Thursday, January 14, 2010

Florida Power & Light company plays dirty and ends up getting a financial shock

Good for you, Public Service Commission of Florida!

In an era when people expect the lobbyists to win at the expense of the public, the Public Service Commission has withstood an onslaught of pressures, temptations, misleading claims and other low moves by Florida Power & Light.

I commend the full story to you in the Miami Herald. But the short version is, the public actually wins! Or at least they win so far.

Their bill s will be smaller on average for their electricity, contrary to FPL’s demands for a rate increase that would have soaked Florida residents and businesses for an extra $1.3 billion.

To the power company, that extra billion-and-a-third bucks bulging out of their pockets was worth a $6 million full court press lobbying campaign. In the end, they’ll end up essentially soaking their own stockholders for the $6 million. Maybe the stockholders ought to think about dumping their execs.

FPL’s executives’ may feel a certain emptiness in their personal pockets as well. Bonuses and raises were denied for the power company execs, who assailed the Public Service Commission with high powered Washington lobbying, sleazy attempts to win favor by inviting commission employees home for parties, and a small slew of specious and whiny claims.

After the commission's ruling, the power company’s chief exec, Armando Olivera, whined that the decision creates a “chilling effect on anyone who wants to invest in this state.” He evidently didn’t explain how regulation of a government-regulated utility (and power costs that are under control) could have a chilling effect on a manufacturer, hotel builder, or cake baker who might want to start up a business or relocate to Florida. That’s probably because yet another of his outlandish statements is unexplainable.

Chalk one up for the good guys!

1 comment:

Karrah-G-Pow said...

As a Florida resident, I'm glad that this happened. FP&L does a good PR game. They actually ran two commercials simultaneously - one on English networks and the other on Spanish ones - that used two "typical" employee families and their 'green routine' and how they're doing their part to be energy efficient. The funny part is that the point of the commercial is to promote an employee image that has been eroded by the simultaneous showing of two quite different (ethnically) families. The same house is used for both commercials which tears away the possibility that the home the two families lived in was their own (unless they lived together, ha!). Maybe this seems insignificant for we all know that advertising tricks exist. However, this then leads to the thought that even the supposed families are not families of employees, but rather actors themselves, so the imagined credibility and Joe-Everyman/Dona Fulana scenario disintegrates. The average viewer would probably never get there and keep the illusion of a happy company with happy, green employees. Do they even understand that it is a company and not an essential service? ...well, that's another discussion that would lead into 'why' it the reality is exactly the opposite of what Mr. Olivera stated - Florida needs to keep out the forces of privatization, even if it is a losing battle.