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UPDATE: FPL spent more than $52 million over past four years on corporate jet flights

by 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.

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23 Responses to “UPDATE: FPL spent more than $52 million over past four years on corporate jet flights”

  1. Henry Says:

    No wonder why they wanna increase the rates of electricity. The executives need to fly a bit more in their corporate jets at the expense of the consumer. And I bet that even knowing about the wasteful expenditure, the PSC will allow FPL to get their rate hike.

  2. Tim Says:

    What a crock of BS. They run a power company not a federal government. What need does FPL have that requires them to charter private jets? They can fly commercial just like the rest of us. If our representatives in congress want to be re-elected they’ll consider washing their hands of these morons and their “required” rate hikes.

  3. fran Says:

    I think I’ve just about heard it all. No wonder they want to raise rates. After all, what do they care. It’s beyond ridiculous!

  4. Robbery Says:

    So just cancel their rate increase request.

    GAS prices are down…hurricanes have not happened…they don’t need any jets and make the President live in Juno Beach so he does not have to HELICOPTER in from MIAMI most days!

    THIS IS OUTRAGEUOS! WE NEED A PEACEFUL REVOLT! …it must seem criminal to any persson with common sense.

  5. Its_all_BS Says:

    How about the private physician on site who is available 24/7? The fancy health club on site? All the money they have to donate to their wives’ pet charities? The suites in Vegas? The porshe, bmw, mercedes and land rover company cars?

  6. neighbor Says:

    i live across the street from HQ and know, with absolute certainty, that helicopters are used at least 2x daily (mon thru fri); once in the morning, around 8am and again in the afternoon between 4 and 5 — must be nice to bypass traffic and enjoy a cool helicopter ride everyday

  7. LicensedToSteal Says:

    We have the power to control our future. Send Crist and the rest a message in the next election. I am sure eventually the people of Florida will find someone that is for the them and not for greed.

  8. Baffled Says:

    The article failed to mention the 31 Million FPL just paid for a new jet.These guys belong in federal prison.FPL is paying off everyone except the ratepayers, we get to facilitate the bribes.It’s time for the FBI to clean house,and not just tell these politicos and ceo’s to resign.

  9. FPL SCAMS Says:

    Next/Era Energy is the new name of the former Sunshine Energy Program which supposedly bought solar and wind projects (an FPL Scam),which was 2 guys in Stuart who spent 12.4 Million on advertizing and not one dime went to renewable,green,or solar.The PSC made FPL shut it down but they didn’t make FPL pay back the money.FBI where are you?

  10. jc44 Says:

    Have you thought about hitting them in thier pockets? Everyone flip the big breaker on the outside of your house for just one day. (24 hrs)October 1st 2009.Ouch! Wind farm ideas have been shot down several times in Fla. governments in the past decade. Why? Oh yes,so they can fly and fuel thier jet.Lets do it Oct 1st.

  11. JaRomey Says:

    So much on jets – why can’t they keep streetlight lit!!! Federal highway has lights out for months at a time. The FPL truck pass under them every night yet they cannot fix them.

  12. Ignignokt Says:

    I guess this is what the “other charges” portion of my bill is for ..

  13. freddyboy Says:

    WHAT CAN WE DO? PLEASE WE MUST DO SOMETHING, THINGS ARE OUT OF CONTROL. WE WILL ALL BE BROKE SOON. ACCEPT THE CEO’S.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.AND YOU KNOW WHO.

  14. FLGIRL Says:

    Absolutely ridiculous! No wonder rates are being raised – so the bigwigs can fly hither and fro! What is next????

  15. Robert Says:

    I guess this is the fuel surcharge? Jet fuel must be up.

  16. No Brainer Says:

    Simple.

    Cancel their rate increase request.

    Cut EVERYTHING 40%.

  17. Bob Says:

    Newspapers are going in the can, but this is why we need them. Local TV does not investigate this kind of abuse. When the papers fold, nobody will be telling us this stuff and FPL and the rest of the crooks will get away with it.

  18. Post on Politics » Blog Archive » News about politics and … « Helicopter Flight Says:

    [...] See the original post here: Post on Politics » Blog Archive » News about politics and … [...]

  19. Jeff Says:

    This is disgusting. I cannot believe these guys are the same guys that ran the Sunshine Energy Program. When they took my money and stole it and spent it on advertising, it really infuriated me.

    SCrew FPL. i hope they get smashed by the PSC.

  20. Bob Says:

    You folks sure let the Post gin you all up. $52 million over 4 years = $13 million per year. That’s really not that much to operate a jet. And it’s a drop in the bucket when you have 4.5 million customers.

  21. used Says:

    Explain why the FPL retirees healthcare costs for years now have been paid by raiding the FPL employees pension funds.

    This money shifting back out of future pension funds to now pay the operating expenses of retiree healthcare costs was done to keep investors, keep down rates charged consumers, and/or pay for the UNANTICIPATED SKYROCKETING cost of healthcare.

    Quitter Martinez refused to look into this and so have the Florida state legislators. The issue keeps ping ponging around because raiding the pension funds are justified by creative accounting with federal approval. The same type of accounting that did not anticipate the skyrocketing healthcare costs and Wall Street near collapse. If the Palm Beach Post can find out Martinez flew on the jets why cannot we be told about the pension funds shifted to pay retirees healthcare costs!

  22. roger Says:

    bob is right. this expense is more about headlines than actually meaning anything in the billion dollar rate case. regardless or the corporate jet, fpl’s bill is still the lowest in the state. seems like some of the people commenting here forget that.

  23. FPL exec flew on corporate jet to ask panel for $1.3 billion | Post on Politics Says:

    [...] Pimentel spent the day being grilled about the Juno Beach-based company’s request and about its corporate jets. Commissioners and opponents of the rate hike demanded answers about why ratepayers should foot the bill for FPL executives, their wives and their guests to jetset to places like Martha’s Vineyard, Las V…. [...]

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