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Your letters: Opinions on business news

Oil traders get scrutiny for murky role in prices | June 19

Prices will correct themselves

I enjoyed your article on oil speculators and their role in inflating the price of oil and share the opinion that speculation is responsible for a decent part of the manic increase that we have seen in the price of gas over the last year.

The good news for consumers is that eventually the price of anything that is driven artificially high will naturally correct itself (think tech stocks in the late 1990s and house prices over the last couple of years). Speculators can only make money when prices are moving (in either direction), and with everyone piling into oil speculation, sooner or later, the prices will be so far removed from where supply and demand would naturally have the price, that the bubble will burst.

I guess the secret is to not be left holding the bag when that happens. I myself would not be invested in any fund right now that is speculating on the price of oil to continue to rise (especially when it seems obvious already that speculation has driven the price of oil much higher than natural market forces would have it).

Marty Richardson, Safety Harbor

Progress Energy's fuel surcharge hike

Are we being gouged here?

With the proposed fuel surcharge hike by Progress Energy and with the already high lump sum surcharges that Progress Energy Florida charges, how do consumers ever know what the real fuel costs are? Do we all have to invest in Progress Energy stock to hedge the already ridiculous fuel surcharge rates with stock dividends?

On my bill this month, the fuel surcharge that Progress Energy is tacking on to the kilowatt hour charges for energy use is already 80 percent of the actual charge for electricity. This month we have been away a good part of the time and not really used much electricity, but the charge for electricity use is $83.80. But the surcharge for fuel adds $66.64 onto the bill (80 percent of the actual electrical use).

If I read your recent article correctly, the proposed increase to fuel surcharges are $8.31 per 1,000 kilowatt hours. We are already paying a fuel surcharge of $4.278 to $5.278 per 1,000 KWH. That will increase our bills by way more than 18 percent. In fact, we would be paying more for fuel than for electricity use.

Progress Energy is also proposing to raise the rates in North Carolina by 16 percent ($424-million more for the state). They say that they are just passing on the actual fuel cost, but something doesn't pass the smell test. Are we being gouged?

Sandy Hutton, Belleair

FPL goal: 3 solar plants in 2009 | June 26

Finally, a push for solar power

Chills ran up and down my spine. I was so excited to read about FPL electric company plans to build three solar-powered plants. It reminded me of when World War II and B-25 bombers bombed Tokyo. We had finally started our offensive with a bold move. I was thrilled to hear that we are finally starting our offensive in this war against fossil fuels. It's about time!

We have the science and technology. All we need is that extra push and it will snowball. God bless America. I've waited a long time for this wonderful feeling. Let's roll up our sleeves and "go for it!"

Joe Cortellini, Palm Harbor

Your letters: Opinions on business news 06/28/08 [Last modified: Saturday, June 28, 2008 9:08pm]
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  1. Early estimates peg Hurricane Irma damage at as much as $65B

    Banking

    The damage totals from Hurricane Irma are still being tallied, but early numbers are in: As of Tuesday, the storm is estimated to have caused between $42.5 billion and $65 billion of damage. That's according to a Tuesday release by Irvine, Calif.-based analytics company CoreLogic.

    Hurricane Irma is estimated to have caused up to $65 billion in damage, said analytics company CoreLogic. Pictured is 
Hermilo Munoz Castillo as wades down a flooded street to check on his home in southern Collier County, Fla. after Hurricane Irma passed. | [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  2. Port Tampa Bay makes public/private commitment for $60 million expansion project

    Business

    TAMPA — Port Tampa Bay approved a public-private partnership agreement with four other entities to divvy up who will pay for a $60 million widening and extension of the Big Bend Channel.

    Port Tampa Bay approved a participation agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Florida Department of Transportation, Tampa Electric Company and Mosaic Company at the port's monthly board meeting on  Tuesday. Port Tampa Bay President & CEO Paul Anderson signs the agreement as Ram Kancharla; Port Tampa Bay's vice president of planning & development, Brandon Burch; project manager at United States Army Corps of Engineers, Lois Moore; of Alcalde and Fay and Charles Klug; Port Tampa Bay principal counsel, and Tim Murphy; deputy district engineer of the Army Corps., looks on. [Company handout]
  3. One of St. Petersburg's newest condo projects is sold out

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — Reflecting the continued demand for condos in downtown St. Petersburg, The Salvador, completed earlier this year at 199 Dali Blvd., has sold out. Records show that a 2-bedroom, 2-bath unit sold Friday for $620,000 in an all-cash deal. Two other units — a 3-bedroom, 2-bath penthouse and a …

     Reflecting the continued demand for condos in downtown St. Petersburg, The Salvador, completed earlier this year at 199 Dali Blvd., has sold out. 
[Rendering courtesy of aalliiggnn LLC]
  4. Reload your SunPass account. Roadway tolls return Thursday.

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Florida residents will no longer get a free pass traversing most stretches of the Florida Turnpike or certain local expressways across the state.

    With a push by the Florida Turpike to encourage more drivers traveling the Veterans and Suncoast Parkway to buy a Sunpass, motorists will begin to see more lanes converted to handle Sunpass. [Tampa Bay Times]
  5. Tampa Heights project gets $21.5 million in funding

    Real Estate

    TAMPA --- The Tampa-based Heights Community Development District got a financial boost from a $21.5 million tax-exempt bond issue to fund the waterfront community being built along the Hillsborough River just north of downtown Tampa. Proceeds from the bond issue are expected to used for new roads, sidewalks, the Tampa …

    Tampa's Heights Community Development District got a financial boost from a $21.5 million tax-exempt bond issue to fund the waterfront community being built along the Hillsborough River just north of downtown Tampa.
[Courtesy of Aerial Innovations, Inc.]