ST. PETERSBURG — Tampa Bay residents should see their electric rates drop in 2016 because of the falling price of the natural gas generating most of the state's power.
On Tuesday, Duke Energy Florida and Tampa Electric filed their electric rate proposals for 2016 with state regulators who must approve them after a hearing in November. Since the rate proposals provide cuts for customers, approval is expected....
Orbital ATK, a Virginia-based aerospace and defense firm, plans to close a Clearwater manufacturing facility by spring, a decision based at least in part on lessened U.S. defense spending, the company said Monday.
The closure of the facility at 13133 34th St. N is expected to be completed by April and could result in up to 99 job losses, the company said. Employees were notified in July.
The facility makes missile- and laser-warning systems for aircraft used by the U.S. military and other nations around the world. Orbital's Clearwater site also makes testing equipment for a variety of weapons systems....
It was a mechanical failure of an Allegiant Air jet at one of a flight's most-vulnerable moments — takeoff.
Allegiant Flight 436 bound for Illinois was in its takeoff roll on Aug. 17 in Las Vegas traveling 138 mph when the nose of the aircraft prematurely rose from the runway. The pilot pushed the yoke, or control column, fully forward, yet the nose continued to rise.
But the pilot apparently cut back on power to safely abort the takeoff and return to the gate. No injuries were reported....
Florida's investor-owned electric utilities have lost $6.1 billion in bad bets on the cost of fuel since 2002, a river of cash deep enough to build at least three natural gas power plants from scratch.
But Florida regulators Thursday unanimously rejected a bid by the office representing customers before the Public Service Commission to have the agency make those bad bets a central issue in proceedings that help determine what Floridians pay for their electricity....
If you consistently lost money at a Las Vegas casino year after year, some would argue you have a gambling problem and ought to stay away from the poker table.
In the world of Florida's electric utilities, losses totaling billions of dollars in bets on the future price of fuel result in a far different conclusion.
The utilities say the practice, which led to $6.1 billion in losses paid for by their customers, is a good thing for ratepayers and should continue....
Florida Power & Light belittled critics who opposed its precedent-setting plan to charge customers for a $191 million natural gas investment in Oklahoma.
"Flawed assumptions, contradictions and even invented facts pervade their arguments," FPL told state regulators on Dec. 12.
Turns out the flawed assumptions might be FPL's own.
The utility's prediction that the project would be a big money-saver took a body blow this month as FPL filed a report with state regulators forecasting $5.8 million in 2015 losses for its customers. Millions of dollars in projected first-year savings have vanished, the Aug. 14 report shows....
The Federal Aviation Administration said Friday it is reviewing whether Allegiant Air failed to timely file safety reports detailing mechanical difficulties causing two emergency landings at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport this summer.
The airline filed the "Service Difficulty Reports" about the June 17 and July 3 emergency landings Tuesday. That came after the Tampa Bay Times repeatedly asked the FAA and Allegiant to either provide the reports or explain why they were missing....
An Allegiant Air flight ran dangerously low on fuel last week as it circled an airport in North Dakota that was actually closed so the Navy's Blue Angels could practice for a forthcoming air show.
The pilot told the tower on Thursday that he didn't have enough fuel to make it to a back-up airport, so he was forced to declare an emergency to clear airspace for a landing at Fargo's Hector International Airport, according to a recording of air traffic between the pilot and tower available on the website LiveATC.net....
Floridians can expect higher electric rates, Florida utilities warn, if Wal-Mart and big business win regulatory approval on something that boils down to a simple argument.
Namely, big business knows best how to spend its money on energy efficiency, not the utilities.
A highly technical but consequential regulatory battle opened last week at a hearing by the Florida Public Service Commission that once again puts energy efficiency on the front burner. Wal-Mart and others want the PSC to allow big business to opt out of mandatory payments for utility energy-efficiency programs they don't use if they already invest in energy conservation on their own....
TAMPA — Tod Leiweke said that hockey was his first love when Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik lured him away from the NFL's Seattle Seahawks in 2010 to come rebuild the bay area's failing hockey franchise as its new CEO.
Now pro football has wooed Leiweke back.
The Lightning CEO resigned Friday to take on one of the top jobs in the National Football League: chief operating officer, a position last held by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell himself in 2006....
As protesters in 30 cities this week marked the third anniversary of the last increase of the federal minimum wage, St. Petersburg-based C1 Bank confirmed Thursday that it is hiking its minimum "living wage" from $14 to $15 per hour starting Oct. 1.
That's more than double the federal minimum wage of $7.25, and far higher than Florida's $8.05.
The community bank with 31 Florida branches, one of the fastest-growing banks in the nation with $1.6 billion in assets, first established a living wage in April. That generated national publicity for C1 and helped focus attention on low teller pay in an industry that pays top executives multimillion-dollar bonuses and salaries....
TAMPA — A Floridian who spends a miserly $100 a month on electricity is essentially treated the same as a mega-corporation whose utility bill is $1 million when it comes to the cost of energy efficiency.
They both pay a proportional share of the cost of their utility's energy-conservation programs.
But the Florida Public Service Commission is scheduled to open a hearing today on a proposal by Walmart and a group of big commercial energy users seeking to opt out of mandatory payments to fund conservation programs offered by the state's investor-owned utilities....
TAMPA — The parent of the Tampa Electric Co. and Peoples Gas said Thursday that it is exploring a potential sale, an announcement that provided an immediate boost to the company's stock.
A sale of TECO Energy would affect its 700,000 customers who are mostly in Hillsborough and Polk counties, in addition to 350,000 Peoples Gas Systems customers throughout Tampa Bay and Florida.
TECO released a terse statement late in the afternoon confirming it is considering a sale, a response to a report about a potential sale by the news website, SparkSpread....
Malfunctioning navigational equipment at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport is forcing many aircraft to fly over neighborhoods north of the airport rather than Old Tampa Bay, and airport officials said Wednesday the timing of a fix isn't known.
Airport director Thomas Jewsbury said at a meeting of the airport's noise-abatement task force that a navigational aid used by pilots and maintained by the Federal Aviation Administration was taken off line in late March because of technical problems....
Problems continue for Allegiant as airline reports third emergency landing in a month at St. Pete-Clearwater07/04/15Airlines
For the third time in a month, an Allegiant Air flight has been forced to make an emergency landing at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport.
But this time, the airline confirmed, passengers didn't know.
Allegiant Flight 977 left Asheville, N.C., on Friday, bound for Punta Gorda, but was forced to divert to St. Pete-Clearwater because of bad weather, the airline said.
But before the MD-83 aircraft landed, pilots declared an emergency after an "indicator light" pointed to a possible "maintenance issue" on the aircraft, Allegiant said Saturday....