Who will pay my storm prep bill?
Duke Energy wants to hike everyone’s bills due to preparation costs for a storm that never hit Florida?
Who do I contact about reimbursing me for all the preparation I’ve done since all those storms came through in 2004? I purchased a generator in 2004 that I didn’t have to use until 2017. Every year I purchase food, water and other necessities in preparation for storms that (mostly, thank goodness) don’t come. Heck, our homeowners insurance is higher here because we’re prone to storms, and I don’t get a refund when we get nothing in a season.
Why aren’t those preparation costs paid by Duke just part of the cost of doing business in Florida? Yes, they have to mobilize forces in case a storm comes — it’s in the company’s best interest to have people ready to fix things if they break. But that’s because it’s their business, and not fixing things affects their bottom line (and customer satisfaction). It’s in my best interest to prepare my home for storms before they come and have supplies on hand. But there’s nobody bailing me out when the storms don’t come. It’s particularly annoying because I can’t choose a different power company if I’m unhappy with this new charge. I’ll have to pay this even though I believe it’s unfair to customers.
Heather Kosinski, Largo
Cash wins in the end
A big year for cannabis | Jan. 6
A front page article was about a new cash crop for marijuana growers in Florida. About a newly appointed “cannabis czar.” About Miami-Dade no longer prosecuting minor marijuana cases, and about legalizing recreational marijuana. On another page was an article about people repeatedly ending up in jail. The main reasons were childhood trauma, substance abuse and mental health problems.
Substance abuse is, of course, alcohol and drugs. I’m sure the tax dollars generated from legalizing all forms of marijuana sales will win out in the end.
G. James Mohr, Palm Harbor
Reduce use of carbon fuels
University of South Florida instructor Murad Antia’s excellent column highlights the need for a national policy to constrain climate change. We cannot control daily weather fluctuations, but it is possible to restrain the main causes of rising temperatures, sea levels and larger more powerful storms — through reducing the use of carbon fuels, for example. Their use releases carbon dioxide, which is the primary cause of the negative climate effects we see.
The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, pending in Congress, is a bipartisan national policy which would effectively reduce carbon dioxide emissions. It is good for our health, good for the economy and good for the environment. It is better than paying ever higher insurance rates and taxes to mitigate the effects of climate change after a disaster — without ever addressing the principal cause.
Dan Neal, Largo
Worried about the future
Iran ditches nuclear limits | Jan. 6
President Donald Trump assassinates an Iranian general — an act of war without congressional approval. Then Iran states that they will no longer follow limits on enriching uranium. I fear this will not end well.
Dave Cutler, Tampa