Florida PSC Staff Recommend Nuclear Tax Approval

Guest Blog | November 8, 2012 | Press Releases

SACE Media Statement from Executive Director, Dr. Stephen Smith regarding the FL PSC Staff’s Nuclear Cost Recovery Clause (NCRC) Recommendation

The profits of big power companies were once again put ahead of the best interests of Florida’s families and businesses given yesterday’s unfortunate Public Service Commission (PSC) staff recommendation to approve nearly $300 million in advanced nuclear cost recovery. The PSC staff recommends allowing Progress Energy Florida (PEF), which recently merged with Duke Energy, to recover over $142 million and Florida Power and Light (FPL) to recover over $150 million from their customers for new nuclear generation via a “nuclear tax,” including significant costs for four proposed, yet-to-be-licensed, nuclear reactors that neither utility has even committed to actually build.

The staff recommendation once again grants all the utilities asked for and this is on top of the more than $1 billion that has already been approved over the past several years. Though we are very disappointed, we are not surprised. This anti-consumer mentality unfortunately represents business as usual at the PSC, which is an extremely unfortunate situation for utility customers in Florida who are being forced to pay this “nuclear tax ” up front for electricity that will very likely never be produced from proposed reactors whose estimated combined costs exceed $40 billion.

Southern Alliance for Clean Energy has long been concerned with the unfairness of the nuclear cost recovery statute that was passed by the Florida legislature back in 2006. We challenged the constitutionality before the Florida Supreme Court, participated in oral argument in early October, and await the Court’s decision. Today’s PSC staff recommendation further cements the importance of that decision. It’s important to know who will protect Florida’s consumers? Thus far the Florida state legislature, the Governor and the PSC have not. We’re hopeful that the Court will rule in favor of better protections for Florida’s utility ratepayers.

We also hope that the PCS Commissioners will finally make the right decision later this month when they vote on whether or not to accept the staff’s recommendation in the 2012 nuclear cost recovery docket during a meeting on November 26, 2012. They have the power to protect Florida citizens from the risky ventures that FPL and PEF continue to pursue – the question is whether or not they will finally choose to exercise this power. # # # Founded in 1985, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible energy choices that create globalwarming solutions and ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Learn more at