Monday, November 2, 2009

Nov. 2: Not Hard To ID FPL's Problems

By Sylvia Gurinsky

The latest odd couple features former Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth, the state's resident troubleshooter, as an advisor to Florida Power & Light.

Basically, Butterworth is advising FPL on what went wrong in the company's quest for a large rate increase.

It should be an easy job for Butterworth, because the rest of FPL's customers already know what the problems are.

Start in 2005 with Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma, and the fact that many FPL customers had their power out for a month or more - especially after Wilma, which hit Oct. 24. Floridians have never forgotten that.

Move forward to 2008 and the official collapse of the economy, which had already been creaking and groaning in the Sunshine State since 2005. How does a company justify a 30 percent rate increase to people who are being thrown out of work and losing their life's savings?

Add recent news reports about FPL officials living it up in luxury and having too-cozy relationships with members of the Public Service Commission that's supposed to regulate them.

The message already exists. Hopefully, coming from Butterworth, FPL's leaders will finally comprehend it.

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