Saturday, May 26, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: Duke Energy's real outrage

Sometimes even a monopoly with political clout cannot ignore the angry voices of its customers crying foul. Duke Energy is apologizing about raising bills by $100 or more for many customers just by changing meter-reading routes and announced Wednesday it will give credits to those affected.

The changes had caused Duke to temporarily extend the billing cycles of up to 267,000 customers by up to 12 days, often triggering higher rates even if homeowners were using no more electricity than normal. The utility claimed a PSC rule allowed it but backed down after growing public complaints, strong words from legislators and even a raised eyebrow from the usually compliant PSC.

Yet the temporary billing fiasco is not the outrage that should provoke a public outcry. The real outrage is that Duke has the highest electric bills by far among the three large investor-owned utilities in the Tampa Bay area. The reason is largely tied to Duke's higher fuel costs and the $3 billion it is charging ratepayers for nuclear plants that were broken or never built.

Duke's high rates put homeowners and businesses in Pinellas County and throughout its service area at a competitive disadvantage with their neighbors. They make the cost of running households and businesses more expensive. They make it harder to attract new residents and jobs.

It's great that consumers and lawmakers raised their voices to force Duke to correct its billing debacle. That is a short-term win. Now where is the demand from the public and policymakers for Duke to address an unfairness that is far more expensive and has longer-term consequences to the region's economy?

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Editorial: Welcome Bayshore changes still canít stop bad judgment

Editorial: Welcome Bayshore changes still canít stop bad judgment

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Editorial: Searching for the real Adam Putnam

Editorial: Searching for the real Adam Putnam

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Editorial: A strong economic case for restoring voting rights for felons

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Editorial: Trump right to cancel North Korea talks on nuclear weapons

Editorial: Trump right to cancel North Korea talks on nuclear weapons

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Published: 05/24/18
Updated: 05/25/18

NFL kneels before the altar of profits

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Published: 05/24/18

Editorial: A positive first step in ensuring student access at USFSP

As a task force sorts out countless details involved in folding the University of South Florida St. Petersburg back into the major research university based in Tampa, ensuring access for good Pinellas students remains a concern. An enhanced cooperati...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/25/18
Editorial: Banks still need watching after easing Dodd-Frank rules

Editorial: Banks still need watching after easing Dodd-Frank rules

Legislation that waters down the 2010 Dodd-Frank law and was sent to President Donald Trump this week is a mixed bag at best. Some provisions recognize that Congress may have gone too far in some areas in the wake of the Great Recession to place new ...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/24/18
Editorial: Honoring our fallen soldiers on Memorial Day

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Another voice: The chutzpah of these men

A new phase of the #MeToo movement may be upon us. Call it the "not so fast" era: Powerful men who plotted career comebacks mere months after being taken down by accusations of sexual misconduct now face even more alarming claims.Mario Batali, the ce...
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Updated: 05/23/18