Make us your home page

St. Petersburg lawmaker calls for PSC study of Levy nuclear plant costs

A St. Petersburg lawmaker wants the Florida Public Service Commission to study the cost of the proposed Levy County nuclear plant compared to a natural gas facility.

Rep. Dwight Dudley, D-St. Petersburg, said in a news release and letter to the commission this week that a Tampa Bay Times analysis that showed the Levy plant would cost more than a natural gas facility over 60 years warrants a comprehensive review by the state.

The Times analysis also showed that Duke Energy would make $4 billion from the Levy nuclear project compared to $369 million for an equivalent natural gas facility, according to the Times analysis.

"The main argument in favor of nuclear is that it is less expensive in the long run," Dudley stated in the letter. "If the Times findings are accurate — that a comparable natural gas facility would be around $3 billion cheaper over 60 years — then I would consider this notion to be thoroughly debunked."

Cindy Muir, a spokeswoman for the commission, said the PSC had not yet received any communication from Dudley.

Earlier this month, Rep. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, called on Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, the state's point person on energy matters, to study Levy's costs. Putnam, however, said his office did not have the resources for such a review and that the responsibility belonged to the PSC.

Fasano said in his request to Putnam that he believed any study by the PSC would be biased toward the utility companies rather than support the good of consumers.

Though Dudley asked for the PSC to study the issue, he too stated that the commission appears to favor the utility companies' wishes.

"If the PSC is supposed to be a watchdog for the ratepayers, I have yet to see it," Dudley wrote. "It's high time that this dog grow some teeth and start protecting the consumers. Even the slightest growl or whimper would be better than what we have now."

Ivan Penn can be reached at or (727) 892-2332.

What's next

The five members of the state Public Service Commission will travel to the Tampa Bay area May 29 for a public hearing on the proposed rate increase for Tampa Electric customers. The 6 p.m. hearing will be held at the Hillsborough Community College/Dale Mabry Campus Students Services Auditorium, DSTU Building Room 111, 4001 W Tampa Blvd., Tampa.

St. Petersburg lawmaker calls for PSC study of Levy nuclear plant costs 05/21/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 11:12pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pinellas grants St. Pete's request to add millions to pier budget

    Local Government

    Times Staff Writer

    The Pinellas County Commission has granted St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman's request to dedicate millions in county funding toward the city's new pier.

    The St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday  voted 7-1 to appropriate $17.6 million for the over-water portion of the Pier District. This is a rendering of what the new Pier District could look like. [Courtesy of St. Petersburg]
  2. Pinellas licensing board loses support for staying independent

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER –– The Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board on Monday lost its strongest supporter for staying independent.

    State Sen. Jack Latvala, a Clearwater Republican running for governor, said Monday that he will no longer support any legislation to keep the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board independent. This photo was taken in August. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  3. Triad Retail Media names Sherry Smith as CEO


    ST. PETERSBURG — Triad Retail Media, a St. Petersburg-based digital ads company, said CEO Roger Berdusco is "leaving the company to pursue new opportunities" and a member of the executive team, Sherry Smith, is taking over.

    Sherry Smith is taking over as CEO at Triad Retail Media, the company announced Monday. | [Courtesy of Triad Retail Media]
  4. Two new condo projects for same street in downtown St. Pete

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — It lacks the panache and name recognition of Beach Drive, but 4th Avenue N in downtown St. Petersburg is becoming a condo row in its own right.

    Bezu, a condo project planned at 100 4th Ave. N in downtown St. Petersburg, will have 24 units including a three-level penthouse with infinity pool.
[Courtesy of Clear ph Design]
  5. AAA expects gas prices in Tampa Bay will continue to fall


    Ticking slowly and steadily, regular gas prices have receded for the last 10 consecutive days. The average unleaded gas price in Florida is $2.67 this morning, a nickel cheaper than a week ago. In Tampa Bay, the current average unleaded gas has dropped 7 cents from a week ago to $2.62. The national average for regular …

    Gas prices for regular gas continue to decline. In Tampa Bay, the current average unleaded gas is down 7 cents from a week ago at $2.62 a gallon. [Times file photo]