FPL’s Questionable Decision May Go to Supreme Court

Public Counsel J. R. Kelly

Florida Power & Light may not be successful in their push to pass their financial risks on to their Florida customers and make more money by fracking at the expense of the Oklahoma environment.

The state Office of Public Counsel on Tuesday, January 20, 2015 filed a notice that it will appeal last month’s decision by the Florida Public Service Commission to permit FPL to invest in fracking activities in Oklahoma, and pass these costs and risks on to their utilities customers in Florida.

The PSC has come under criticism lately as some have questioned the objectivity of the Commission and whether its allegiance is to the people of Florida or to the power companies.  Some have also questioned Gov. Scott’s financial interests in power companies, controlled by his appointees to the PSC.

Still others have questioned the need for the hugely controversial Sabal Trail pipeline to bring more gas to Florida, and have criticized the PSC for investing so much in gas and for not doing more to develop sustainable energy, specifically solar.  They  continue to push gas as the best energy source, in spite of the new science that is showing that gas production by fracking  is much more harmful and damaging to humans, living things and the earth, than previously thought.

The PSC wrote in their order last week:  “The reality is that in this state, and nationally, we continue to grow the need for natural gas to provide electricity as we move away from coal.”

OSFR and many other environmental groups would encourage the PSC to investigate the downside of gas/fracking more thoroughly and compare that whole polluting process to clean, sustainable solutions.  Sooner or later the switch must be made.

The Gainesville Sun published an article on Jan. 21 “FPL drilling faces high court fight,” outlining the Office of Public Counsel’s activities in this issue.  You can see it at this link, on page 5B.

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