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Rep. Rehwinkel Vasilinda Joins Court Fight Against Nuclear Cost Recovery

State Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, D-Tallahassee, went to court Tuesday to challenge the constitutionality of Florida's advanced nuclear cost recovery program.

In a motion filed at the state Supreme Court in the case of Southern Alliance for Clean Energy v. Florida Public Service Commission, Florida Power and Light Company, and Progress Energy Florida (Case No. SC11-2465), Rehwinkel Vasilinda called the existing law "bad public policy and bad law."

The representative said Florida Statute 366.93 grants the Public Service Commission "overly broad discretion" to authorize utilities to bill customers tens of millions of dollars in advance for costs related to planned nuclear plants that may or may not be built.

Rehwinkel Vasilinda argues that the Legislature left the process of advanced nuclear cost recovery "devoid of parameters."

"The statute contains no cap on recoverable costs and no timeline for construction progress. It contains no delineation of whether the companies must intend to build nuclear power plants or just desire the option to build them. But the most egregious part of the statute is that it is entirely open-ended, not even attempting to sufficiently define the policy parameters or goals," she wrote.

"The result has been a blank check for utility companies, costing ratepayers tens of millions of dollars every year."

Rehwinkel Vasilinda has refiled HB 4031 to repeal advanced nuclear cost recovery.

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