Where are those stimulus funds when you really need them? 

Florida Power and Light (FPL) recently announced that it was halting work on $10 billion worth of power generation projects, including two new nuclear reactors planned for its Turkey Point nuclear power station. The utility’s decision came after the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) denied its request for a $1.27 billion rate hike to finance the expansion, allowing FPL only a “miniscule” $75.5 million increase – or 6 percent of the amount requested.

Last October, embattled Gov. Charlie Crist, who is facing a tough primary challenge, ousted two PSC members – including the chairman appointed by former Gov. Jeb Bush - after they were accused of being too cozy with the utilities they regulate.

"The reality is that FPL is going to have to make due in these difficult economic times," said commissioner Nathan Skop, who revealed last year that a former PSC lobbyist attended a Kentucky Derby party at the home of a FPL executive in Palm Beach.

Anti-nuclear activists cheered the decision, predicting that it will chill attempts to build the next generation of nuclear reactors, which do not emit greenhouse gases.

"The only way that nuclear plants can be built in the U.S. is if government officials behave as if they were from Belarus or China," said David Kraft, director of the Chicago-based Nuclear Energy Information Service, a nuclear power watchdog group.

But if the U.S. doesn’t ramp up power production now to meet projected demand, Americans may wake up one day to find their country owned by China – and with a Belarussian standard of living.

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Staff Report

Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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