Make us your home page
Instagram

Lawmakers to protest settlement with Duke over nuclear costs

Two Pinellas County lawmakers are calling for the defeat of a proposed settlement between state regulators and Duke Energy that would force customers to pay $3.2 billion for nuclear power they'll never get.

Rep. Dwight Dudley, D-St. Petersburg, and Rep. Carl Zimmermann, D-Dunedin, plan to protest outside Duke's St. Petersburg headquarters at 11 a.m. Saturday to show their opposition to the settlement agreement that will be considered by regulators Oct. 16.

"The pitchforks and torches are coming out," Dudley said about the rally, dubbed "STOP DUKE RIP OFF."

Saturday's rally will be the second in recent weeks designed to oppose utility charges related to Duke's failed nuclear projects.

Sterling Ivey, a Duke spokesman, said the Legislature and the state Public Service Commission establish the rules and the process for companies that seek to increase their nuclear power generation. The current rules, he said, allow utilities to recover the costs from their customers as long as they are "reasonably and prudently incurred."

"To date, the FPSC has not found any costs to be imprudent," Ivey said.

The state Office of Public Counsel, which represents consumers before the commission, reached a settlement with Duke over the expenses related to the botched upgrade to the now shuttered Crystal River nuclear plant and as much as $1.5 billion in spending on the canceled Levy County nuclear project.

The customer money spent on Crystal River and Levy resulted from a state law that allows utilities to charge their customers in advance for increasing power at existing nuclear facilities and for development of new plants. Dudley, who was elected largely by campaigning to repeal the law, is one of a growing group of lawmakers who have moved to alter or repeal the measure.

"There's a coalescence in the Legislature that is talking about it," Dudley said. "They're agreeing what exists is bad and needs to be changed."

Duke had no immediate response to the planned protest.

Lawmakers to protest settlement with Duke over nuclear costs 10/09/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 9, 2013 8:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rick Scott appoints 'my friend,' Jimmy Patronis, as Florida CFO

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Monday picked close friend and supporter Jimmy Patronis to be Florida's next chief financial officer, a lucrative prize for loyalty that casts new light on Patronis' pro-business votes as a legislator and his support for higher electricity costs as a regulator.

    Rick Scott appoints Jimmy Patronis (background) as CFO. [STEVE BOUSQUET | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. Local gas prices plummet as Fourth of July holiday travel approaches

    Tourism

    TAMPA — Local gas prices are enjoying an unseasonal dip around the $2 mark just in time for the hectic Fourth of July holiday travel weekend.

    The price of regular unleaded gasoline has dropped to $1.99 at a Rally station on Pasadena Ave. South and Gulfport Boulevard South, South Pasadena.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  3. Air bag recalls, lawsuits lead Takata to file for bankruptcy

    Autos

    Shattered by recall costs and lawsuits, Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. filed Monday for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., saying it was the only way it could keep on supplying replacements for faulty air bag inflators linked to the deaths of at least 16 people.

    Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. CEO Shigehisa Takada bows during a press conference in Tokyo on Monday. Takata has filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., overwhelmed by lawsuits and recall costs related to its production of defective air bag inflators.
[(AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi]
  4. Airbag maker Takata bankruptcy filing expected in Japan, U.S.

    Corporate

    DETROIT — Japanese airbag maker Takata Corp. has filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., overwhelmed by lawsuits and recall costs related to its production of faulty air bag inflators.

  5. Federal agencies demand records from SeaWorld theme park

    Tourism

    ORLANDO — Two federal agencies are reportedly demanding financial records from SeaWorld.

    Killer whales Ikaika and Corky participate in behaviors commonly done in the wild during SeaWorld's Killer Whale educational presentation in this photo from Jan. 9. SeaWorld has been subpoenaed by two federal agencies for comments that executives and the company made in August 2014 about the impact from the "Blackfish" documentary. 
[Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS]