Make us your home page
Instagram

Dwight Dudley blasts PSC for refusing to study costs of nuclear plant

Rep. Dwight Dudley slammed state regulators on Thursday for refusing his request that they study the cost of the proposed Levy County nuclear plant.

In a written statement, Dudley, D-St. Petersburg, attacked members of the state Public Service Commission for supporting the wishes of utility companies over the best interest of consumers.

Dudley asked the PSC to review the cost of the $24.7 billion Levy project — the most expensive nuclear plant in U.S. history — after an analysis last month by the Tampa Bay Times showed a natural gas plant would cost billions less than the proposed nuclear reactors.

Duke Energy wants to build the two-reactor Levy project to help meet future energy needs and diversify the state's energy mix.

The utility has been charging customers in advance for the project since 2009, though it has not made a final decision on whether to build the plant. So far, customers are on the hook for $1.5 billion toward the plant. Duke does not have to refund the money if it scraps the project.

In a letter to Dudley, PSC Chairman Ronald Brise said the commission each year reviews whether proposed nuclear projects are "reasonable and prudent."

"I can assure you that, along with my fellow commissioners, we take our mission very seriously and thoroughly review all pertinent information before making decisions that are in the public's best interest," Brise said.

Dudley responded to Brise's letter in his statement to the media that the commission simply does not want to upset Duke Energy and other utilities.

"As long as the PSC functions as a training ground for the power companies," Dudley said, "Duke will continue to call the shots and Florida will remain a customer-subsidized energy monopoly."

Rep. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, had asked Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam to conduct a study of the Levy project. Putnam refused, saying it was the responsibility of the PSC.

Ivan Penn can be reached at ipenn@tampabay.com or (727) 892-2332.

Read PSC Chairman Ronald Brisé's letter to Rep. Dwight Dudley:

Dwight Dudley blasts PSC for refusing to study costs of nuclear plant 06/06/13 [Last modified: Friday, June 7, 2013 10:54am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally

    Business

    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  2. Tampa Club president seeks assessment fee from members

    News

    TAMPA — The president of the Tampa Club said he asked members last month to pay an additional assessment fee to provide "additional revenue." However, Ron Licata said Friday that the downtown business group is not in a dire financial situation.

    Ron Licata, president of the Tampa Club in downtown Tampa. [Tampa Club]
  3. Under Republican health care bill, Florida must make up $7.5 billion

    Markets

    If a Senate bill called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 becomes law, Florida's government would need to make up about $7.5 billion to maintain its current health care system. The bill, which is one of the Republican Party's long-promised answers to the Affordable Care Act imposes a cap on funding per enrollee …

    Florida would need to cover $7.5 billion to keep its health care program under the Republican-proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.  [Times file photo]
  4. Amid U.S. real estate buying binge by foreign investors, Florida remains first choice

    Real Estate

    Foreign investment in U.S. residential real estate recently skyrocketed to a new high with nearly half of all foreign sales happening in Florida, California and Texas.

    A National Association of Realtors annual survey found record volume and activity by foreign buyers of U.S. real estate. Florida had the highest foreign investment activity, followed by California and Texas. [National Association of Realtors]
  5. Trigaux: Tampa Bay health care leaders wary of getting too far ahead in disruptive times

    Business

    Are attempts to repeal Obamacare dead for the foreseeable future? Might the Affordable Care Act (ACA), now in dire limbo, be revived? Will Medicaid coverage for the most in need be gutted? Can Republicans now in charge of the White House, Senate and House ever agree to deliver a substitute health care plan that people …

    Natalia Ricabal of Lutz, 12 years old, joined other pediatric cancer patients in Washington in July to urge Congress to protect Medicaid coverage that helped patients like Ricabal fight cancer. She was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma in 2013 and has undergone extensive treatments at BayCare's St. Joseph's Children's Hospital in Tampa. [Courtesy of BayCare]