Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Enter ... Christine Todd Whitman, touting nuclear energy in the shadow of Turkey Point

As if on cue, no sooner has Gov. Charlie Christ announced to the legislature in Tallahassee and all Floridians that he wants to include nuclear energy in his "diversified" portfolio of clean energy for the state, than we are so generously treated to a visit by former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman, in South Florida to speak on the "the benefits of nuclear energy, its impact on air quality, and the economy."

All this sponsored by the School of Computer and Engineering Technologies at Miami-Dade College's Homestead Campus, just a radioactive stone's throw from the Turkey Point power plant, with its oil/gas-fired generators 1 & 2, nuclear reactors 2 & 4, gas-fired generator 5 ... and soon to be additional nuclear reactors 6 & 7, if FPL has its merry way with the Florida Public Service Commission and the general public, as appears may be the case.

A former Nixon administration aide who served under Donald Rumsfeld before going on to become president of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and later governor of the state, Todd Whitman was named by George W. Bush as his first Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, a post from which she resigned in 2003.

She now heads the eponymous lobbying firm of Whitman Strategy Group, officially "a government consulting firm specializing in energy and environmental projects."

A moderate Republican like Gov. Crist, CTW's appearance to speak on the environmental benefits of nuclear power comes just as FPL is about to initiate a base rate proceeding with the Public Service Commission in which it expects to request nearly a billion dollar base rate hike in 2010 for the express purpose of ... you guessed it, getting the public to pay for the as yet-unbuilt Turkey Point 6 & 7 reactors!

Such timing! The lobbyists are cranking it up and the FPL PR campaign is now in full swing ...

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