Tallahassee, Fla. (June 17, 2013) ///MEDIA STATEMENT/// Late last Friday, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed SB 1472 into law. The new law attempts to clamp down on the state’s controversial nuclear cost recovery payment scheme that allows utilities to charge customers in advance for proposed new nuclear power generation. The original anti-consumer legislation, now commonly referred to as Florida’s “nuclear tax,” was passed by the state legislature in 2006.
Dr. Stephen A. Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, issued this statement about the bill’s signing:
“We welcome the Governor’s signature on this modest bill, which is an important step in reigning in unbridled utility access to consumers’ wallets. We remain concerned, however, that the Governor’s appointments to the Public Service Commission continue to be captive agents of the large power companies in Florida. This bill will not work if the Public Service Commission does not work.
“The Governor has been absent too long in this debate, and while his signature is important, his actions in communicating to the Commissioners will be more important. We call on consumers to be ever-vigilant as we enter the next election cycle for candidates who are committed to protecting their interests over the abuses that this law has permitted by the power companies.
In passing SB 1472, state lawmakers recognized the significant flaws in the 2006 policy, which many of them originally supported. That “nuclear tax” charged consumers in advance for risky new nuclear reactors that currently have combined estimated costs of over $40 billion. This year, Florida Power and Light is asking the Florida Public Service Commission to approve over $17 million for proposed new reactors at Turkey Point near Miami and Duke Energy Florida is asking for the recovery of over $106 million from customers for the proposed Levy County reactors. These requests are on top of the more than $1 billion that the Commission has already approved over the last several years. Read more on SACE’s blog here. # # # # 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. For more information, go to http://www.cleanenergy.org.