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Utility reg chairman: “Shenanigans” won’t distract me

by Dara Kam | September 16th, 2009

The more nearly $2 billion hanging in the balance of two utility rate hearings is contributing to the cloud of suspicion engulfing the regulatory panel that will rule on the cases, Public Service Commission Chairman Matthew Carter said today.

Before hearing on Florida Power & Light Co.’s requested $1.3 billion rate hike resumed after lunch, Carter offered the following statement on the goings-on.

“I think it’s no accident that all these shenanigans and sideshows are happening because we have these two rate cases,” Carter told The Palm Beach Post.

The panel is also considering a $500 million rate increase proposed by Progress Energy Florida.

“Some groups benefit if the rate case is denied. Some group benefits if the rate case is granted. But we’re going to make a decision. As for me, I will not be intimidated,” Carter added.

Carter, appointed to the panel by Gov. Jeb Bush in 2006, is up for reappointment before his term ends Jan. 1.

Gov. Charlie Crist said Monday that he may not reappoint the two commissioners now on the panel – Carter and Commissioner Katrina McMurrian – if they vote for the rate increase.

The commissioners will decide the case “based on the facts and the law and the merits,” Carter said.

He said that he’s attended the public hearings throughout the state and “I’ve listened to the people. I’ve heard the people.”

Carter, a lawyer who is also an ordained minister, assured that he would uphold the law.

“I swore an oath on the Bible that I will do my duty. I will follow the law. I have not done anything other than that. I won’t do anything other than that,” he said.

“When all the facts are in…then I’ll make my decision.
Notwithstanding who says what on this side and who says what on that side,” the chairman finished.

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One Response to “Utility reg chairman: “Shenanigans” won’t distract me”

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