News

Florida's Energy Sources Become Political

(PLEASE HELP US BY CONTACTING YOUR SENATORS (OR OURS IF YOU'RE OUT-OF-STATE) WITH YOUR OPPOSITION TO SENATOR DEAN'S PANDERING TO THE NUKE BOYS! PLEASE TRY TO DO SO BEFORE TUESDAY 3/31 IF AT ALL POSSIBLE!

A battle between clean energy and renewable energy is about to ensue in the state Legislature.

Sen. Lee Constantine, R-Altamonte Springs, has introduced Senate Bill 2490, a measure requiring that 20 percent of the power provided by Florida electric utilities be made with renewable resources such as wind and solar. The standard is supported by Gov. Charlie Crist and recommended by the Florida Public Service Commission.

Sen. Charlie Dean, R-Inverness, recently introduced an alternative measure, SB 2328, that would require utilities to get 20 percent of their power from clean energy sources, including nuclear, by 2020. Progress Energy and Florida Power & Light, the state's largest producers of nuclear power, have lobbied hard for a clean standard.

Already, nuclear power accounts for 18 percent of the electricity produced by Progress Energy. FPL produces about 19 percent of its power from nuclear plants.

Environmental groups say Dean's bill in essence would enable Progress Energy and FPL to avoid securing additional renewable power.

By RUSSELL RAY
rray@tampatrib.com
Published: March 26, 2009
Reporter Russell Ray can be reached at (813) 259-7870.