Response to FL Nuclear Ruling & Limited Legal Fix

Guest Blog | May 2, 2013 | Press Releases

Tallahassee, Fla. (May 2, 2013) The Florida Supreme Court today issued a long-awaited decision on the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy’s (SACE) challenge to the Sunshine State’s controversial nuclear cost recovery payment scheme for proposed new reactors that was passed by the state legislature in 2006. SACE filed the appeal in December 2011 and presented oral arguments before the Court on October 4, 2012. The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy held at a telephone-based news conference to discuss the court decision and activities in the Florida State Legislature on Thursday, May 2, 2013. The audio recording can be found here. In addition, Dr. Stephen A. Smith, executive director of Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, issued this statement about today’s court ruling and the Florida Legislature’s simultaneous passage of a bill that attempts to reign in advanced cost recovery for proposed nuclear projects: “We are extremely disappointed, but not surprised, by today’s decision from the Court. Our legal challenge was very difficult with the odds stacked against us. But we knew it had to be done in order to exhaust every option to protect Florida’s consumers from this scheme that forces the risk of these extremely expensive new reactor projects to be unfairly shouldered by Florida’s families and businesses. “Today’s decision by the Florida Legislature to reform advanced cost recovery underscores the concerns utility customers have expressed about the excessive cost and risk shifted onto them. Lawmakers in both the House and Senate have now recognized the flawed policy that charges consumers in advance for risky and expensive new nuclear reactors that may never be built. However, the procedural steps added by this bill can only protect customers if the Public Service Commission does its job. We remain concerned that the Commission acts as a captured regulatory entity beholden to the big power companies. We have real concerns that the protections the Legislature envisioned with this bill may not be executed by the current Commission. If they are not, this governor or a future governor must appoint a slate of commissioners that interpret the provisions of this bill favorably for the more than 6 million electricity customers in Florida subject to this unfair nuclear tax.” Find a summary of the passed legislation 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