Make us your home page
Instagram

Putnam says no to study of proposed Levy nuclear plant cost

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam declined a request for his office to study the cost of the proposed Levy County nuclear plant compared with an equivalent natural gas facility.

In a letter to Rep. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, Putnam said he does not believe his office has the resources to perform the analysis. Putnam — the state's point person on energy matters — said he believes such a review would be more appropriate coming from the state Public Service Commission.

Fasano asked Putnam to conduct an independent study of the costs of Duke Energy's proposed $24.7 billion Levy plant after an analysis in the Tampa Bay Times on Sunday found that the nuclear project would cost billions more than an equivalent natural gas facility over 60 years.

Fasano said in his request to Putnam that he did not believe the PSC "would conduct a fair and unbiased cost analysis" because the study "would be stacked in favor of the utility."

The Legislature considered a measure that would have required the PSC to conduct a feasibility study of the Levy project, but that was withdrawn. Instead, lawmakers passed a bill that requires utilities to show a project is economically feasible and reasonable to continue collecting money from customers in advance of building nuclear plants.

Putnam maintains that the PSC is the right agency to handle a study.

"Your loss of confidence in the PSC's ability to do their statutorily mandated job is a larger issue that only you and your colleagues in the Florida Legislature are equipped to address," Putnam wrote to Fasano on Thursday.

"As Florida's Commissioner of Agriculture, I have consistently made clear that I believe increasing diversity in Florida's energy sources is critical to securing a stable, reliable and affordable supply of energy for Florida consumers," he added. "Natural gas, nuclear energy, clean coal and renewable sources should all be a part of Florida's diverse energy portfolio."

Fasano said Putnam's response is "disappointing" because he has "great respect" for the commissioner. Fasano said he believes state government has no one in leadership that will actually put consumers ahead corporate interests.

"There is no one left in Tallahassee that's looking out for the consumer," Fasano said. "Who do the ratepayers turn to? I knew Duke-Progress had power and influence inside the state's Capitol but never to this extent."

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

Putnam says no to study of proposed Levy nuclear plant cost 05/16/13 [Last modified: Thursday, May 16, 2013 9:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 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]
  2. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  3. Line of moms welcome Once Upon A Child to Carrollwood

    Business

    CARROLLWOOD — Strollers of all shapes and sizes are lined up in front of the store, and inside, there are racks of children's clothing in every color of the rainbow.

    At Once Upon A Child, you often as many baby strollers outside as you find baby furniture and accessories. It recently opened this location in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser
  4. Pastries N Chaat brings North India cuisine to North Tampa

    Business

    TAMPA — Pastries N Chaat, a new restaurant offering Indian street food, opened this week near the University of South Florida.

    The menu at Pastries N Chaat includes a large variety of Biriyani, an entree owners say is beloved by millions. Photo courtesy of Pastries N Chaat.
  5. 'Garbage juice' seen as threat to drinking water in Florida Panhandle county

    Water

    To Waste Management, the nation's largest handler of garbage, the liquid that winds up at the bottom of a landfill is called "leachate," and it can safely be disposed of in a well that's 4,200 feet deep.

    Three samples that were displayed by Jackson County NAACP President Ronstance Pittman at a public meeting on Waste Management's deep well injection proposal. The sample on the left is full of leachate from the Jackson County landfill, the stuff that would be injected into the well. The sample on the right shows leachate after it's been treated at a wastewater treatment plant. The one in the middle is tap water.