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FPL prez: ‘Politics trumped economics’

by Dara Kam | January 13th, 2010

Florida Power & Light Co. President Armando Olivera accused utility reagulators risking customers’ electrical service by slashing Florida Power & Light’s requested $1.2 billion rate increase by at least 90 percent.

“Today, politics trumped economics,” Olivera told reporters as he left the meeting still in progress at about 6:15 to return to South Florida on the corporate jet.

Olivera said the Juno Beach-based utility will immediately cease modernization efforts at its Riviera Beach and Cape Canaveral plants and halt work on a new nuclear plant that would have put 20,000 workers on the job this year.

The commission decided to limit FPL’s profits to 10 percent – far less than the 12.5 percent the company sought. Commissioner Nathan Skop said that FPL’s proposal was based more on a desire to increase cash flow than on substance.

That return on equity could be bad for the state’s largest utility’s 4 million customers, Olivera said.

“It’s conceivable our reliability will be impacted,” he said.

Olivera said the panel’s votes on more than 100 items today – still underway – coupled with a denial of Progress Energy Florida’s $500 million rate hike request Monday “sends a chilling effect on anybody who wants to invest in this state.”

Olivera said it’s too soon to say whether any of the utility’s 10,499 workers will be laid off but that “we’re going to be looking at every aspect of our operation.” He said that information would be revealed to employees before anyone else.

“The most immediate thing is not to spend money we don’t have,” Olivera said.

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11 Responses to “FPL prez: ‘Politics trumped economics’”

  1. Good-No Rate increase! Says:

    Awww,poor baby! Whining as he climbed aboard the private jet. I guess commercial airlines are just for your poor customers.

  2. ozmo Says:

    Amazing comments by FPL President Olivera. He made every possible cheap emotional shot and threat at tax payers. This is a public sanctioned monopoly. These utilities feel they have an entitlement to make endless profits at the expense of the taxpayers. What an arrogant person. He should be fired.

  3. Enough Already! Says:

    “It’s conceivable our reliability will be impacted,”

    It can actually get more unreliable? We already get power surges weekly and lose power for weeks at a time during storms because FPL doesn’t maintain their equipment properly. How much worse can they get? I have lived elsewhere, but have never had less reliable power than FPL provides.

  4. Big Daddy Says:

    Can anyone say BLACKMAIL!!

  5. Very Tired Says:

    No storm fund? Just wait until the next major hurricane. It will not be just a week or two until all the power is restored. If FP&L cannot pay, out of state companies, to come in and help, and I mean pay in cash, it will be a month or more until most people see service restored.
    I find it funny that the State of Florida (Citizens insurance) can charge for a storm fund to pay for future disasters but we expect FP&L to not charge for a storm fund but have the lights back on instantly.

  6. doesn't electricity come from heaven Says:

    Yeah, Ozmo, I guess the truth sounds like a cheap emotional shot if it’s not what you want to hear.

  7. Tweets that mention FPL prez: ‘Politics trumped economics’ | Post on Politics -- Topsy.com Says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by SayfieReview.com, PostOnPolitics.com, Simon, Lauolefiso Stibbie, Willis L. Miller and others. Willis L. Miller said: FPL prez: “Politics trumped economics” http://bit.ly/7wYktg [...]

  8. jt Says:

    Hey #3, it’ll get worse because now if the transformer, main line or cable goes out, or someone from say the water dept. cuts the cable, on a nice mild, sunny, spring day, you’ll be out 3 or 4 days because there won’t be enough crews to repair it. The big wigs will still be around, this will effect the workers in the field who have NOTHING to do with all these negotiations, we go where we’re told & do what we can to get the lights on… and yes, we get a decent wage to do it, but, how much is too much to work on 23, 000 volts??? Do YOU want to do it for 10 bucks an hour??

  9. Enough Already! Says:

    jt

    My power already goes out on nice sunny days and I already get surges regularly for seemingly no reason. Maybe it doesn’t take 3 or 4 days to fix, but it sometimes take 1/2 day. Plus, I have the company that provides the surges trying to sell me surge protection. Gee, I wonder where their incentive is to maintain equipment?

    I have never seen worse electric service anywhere and there is no indication whatsoever that charging me more would solve the problem. Do you really think the money would be used to hire more crews, pay them more, and maintain equipment properly, or would it go for more corporate jets, executive salaries and perks, and to fund new ventures for FPL?

    The company needs to be restructured to remove unnecessary costs and reallocate funds to things that matter, like maintenance. Then they can come back and ask for money, minus the corp jet. If they refuse to become more cost efficient, then everyone suffers until management is replaced with someone who will do it properly.

  10. Evie Says:

    Enough already, jt is right. You are in denial if you think that things will not get worse. Any company cuts will come from the “field” first and more people out of work. Not the “big wigs”. Always the little guy. Ignorance is part of the problem. Everyone wants all the comforts but does not understand what it takes to make it happen each and every day. I for one would not want to work with voltage of that magnitude on any level. Be glad there are people who can. Alot of the ones who complain are those who are from out of state and have nothing better to do but call and complain about every little thing. My power goes off and on during any given day for seemingly no reason and comes back on … big deal. So ya have to reset a clock or be off line ..people have gotten to “soft”. Get tough. Wait til the next hurricane, I will hear all of you crying then.

  11. Charlie Says:

    Since when do I buy my mechanics tools before he does any work on my vehicle?

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