FL Senate Clamps Down on Nuclear Cost Recovery Law

Guest Blog | April 26, 2013 | Press Releases

Tallahassee, Fla. — The Florida Senate today passed a bill that attempts, for the first time, to address the anti-consumer “early cost recovery” law passed in 2006 that allows the state’s big power companies to shift all the financial risk of building new nuclear reactors to its customers. Senate Bill 1472 adds procedural steps that require power companies seeking cost recovery from customers to show before the Florida Public Service Commission that the plants are feasible and that projected costs are reasonable. It also disallows a rate of return to power company shareholders on cost recovery if the company abandons a reactor project. The Florida House of Representatives is expected to vote on a similar bill next week. “The Florida Senate has recognized the flawed policy that charges consumers in advance for risky and expensive new nuclear reactors,” stated Susan Glickman, a consultant for Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. “The bill which passed the Senate today offers more procedural protections for consumers although the devil is in the details. Its impact is highly dependent on a rigorous review by the Florida Public Service Commission. If the Commission does its job, it will find that continued spending on risky new nuclear reactors is neither feasible nor reasonable. While it’s a step in the right direction, the bill does not address the fundamental problem in the utility planning process – that the incentive is for power companies to build the most expensive power plants because that’s how they make money for their shareholders, to the detriment of ratepayers.” “We welcome the Senate’s action today. While we believe a full repeal is the best way to protect Florida’s consumers, this bill is a step in the right direction,” said Dr. Stephen Smith, executive director of Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. “Our biggest concern though, is that the Florida Public Service Commission continues to fail consumers. The only way this bill actually works is if the Public Service Commission works.” The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy has challenged the constitutionality of the 2006 “early cost recovery” law before the Florida Supreme Court and a decision is pending. Read more about the challenge here. # # # Founded in 1985, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible energy choices that create global warming solutions and ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Learn more at www.cleanenergy.org