Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Gov. Crist wants diversified energy supply, FPL continues to push nuclear

The FPL PR campaign against choosing renewables that actually offset carbon emissions and in favor of gas-fired and nuclear-powered generation doesn't miss a beat.

While Florida Gov. Charlie Crist was telling the State legislature in Tallahassee that his "administration is committed to a diverse energy supply that balances solar, wind and nuclear," FPL spokespersons were continuing to push their two-part messaging built around zero-carbon emissions to the media.

First, goes the messaging, if John and Jane Q. Public want cleaner energy, then they should be be prepared to pay higher prices for it on their monthly electricity. Witness a perfect example of the messaging as picked up and localized in today's story in Florida Today titled "Want cleaner energy? Get ready to pay."

That's customers who should pay ... with no shouldering of the cost or responsibility for clean energy accruing to "good corporate citizen" FPL's investors, who in February saw their shareholder dividend payouts increased by 6 percent to 47.25 cents per share hot on the heels of FPL Group's announced 4Q-08 increase in profits of 82%, even as fuel costs to the energy giant were falling like a rock.

Second part of the messaging? Note FPL spokesperson Randy Clerihue's comment to Florida Today:
... that 70 percent of FPL's fuel for powering electricity-producing turbines comes from natural gas and nuclear power. Natural gas has about half the carbon emissions of coal while nuclear power has zero carbon emissions.
The clear subtext of that statement is that nuclear is clean and green, with zero carbon emissions, so if Floridans want clean energy and zero carbon emissions, they should be prepared to put up with FPL's ongoing expansion of nuclear energy.

Or, if you have a problem with nuclear -- maybe that pesky little detail, that nobody has yet figured out how to safely dispose of the radioactive waste generated by nuclear plants that tends to hang around the planet for millions of years -- then why not try gas-fired plants as the next best thing! Just witness the wonders that the West County Energy Center is doing for the environment in Barley Barber swamp ...

No emphasis on conversion to true renewables like solar here in the Sunshine State, no real dedication to harnessing the winds that blow almost constantly across the Florida peninsula.

Just take what's on offer from FPL and the PSC and the politicians whose campaign coffers are filled with FPL-linked donations funnelled by the legions of FPL lobbyists deployed around the state. True competition will be blocked, communities from South Daytona to Biscayne Park who want to renegotiate their FPL franchise agreements in order to switch to providers who can help them convert to alternative renewable energy will be bullied ....

Oh, and by the way, you'll also have to pay for it -- and in 2010, FPL customers will have to pay for two new reactors at Turkey Point to the tune of nearly a billion dollars more -- whether you like it or not!

So, thanks Guv ... glad you're committed to energy diversity, but we'd like to see a bit more real "balance" in the equation, so that solar- and wind-generated power can come close to the nuclear-powered and coal-fired electricity that FPL keeps sending us through the grid and that required to subsidize, like it or not!

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