Florida feels green chokehold on energy

August 18, 2009

Florida Power & Light is seeking permission from the state Public Service Commission to raise electricity rates by 30% starting on Jan. 1, reports Greenwire. FPL says that the existing system is maxed out and demand is growing.

So why is the system maxed out? It may have something to do with green activist groups who are blocking electricity production in Florida.

The Everglades chapter of Earth First! issued a media release on February 19, 2008, that stated in part:

Early Monday morning dozens of concerned community members from Palm Beach County and all over the nation put their bodies on the line to halt construction of FPL’s West County Energy Center (WCEC), demanding energy efficiency, truly clean, renewable energy and a moratorium on development in south Florida. Everglades Earth First! blocked the main entrance to the WCEC site, a proposed massive 3800 MW gas-fired power plant that would emit 12 million tons of CO2, a leading greenhouse gas, every year. The plant is currently under construction despite ongoing legal challenges to the plant’s needed permits and certification, which have been spearheaded by the local Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition.

A dozen activists locked themselves together through metal pipes as 200 supporters rallied around them. The blockade stopped work on the construction site for six hours before a total of 27 people were arrested.

This confrontational action was taken to protect the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge which sits 1000 ft from the power plant site and to protect the larger Everglades system. Restoration would be undermined by new development that the power plant is expected to encourage in the area. The civil disobedience action also aims to protect the entire planet from the destructive effects of climate change caused by power plant emissions.

We just don’t need this plant,” said Lynne Purvis, an activist with Everglades Earth First! who was born and raised in the Loxahatchee area. “I’m not willing to threaten the integrity of the Loxahatchee, one of the last large, intact pieces of northern Everglades, so that people can fuel their greedy energy desires.”

Purvis says that the Everglades Earth First! group intends to continue a sustained campaign of direct action against this power plant and its adjacent gas pipeline.

The green/energy issue will take on heightened importance now that Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is launching a campaign to replace retiring Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL). Crist has supported climate change legislation in the past. But the greens are now concerned that Crist may move to the right in order to gain the Senate seat. Our guess is that if Crist is shifting positions, it is just an expediency to win Martinez’s seat.

Florida voters should demand that Crist explain himself on green issues. Otherwise they face even greater energy price hikes in the future.

8 Responses to “Florida feels green chokehold on energy”

  1. […] Florida residents face a 30% increase in power costs because the system is maxed out.  Of course, there isn’t enough power because greens block every effort to build new generating capacity.  The Sierra Club is proud of costing people lots of money, and Friends of the Earth celebrated their role in ‘killing’ nuclear power in 1995.  In case any lefty is still unclear about how to wreck people’s lives, Salon has the answers. […]

  2. bmerr2009 Says:

    This is on top of Duke Energy’s June request for $496m from NC staters for the same reasons. That’s a 12.6% incr with nothing to show for it.

  3. wizardjr Says:

    “a leading greenhouse gas”

    CO2 is merely about 4% of all so-called greenhouse gases with water vapor constituting nearly all of it.

    There should be a bounty on these anti-human nitwits! I’ll bet many of them do not live in the area. Anyone arrested should be sentenced to live in that swamp.

  4. theoldhogger Says:

    “….that would emit 12 million tons of CO2, a leading greenhouse gas, every year.”

    They don’t seem to realize that without the ‘Greenhouse Effect’, this planet would be unliveable, so they attempt to demonize CO2 by referring to it as “a leading greenhouse gas”.
    Nitwits! Ignorance is bliss, isn’t it!

  5. michaelwsmith Says:

    The anti-human, anti-civilization nature of the environmentalists is out in the open for everyone to see. In this case, they demand that humans go without electricity so as to preserve a swamp.

    When will the American people realize their very lives are at stake? When will the arise and sweep aside these vicious bastards?

  6. glenncz Says:

    What is the cost difference between gas and coal? The cost of this 3800 MW gas plant is 1.2 billion dollars or $315,000 per MW.

    The cost to construct a 2MW turbine, according to the WindIndustry is 3.5 Million or $1.7 Million dollars per MW.

    BUT! The 3800 MW gas plant will probably run 80% of the time, or more, shutting down only for scheduled maintenance and rare, unexpected mechanical failures, while a wind turbine is unlikely to have make more than 30% of its’ yearly potential output.
    Le’t calculate cost per installed MW.
    So Gas = $315,000 times 80% = $394,000/MW
    Wind = $5.8 Million dollars/MW

    The wind costs 15times more per installed MW. Of course it is not that simply because there are costs to fuel for the natural gas plant. But there is a Federal production tax credit, a gift from the Federal government, of 2.1cents per kWh that is about 50% of the wholesale natural gas costs that the Florida plant is paying.

    There are many, many issues that make the wind an inferior source of power. An enormous one is that no matter how many extremely expensive turbines are built, there needs to be an equal amount of regular power plants build or we will have blackouts at some point. Because on a very regular basis, the wind will die down to almost zero, producing no power whatsoever. I am talking almost every day! There is no steady wind nowhere in this country, look at North Dakota, rated #1 for wind potential in the USA.

    Cost sources:

  7. glenncz Says:

    These people are completely nuts

  8. timetochooseagain Says:

    Thanks for this Steve. I’m a Florida resident and I wasn’t even aware of this. It’s pretty outrageous.

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