FPL rate hearing adjourns after 13 hoursby Dara Kam | September 17th, 2009
Florida Power & Light Co.’s proposed $1.3 billion rate hike hearing fizzled out at 10:55 p.m. this evening after a 13-hour marathon of testimony from FPL CFO Armando Pimentel.
Public Service Commissioner Nancy Argenziano, attending the hearing by telephone, spoke up before the panel was set to take a five-minute respite.
“I really think this is wrong. 10:44 at night is not a good time for people” to be asking important questions,” Argenziano said. “I’m sure everybody there wants to go home.
That’s just not the way to do this. I have strong feelings that we may have pushed it too far or too late.”
PSC Chairman Matthew Carter, who’s had two back surgeries earlier this year, was in such pain late this evening that he went home after being helped out of the room by an aide.
Commissioner Lisa Edgar had already vacated hours earlier.
That left Commissioners Katrina McMurrian, acting as chairwoman, Nathan Skop and Argenziano to decide.
Argenziano won out in the end over FPL’s objections. Pimentel wanted to finish up because he did not want to have to return for the next round of hearings in late October, his lawyer said.
“We all want to get done. We’ve been at it more than 13 hours today,” said Sheffel Wright, an attorney representing the Florida Retail Federation that opposes the hike.
“I tend to agree with a lot of what’s been said. I think we are at that stage and we are getting a little overly tired and anxious,” McMurrian said, stumbling over her words. “I can’t even string a sentence together.”
She adjourned the meeting. The panel will reconvene on Oct. 21.