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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rep. Dwight Dudley rips Gov. Rick Scott's record on utilities



With the November election looming ever closer, one state legislator again sought to remind voters that Gov. Rick Scott is no friend to middle-class Floridians when it comes to getting tough on big electric utilities. Rep. Dwight Dudley, D-St. Petersburg, criticized the governor in a telephone briefing for the media this afternoon for his lack of action in letting big power companies like Duke Energy charge consumers and businesses high rates for electricity.

In a teleconference organized by the Florida Democratic Party, Dudley was joined by a Pinellas County consumer named Tiffany Cornelius who said her electric rates and those of friends and family were too high.

Cornelius grew up in Charlotte, N.C. – the parent headquarters of Duke Energy – where she said Duke was well known as a “bully monopoly that needed to be kept in check.”

“We need a new governor because this governor sees nothing wrong,” Dudley said, in letting power companies charge higher rates and at the same time supply big-dollar campaign contributions in Tallahassee. Praising Democratic candidate Charlie Crist, Dudley similarly criticized many fellow state legislators who, while only too happy to take large campaign contributions from Duke, TECO Energy and Florida Power & Light, make no effort to create a robust state policy for renewable energy in Florida. He urged legislators to return such “dirty money.”

“All this talk about a free market and free enterprise, and here the governor is fine with subsidizing national corporations,” Dudley said. Big utilities should not need the “free money” charged customers via high rates, he added, but should go to Wall Street to raise money – “if they have a good product.”

[Last modified: Tuesday, September 2, 2014 2:03pm]


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