Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Nuclear recovery fee needs to go, Gov. Scott

Not everyone believes in the warming of Rick Scott's heart.

While it is true he supported expanding Medicaid, critics point out that he was nowhere to be seen while zealots in the Florida House were voting it down.

And while it is fact he pushed for teacher pay raises, that didn't require much arm-twisting when dealing with a rare budget surplus.

So what's a conservative with a corporate image to do? Just how does Gov. Private Jet convince voters that he truly is a man of the people?

Two words:

Nuclear energy.

If you read Ivan Penn's revealing study of how expensive a nuclear plant is compared to a natural gas facility in Sunday's Tampa Bay Times, then you understand how silly it is that your elected officials continue to allow utility companies to pick your pocket.

And if the last legislative session taught us anything, it is that a majority of representatives in the House are either too dim or too consumed with campaign contributions to ask hard questions of electric company executives.

So what do you say, Gov. Scott?

Are you willing to fight for consumers?

Because, to be honest, you've been pretty quiet about an issue that should be right up your alley. You're the one who ran as a fiscal conservative. You're the one who promised to cut wasteful government spending.

And the reality is the nuclear cost recovery fee is basically a billion-dollar tax. The difference is it goes in the wallets of utility companies instead of the government.

The reporting and analysis by Penn made that pretty clear. Nuclear plants clearly cost more money in the short term, and potentially more money in the long run.

The only argument in favor of building a nuclear plant is diversifying a company's energy portfolio. And that argument doesn't hold up well when you consider how much it costs, how long it's been since anyone has built a nuclear plant, and how much of it is turned into profit for your electric company.

Since too many legislators have proven to be shills for the utilities, it is up to Scott to do something about it.

And, frankly, this is one of those moments when it should benefit Floridians that their governor is filthy rich. Because, even though Scott has accepted huge campaign donations from utility companies in the past, he really isn't beholden to their money.

So what can Scott do?

He can begin by blowing up the Public Service Commission. These people are supposed to be looking out for the public good, but they are basically a subsidiary of Duke Energy and Florida Power & Light. The commissioners owe their jobs to Scott, and he should make each one of them prove they are worthy of it.

After that, Scott should begin working on legislators. If he makes a big stink about this publicly, it will give lawmakers some political cover and it will go a long way toward convincing voters that he really does have their best interests at heart.

No one doubts that Scott is a champion for corporate interests. And that's fine when it translates into jobs and economic stimulus.

But in the case of nuclear power, it translates into profits for utility shareholders and lost wages for regular folks.

Want to be a man of the people?

Do something about that.

Nuclear recovery fee needs to go, Gov. Scott 05/13/13 [Last modified: Monday, May 13, 2013 11:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Plan your weekend July 28-30: Comic Con, Lady Antebellum, Margarita Wars, Tampa's Fourth Friday


    Plan your weekend

    Geek out

    Tampa Bay Comic Con: The fan convention returns to the Tampa Convention Center this weekend, bringing actors Val Kilmer, Kate Beckinsale, Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek's Lt. Uhura), Khary Payton (Ezekiel in The Walking Dead) and the …

    Ibri Day poses for a photo at opening day of the 2015 Tampa Bay Comic Con at the Tampa Convention Center. (Friday, July 31, 2015.) [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  2. Editorial: Trump assaults rule of law by attacking attorney general


    Jeff Sessions was a terrible choice for attorney general, and the policies he has pursued in his brief tenure — cracking down on immigrants, bullying sheriffs, prosecuting low-level offenders to the max — are counterproductive. But the stinging personal attacks President Donald Trump leveled at Sessions this …

    The stinging personal attacks President Donald Trump leveled at Attorney General Jess Sessions this week assault the integrity of the Department of Justice and the rule of law.
  3. Iowa group sues United over death of giant rabbit, Simon


    DES MOINES, Iowa — A group of Iowa businessmen filed a lawsuit Wednesday against United Airlines over the death of Simon, a giant rabbit whose lifeless body was discovered in a kennel after a flight from London to Chicago.

    In this May 8, 2017 file photo, attorney Guy Cook speaks a news conference while looking at a photo of Simon, a giant rabbit that died after flying from the United Kingdom to Chicago, in Des Moines, Iowa. A group of Iowa businessmen have filed a lawsuit against United Airlines over the death of Simon. The businessmen filed the lawsuit Wednesday, July 26, 2017, more than three months after airline workers found the continental rabbit named Simon dead. [AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall]
  4. Elderly Brooksville woman dies in Wednesday crash


    BROOKSVILLE — An 87-year-old woman died following a Wednesday morning car crash, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  5. As Dow hits new high, Raymond James Financial reports record financial gains


    On the same day that the Dow closed at new highs, investment firm Raymond James Financial reported record revenues and earnings for its fiscal third quarter that ended June 30.

    Raymond James Financial CEO Paul Reilly unveiled record quarterly revenues and earnings for the St. Petersburg-based investment firm. [Courtesy of Raymond James Financial]