a shiny epoxied concrete floor. No TSA for you. Just a pair of smiling stewardesses motioning for you to take care on the matt aluminum steps into the jet where the leather seats are more comfortable than a king's throne. And that's just the beginning of your weekend trip that no one from West Dade will ever hear about because that kind of money builds very tall and soundproof walls.

And that kind of money also destroys democracy. It mocks the power of your vote. Isn't it time to throw the crony capitalists from the temple?

FPL asks for OK to pass on nuclear charges

JUNO BEACH, Fla. -- (August 3, 2014) Florida Power & Light Co. is asking the state to allow it to charge customers for costs related to two proposed nuclear reactors.

It's the seventh straight year FPL is making such a request to the Florida Public Service Commission.

Under the proposal going before regulators, FPL is asking to pass $14.3 million in planning costs next year for the proposed reactors at its Turkey Point plant south of Miami. That would translate to 15 cents a month for the typical 1,000-kilowatt-hour residential bill. By the end of 2013, The Palm Beach Post reports ( ) FPL customers will have paid more than $227 million in planning costs for the new reactors.

The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission has still not given the project the go-ahead.

Read more here:


Anonymous said...

We've come a long way. In my day sugar could buy a west dade house vote for the cost of a hooker and a bump of coke.

Anonymous said...

This is why I am voting for the Green Party endorsed candidate Farid Khavari.

Anonymous said...

I understand your "wrong technology in the wrong place" argument.

So let me ask you this:

Where is "the right place"?