FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 22, 2009
Green Party of Florida www.floridagreens.org
Michael Canney firstname.lastname@example.org 352.226.6164
Steve Showen email@example.com 305-573-2909
FLORIDA GREEN PARTY OPPOSES PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION APPROVAL OF
NUCLEAR COST RECOVERY FOR UTILITIES, CALLING IT A "A LICENSE TO STEAL"
The Green Party of Florida (GPF) denounces the October 16 decision by
the Public Service Commission allowing Progress Energy and Florida Power
& Light to raise utility rates paid by their customers in order to
collect hundreds of millions of dollars in so-called "nuclear cost
Under an ill-conceived law approved by the Florida legislature in 2006
in Florida, private utility companies are allowed to collect funds, in
the form of rate increases to their customers, to pay the advance costs
for nuclear power plant construction. These funds can be collected even
if the nuclear projects have not yet been licensed and approved by state
and federal regulatory agencies, and if the projects are not approved.
If the nuclear plants are canceled by the utilities for any reason, the
corporations can pocket the millions they have fleeced from their
customers, all with permission from the state.
"Granting FPL and Progress Energy permission to raise utility rates to
pay for risky and unnecessary nuclear plants is like giving them a
license to steal," said Michael Canney, GPF spokesperson and
representative in a Petition to Intervene in the federal licensing
process for the Levy County nuclear plant. "Nuclear cost recovery is a
form of corporate welfare designed to "fast track" nuclear power
development and guarantee industry profits at the expense of the public
interest. The PSC has become a rubber stamp for the nuclear power
Panagioti Tsolkas, Green Party member and co-chair of Palm Beach County
Environmental Coalition said "This is the sort of collaboration between
industry and government that spawns the corruption we are seeing surface
across Florida. This vote is evidence that the ethics problems in the
Public Service Commission (PSC) go much deeper than a few benign
Blackberry messages or private jets. The PSC is putting the entire State
in grave economic and environmental danger, and Governor Crist is
PSC Chair Matthew Carter has publicly expressed his hope that the
Nuclear Regulatory Commission would view Florida's approval of early
nuclear cost recovery as a reason to expedite the federal licensing
process for new nuclear plants in the state. Carter said before the
vote. "I think it's a good law. Do I think it's perfect? No, but we
shouldn't be buying gas from people that want to kill us."
Steve Showen, co-chair of the Miami-Dade Green Party responded to
Carter's comments by saying, "The alternative to nuclear power is not,
as PSC Chair Carter says, 'buying gas from people that want to kill
us.' If people really want to kill us, all they have to do is send a
plane into a nuke plant!"
"Nuclear power is not clean, green or renewable, and it makes a mockery
of Homeland Security, added Showen. "The truly secure and sane course of
action for Florida is to put our resources into distributed rooftop
solar. If the PSC had any real patriotic concern, it would have pulled
the plug on nukes long ago."
The GPF opposes the nuclear cost recovery scam as a form of private
taxation that forces utility customers to invest millions in risky
projects they may never see any benefit from.
"There should be a full investigation into the incestuous relationship
between the PSC and the industries they are supposed to regulate," said
GPF co-chair Jayne King. "Greens believe state regulatory agencies
should stop acting like lap dogs for greedy corporations and start
protecting the public interest."
In addition to opposing the nuclear cost recovery rip-off by Progress
Energy and Florida Power and Light, the GPF has called for a moratorium
on the construction of new nuclear plants in Florida, until a full and
honest accounting of all costs associated with nuclear power can be
assessed, and compared with the costs of investing in clean, safe and
renewable energy technologies.
"We live in the 'Sunshine State,' " says Jennifer Sullivan, a Green
Party activist in Hernando County and co-petitioner in the challenge to
the Levy nuclear plant license. "and one hour of sunlight that falls
upon the earth has enough energy to power the whole planet for one year.
We should be investing in cutting edge solar and renewable energy
technologies for Florida's communities, instead of subsidizing risky and
expensive nuclear plants that produce radioactive wastes that are deadly
for thousands of years."
In February, the Green Party of Florida joined with the Nuclear
Information and Resource Service and the Ecology Party to file a
Petition to Intervene in the NRC licensing process for the Levy Nuclear
Plant. The NRC's Atomic Safety Licensing Board admitted a number of the
petitioners' contentions, and Progress Energy is required to respond to
them before the Construction and Operating License application can be
The Green Party supports investment in a sustainable, carbon-free,
nuclear-free energy policy, based on clean, safe renewable energy
technologies and aggressive conservation and efficiency measures.
Nuclear and fossil fuel power plants are not a solution to the planetary
climate change crisis, nor are they a smart solution to our future
For more information:
Green Party of Florida www.floridagreens.org
Nuclear Information and Resource Service www.nirs.org
Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition http://pbcec.blogspot.com/
PETITION TO INTERVENE AND REQUEST FOR HEARING In the Matter of PROGRESS
ENERGY FLORIDA, Levy County Nuclear Station Units 1 & 2, Docket Nos.
52-029 COL & 52-030 COL Feburary 6, 2009
GPF Green Paper on Energy Policy (PDF)
GPF letter to Governor Crist on climate change 10/17/07 (PDF)
GPF Press Release on energy policy 7/20/07 (PDF)
GPF Resolution on GRU coal plant 2/19/05
Florida Greens join petition against NRC licensing of Levy Nuclear Plant
Docs re PEF Levy Nuclear Plant application on DEP site:
*References on nuclear power:*
Beyond Nuclear www.beyondnuclear.org/*
*Carbon-Free, Nuclear-Free: A Roadmap for U.S. Energy Policy
Institute for Energy and Environmental Research www.ieer.org
Rocky Mountain Institute www.rmi.org <http://www.rmi.org>
Union of Concerned Scientists - Nuclear Power
Business Risks and Costs of New Nuclear Power, a new study by CPA Craig
Severance, finds that escalating reactor construction and operating
costs could lead to electricity from new nukes as high as 25-30 cents
per kw/h-significantly higher than industry estimates.
- END -