On September 7 in Delray Beach, Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink gave a speech on energy. In it, she talked about what many have said should be the case for years; that is, that Florida can become a leader in producing new and renewable energy sources:
"Florida has the opportunity to be a national and global leader in the development and production of new and renewable energy -- but we have to start focusing on this innovative industry right now," said Sink. "As governor, I will champion the exciting innovations already going on around our state -- in solar, biofuel, biomass, and other innovative sectors -- and bring the kind of policies and leadership needed to make new and renewable energy a true force here in Florida. With our state's unique combination of natural resources, cutting-edge R&D capabilities, and skilled work force, it is clear that new and renewable energy should be a key part of remaking Florida's economy for the long-term."
Not surprisingly, the Rick Scott camp panned her address. Joe Kildea, a Scott campaign spokesperson, said this:
"Just like the stimulus, Alex Sink is making a false claim that her leftist energy proposals will create jobs. From raising taxes on utilities to dependence on federal spending, when the rubber meets the road, Alex Sink is right in line with her fellow Obama liberals and promoting policies that will only cost more jobs. As governor, Rick will work toward energy independence from foreign oil with the expansion of nuclear power, the use of alternative fuels and ensure that we can drill for oil safely.
So what's Rick Scott's solution? Build more nuclear power plants, as well invest in alternative fuels and drill offshore in an "environmentally sound way."
So what's going on with the state utilities and nuclear power? Well, Progress Energy plans on building a reactor at Levy County, though that's been delayed until federal licensing is complete. Florida Power & Light also is intent on building two reactors at Turkey Point.
As you may well know, Florida law allows these utilities to "recover" costs before they're built - meaning they can charge customers for them in advance of actually producing energy.
In July, Progress responded to the Office of Public Counsel in an interrogatory about their proposed nuclear plant, and in a chart indicated that basic rates on customers per 1,000 KWH showed a charge of $7.98 for every customer beginning in 2013, and then escalating to over $49 by 2020. The literal rate increase could go up to $68 in 2023, though Progress estimates a savings of over $26 that year, bringing that total to $45.
Is Rick Scott cool with that?
Conservatives continue to lambaste Democrats on "cap-n-trade," even though nothing like that has come close to passing in the Senate and appears unlikely anytime to anytime soon. One of the criticisms of that form of holding down greenhouse gas emissions is that it will cost homeowners and renters. And it would. But so does building nuclear power plants, in Florida anyway.
(We don't have access to a link to show you the data listed above yet).