The Wire

Rick Scott: Good for Special Interests, Bad for Florida

Last week, Rick Scott hastily approved Florida Power & Light (FPL)’s bid to build two new nuclear plants in South Florida. That means massive new transmission towers and power lines, which, as described by CBS Miami, “are not at all typical. Most of the 88 miles of poles would rise the equivalent of ten to fifteen stories high with the girth of a big oak tree.”

Needless to say, many residents from the affected area were outraged, claiming that in addition to the aesthetic nightmare, this will damage property values and the environment. But per usual, Rick Scott was more concerned with special interests than his constituents. The Miami Herald reported that FPL has given “nearly $3 million to the campaigns of the governor, the Cabinet and the Republican Party of Florida.”

Scott has taken a beating in the local press. See for yourself in American Bridge’s new video above.

BACKGROUND

Scott Gave Florida Power And Light Approval To Build Two Nuclear Power Plants And 88 Miles Of Transmission Lines. According to the Miami Herald, “After a last minute settlement removed the City of Coral Gables from the communities fighting Florida Power & Light, Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet gave the company everything it asked for Tuesday and granted it permission to build two nuclear generators and 88 miles of transmission lines in Miami Dade County.” [Miami Herald, 5/13/14]

  • Local Communities Planned To Sue State To Stop Project. According to the Miami Herald, “It was a victory for the state’s largest utility, but it won’t be the last fight. Local governments who have challenged the placement of the 80-150 foot transmission towers are now preparing to sue the state. ‘We’ll continue to fight it and challenge this in district court in Miami,’’ said Miami City Attorney Victoria Méndez after the meeting. ‘This entire process has been so one-sided in favor of FPL that we look forward to getting this into the court system where justice will be served.’” [Miami Herald, 5/13/14]

Critics Charged That FPL Could Use Nuclear Cost Recovery Fee To Build Lines And Then Abandon Plans To Build Nuclear Plant. According to the Miami Herald, “But under state law, there is nothing that bars FPL from seeking approval from the Public Service Commission to charge customers under the nuclear cost recovery fee to build the power lines even before its engineering plans and safety designs get approval from the federal NRC. Critics say the company can build the transmission lines and use them to transmit power generated by its natural gas plants and later abandon plans to build the nuclear plants, as many utility companies around the nation have done.” [Miami Herald, 5/13/14]

Since 2010 FPL Had Contributed $3 Million To Scott, Florida Cabinet And State Republican Party. According to the Miami Herald, “Since 2010, FPL has contributed nearly $3 million to the campaigns of the governor, the Cabinet and the Florida Republican Party. In the last 18 months, FPL has contributed $550,000 to Scott’s campaign alone and the RPOF has sent more than $500,000 of the money it has collected to each of their campaigns, making impossible to trace how much came from FPL.” [Miami Herald, 5/13/14]