By Robert Trigaux
State legislators, apparently waking from a long winter’s nap, are introducing measures that would crack down on big power companies like Duke Energy Florida that are relentlessly gouging ratepayers.
Is Christmas coming early? Curtailing utilities’ Grinch-like ways in Florida, even by a smidgen, would be quite a gift.
One bipartisan legislative proposal announced Monday seeks to “reform” the Florida Public Service Commission — the state’s stooge organization that is supposed to (but does not) regulate power companies in this state.
Condemned by many as corrupt, the PSC wears such criticism like a badge of honor.
Another measure introduced by two Tampa Bay area legislators would repeal the nuclear plant construction advance fee and require Duke Energy Florida to refund billions it has collected for failed nuclear projects.
Here’s where victimized Floridians enter the picture.
Could these measures become the kind of critical mass for the 2015 legislative session that finally rattles the historically impervious hold Duke Energy and other deep-pocketed power companies have on Florida lawmakers?
That’s possible if Floridians rally and make enough noise to be heard by lawmakers.
Or are such measures just more legislative gas? Are these bills “vapor” proposals meant to look good back home to beleaguered Duke Energy ratepayers but structured to evaporate or, at best, get watered down next year?
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