By John Romano
This is not a critique of the proposed nuclear power plant in Levy County.
Let the engineers, watchdogs and investors debate the details of that plan.
This is about something simpler. In some ways, something far more important.
This is about credibility.
For more than three years, we have listened to a parade of electric company officials come up with increasingly hard-to-believe versions of their self-serving truths.
They have sworn that recession-era rate increases were for our own good, even while acknowledging it was an attempt to grow their profit level above a 10.5 percent return.
They promised Progress Energy boss Bill Johnson was their czar-in-waiting, and then shoved him out the door a few hours after Progress’ merger with Duke Energy.
They once seemed to suggest they were a couple of lug nuts away from fixing Crystal River’s broken nuclear plant, when the truth is that albatross may be beyond repair.
And now? Well, now Duke Energy executive Jeff Lyash is insisting the company has a definitive plan for building that mythical Levy County plant.
“We’ve made a decision to build Levy,” said Lyash. “I’m confident in the schedule and numbers.”
So what’s the problem?
Well, a few weeks ago, CEO Jim Rogers declined to offer a time line on Levy while essentially questioning whether it will even be a necessity down the road.