UPDATE: FPL spent more than $52 million over past four years on corporate jet flightsby Dara Kam | September 16th, 2009
Florida Power & Light Co. officials tried but failed to keep secret the names of some of those who flew on their corporate jets during a rate hike hearing today.
Public Service Commission Chairman Matthew Carter ordered the Juno Beach-based utility to provide the names of everyone who flew on its private jet over the objections of FPL lawyer John Butler.
The 1,500-page volume of flight logs going back to 2006 revealed that the company spent about $52 million on operation and maintenance for corporate jet flights over the past four years. That includes what they project they will spend for the next three months.
At least two GOP Florida elected officials traveled with FPL executives on the jet, the flight logs showed.
U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez, who retired last month, and U.S. Rep. Connie Mack, flew on the plane on separate occasions in 2006.
Taking away charges the company made to its affiliates for the jet travel, FPL still spent between $6.7 million and $9.5 million a year over the past four years, the records show.
FPL officials say the planes are necessary for the corporation to conduct its business.
“All the redacted names were those of NextEra/FPL Energy employees whose travel costs were paid for by their company, not Florida Power & Light,” FPL spokesman Mark Bubriski said in an e-mailed statement.
“NextEra/FPL Energy flight data, in addition to not being paid by FPL, is competitively sensitive, and that is why it is redacted. The only information that has been redacted is: 1) phone numbers, for privacy reasons; and 2) competitively sensitive NextEra/FPL Energy-specific information that does not relate to the cost of the travel,” Bubriski wrote.
Aircraft play a vital role in the safe and reliable operations of our 35-county electric infrastructure. We adhere to policies and procedures that prevent unnecessary use and keep costs as low as possible.