In what may be the most odious, disgusting and straight-up bullheaded political blunder in last quarter century, Florida's Public Service Commission, Governor Rick Scott, and the Florida General Assembly managed to drive a cooling-tower sized corncob up the collective rumps of Florida electricity customers. Allowing then-Progress Energy Florida to hit customers with a surcharge to "pre-pay" a proposed nuclear plant in Levy County was the first step. Next was a series of rate hikes granted to Progress, and later the combined Duke Energy, which saw customer bills jump by almost 10 percent over a five year span during a time when citizens were being pinched by the Great Recession. The final blow came when the General Assembly teamed up with the Public Service Commission in an insidious move allowing the newly merged Duke Energy, which had just announced its intention to scrap the Levy County plant, to keep the monies generated from the fees collected to pay for said plant. Shortly after, Duke also announced its intention to shutter the foundering Crystal River nuclear plant, damaged by a botched repair authorized by Progress Energy's outgoing management team. As of this moment, the state has not announced any plants to call Duke Energy executives to account for these issues.
BLUNDER BLAME: Governor Rick Scott - the governor appoints the Public Service Commission's members, and Scott made it abundantly clear that the pro-consumer members are persona non-grata. The current PSC is a nationally-recognized joke of a regulatory body among lobbyists, which is why Florida is regarded as a safe-haven for energy companies to do as they please.