Florida Public Service Commission Has No Integrity

The Office of Public Counsel was side-stepped by the Florida Public Service Commission when the Commission approved an illegal settlement with the Florida Power & Light Company allowing the utility to "self-regulate".
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* Florida - US

Jan. 16, 2013 - PRLog -- January 17th, 2013

The recent decision by the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) has placed public trust and confidence and the integrity of the agency in the "toilet". No longer can the citizens of Florida have any measure of trust or confidence in the agency to be an advocate for the Public Interest regarding electric rates established for the Florida Power & Light Company (FPL). The FPSC issued an Order on January 14th, 2013 granting FPL the ability to self-regulate over the next 4-years and to actually increase rates without any citizen representation by the Office of Public Counsel. The revised settlement agreement which the Commission approved is outrageous to say the least.

First, the settlement is "illegal" as a matter of law because the Commission does not have requisite jurisdiction and authority to consider the settlement for several reasons: (1) the Office of Public Counsel (OPC) opposed the settlement and OPC represents all FPL ratepayers - and is a vital and required signatory to any FPL settlement; (2) the settlement violates the "due-process" rights of citizens who would otherwise intervene where FPL seeks recovery for power plants which have not yet been built or are not yet operational; (3) the Commission placed the settlement hearing on a rush basis and denied intervenors from fully participating in the discovery process; and (4) the settlement allows FPL to create a "slush-fund" and access depreciation and dismantlement funds without proper oversight for the sole purpose of raising FPL's return on equity (profits for its shareholders).

Thomas Saporito filed a motion for reconsideration on January 14th, 2013 asking the Commission to reconsider its decision. According to Saporito: "I am gravely concerned about the Commission's approval of the revised settlement with FPL where the citizens had no representation by the Office of Public Counsel. I have raised serious mis-conduct issues about the entire Commission with Steven J. Stolting, Inspector General - Office of Inspector General (850) 413-6071 - and I have asked his office to conduct an investigation. However, depending on the Commission's decision on my recent motion to reconsider - I fully intend to challenge the Commission's recent Order - in filing an appeal with the Florida Supreme Court - and to file with agencies of the federal government - and perhaps a civil legal action." -- Thomas Saporito --

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Tags:Fpl, Commission, Saporito, Utility, Electric
Industry:Business, Legal
Location:Florida - United States
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