Monday, March 9, 2009

Miami Herald, WWF get it wrong on FPL and the "renewable portfolio standard"

Hat tip to gimleteye over at Eye on Miami for Sunday's post taking to task the Miami Herald's editorial support of the "'renewable portfolio standard'' that is up for consideration by the legislature at Gov. Charlie Crist's behest.

Titled "FPL and environmentalists: one hand giveth, the other hand taketh away...," the post rightfully points out the shortsightedness of the Herald's editorial, "Solar power vital to state's future," for its having failed to note that FPL has lobbied hard to include "nuclear energy" in Gov. Crist's so-called "renewable portfolio standard."

Stop FPL has posted previously here and here on FPL's efforts to have nuclear power redefined as "renewable" energy and to have it included in the State's diversified energy portfolio.

But, in all the media hooplah over FPL's groundbreaking last week over a solar plant in De Soto County -- at a mere 25-megawatts, representing a miniscule portion of FPL's overall electric power output for the State of Florida -- the FPL PR machine showed its prowess, managing to arrange to have some on-side environmentalists like the World Wildlife Fund's Debbie Harrison pronounce in the energy giant's favor and to use that to obfuscate the real story for reporters and editorial writers around the State.

As gimleteye so rightfully pointed out, such environmentalist support for FPL's meager solar initiatives belies the fact that:
FPL is hell-bent on destroying Biscayne National Park: not by direct impacts from nuclear power, but from rock mining nearby to get fill for its massive footprint and from water supply for the new cooling units that put the entire region at risk. The company is spending vast amounts of ratepayer dollars to push its plan through local and state permitting processes; witholding key aspects of the plan until they can be rushed through at the last moment, according to predetermined outcomes.

By including nuclear in the state requirements for what qualifies to be "renewable", FPL can minimize the effort to get consumers to use solar. Surely, Ms. Harrision knows that FPL and its brethren continue to resist fundamental reform of the regulatory structure in Florida. By centralizing solar through massive PV arrays it owns, FPL can control its business model. When consumers use solar on their rooftops or in their backyards, the control FPL can exert is massively fragmented.
Couldn't have said it better ourselves!

Eye on Miami is to be commended for pointing this out and the Miami Herald should be ashamed for having overlooked the obvious contradictions in the Governor's "renewable energy portfolio."

It's one thing to have FPL press releases disseminated and reposted across the Web, it's quite another for the editorial writers at the formerly august Miami Herald to swallow the FPL PR machine's pronouncements without bothering to do real investigation into the story behind the story ...

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