Letters: Advanced recovery bill protects consumers

Published May 10, 2013

Why can't everybody charge fees in advance? | May 5

Bill protects consumers

Thank you for the chance to provide some clarity to Robert Trigaux's column ("Why can't everybody charge fees in advance?") of last Sunday. While I agree with much of the column, I do object to my quote being used out of context. I appreciate the chance to respond and place the quote in context to the new legislation that was passed, not the previous statute which we were trying to change.

Your article only refers to Senate Bill 1472 as "another advanced recovery bill" and does not explain what it accomplishes. Just as a friendly reminder, your editorial board, AARP, SACE and many other consumer groups supported SB 1472.

Senate Bill 1472 places stringent regulations on the advanced nuclear cost recovery process, and therefore protects consumers. This bill, as passed by the Florida Legislature, places restrictions on the current open-ended process by providing both clearly defined benchmarks and oversight for advanced nuclear cost recovery. This legislation requires the Public Service Commission to review each project going forward, and authorizes the PSC to deny recovery costs if it finds the plant is no longer feasible and projected costs of constructing it are not reasonable. Furthermore, SB 1472 lowers the AFUDC (allowance for funds used during construction) rate, which is estimated by the PSC to save the ratepayers close to $1.5 billion dollars on the existing projects.

The Florida Senate went a step further to protect consumers by including a refund mechanism. Unfortunately, this provision was removed by the Florida House. Notwithstanding, SB 1472 places desperately needed regulations and guidelines that bring transparency and accountability to the energy projects of our state while protecting the consumer and still meeting their energy needs. It is my desire that the Tampa Bay Times and residents of our community join me and our Tampa Bay senators — Sen. Jack Latvala, Sen. Wilton Simpson and Sen. Jeff Brandes — and urge Gov. Scott to sign this bill and continue to support future legislation that puts our consumers first.

Florida Sen. John Legg, R-Lutz

Hybrid showdown Ford versus Toyota May 4

C-MAX doesn't work like Volt

This article could mislead readers about the capabilities of the C-MAX Energi. It stated that after running about 20 miles on the battery, the car "switches over to a gas engine."

This may lead the reader to assume that the C-MAX Energi works like the Chevy Volt, which uses a gas engine to charge the traction battery for the electric motor, which is used to power the wheels. However, the C-MAX Energi reverts to a standard hybrid mode, just like the Toyota Prius Plug-in. It runs as a parallel hybrid, which uses both the electric motor and the gas engine to power the vehicle. The Volt is a series hybrid, which uses the electric motor to power the vehicle primarily.

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James M. Loss, Trinity