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. Memorial Day sales not enough to draw shoppers to Tampa Bay malls


    TAMPA — Memorial Day sales at Tampa Bay area malls were not enough to compete with the beach and backyard barbecues this holiday weekend.

    Memorial Day sales weren't enough to draw shoppers to Tampa Bay area malls over the long weekend. 
  2. Austin software company acquires second Tampa business


    Austin, Tex.-based Asure Software acquired Tampa's Compass HRM Inc. late last week for $6 million. Compass focuses on HR and payroll.

    [Company photo]
  3. Hackers hide cyberattacks in social media posts


    SAN FRANCISCO — It took only one attempt for Russian hackers to make their way into the computer of a Pentagon official. But the attack didn't come through an email or a file buried within a seemingly innocuous document.

    Jay Kaplan and Mark Kuhr, former NSA employees and co-founders of Synack, a cybersecurity company, in their office in Palo Alto, Calif., in 2013. While last year's hacking of senior Democratic Party officials raised awareness of the damage caused if just a handful of employees click on the wrong emails, few people realize that a message on Twitter or Facebook could give an attacker similar access to their system. 
[New York Times file photo]
  4. Big rents and changing tastes drive dives off St. Pete's 600 block

    Music & Concerts

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kendra Marolf was behind the lobby bar of the State Theatre, pouring vodka sodas for a weeknight crowd packed tight for Bishop Briggs, the latest alternative artist to sell out her club.

    Sam Picciano, 25, left, of Tampa and Molly Cord 24, Palm Harbor shop for record albums for a friend at Daddy Kool Records located on the 600 block of Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, Florida on Saturday, May 20, 2017. OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times
  5. How Hollywood is giving its biggest stars digital facelifts


    LOS ANGELES — Johnny Depp is 53 years old but he doesn't look a day over 26 in the new "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie — at least for a few moments. There was no plastic surgeon involved, heavy makeup or archival footage used to take the actor back to his boyish "Cry Baby" face, however. It's all …

    This combination of photos released by Disney, shows the character Jack Sparrow at two stages of his life in "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales."  Johnny Depp, who portrays the character, is the latest mega-star to get the drastic de-aging treatment on screen
[Disney via Associated Press]