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NAACP calls PSC members 'pawns' in fight against big utilities

In an op-ed piece in the Tallahassee Democrat today, NAACP Florida head Adora Obi Nweze makes a vigorous call for reform at the PSC with an interesting turn. She calls for a "clear set of modern rules to govern commissioners' conduct"  and also says "a closer look should be taken toward the motives and tactics of the utilities industry and other special interests." Her conclusion is that the commissioners and PSC "are being used as pawns by wealthy-special interest groups pitted against the big utility companies in a high stakes game of chicken."

This point has also been made in newspaper ads published around the state and paid for by Florida Power and Light. Nweze refrains from assessing any blame on PSC commissioners themselves, the elected officials entrusted with running the agency. She notes that Commission Chairman Matthew Carter "has been under 'public opinion' pressure to fire his advisor as a result of the advisor's sharing his BlackBerry PIN code with industry representatives" and other commissioners have been barraged by similar questions. 

"While we support a review of each allegation, we believe the impetus for making the allegations arises from interested parties on both sides who are trying to distract from the commission work,'' she writes, "...and perhaps make it impossible to render impartial decisions."

In the interests of full disclosure, FPL (and the Miami Herald) have been a sponsors of the NAACP diversity job fairs in Florida and FPL Group has been a sponsor of similar events in other states.