Mustering all the fear of Armageddon, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush warns in an op-ed in the Tallahassee Democrat this weekend that if Florida Power & Light and Progress Energy don't get their rate increases a reliable energy grid could be "threatened." He blames "populist politics,'' translation: Gov. Charlie Crist, who has repeatedly said he opposes a rate increase in the midst of this economy.
Our guess is this was not written by the circumspect and careful Jeb that we know. (If only in real life he used lines like: "With power, the cash registers open and close.'') Instead, it is part of FPL's mounting effort to seek broad support for its rate increase that includes a major television campaign launched last week. See this from CEO Armando Olivera getting behind PSC integrity, this Letter to the Editor, and this op-ed counter-punch. (Progress Energy officials tells us it's not involved, although its rate decision will preceed FPL and could set the stage.)
We expect our former governor won't be the only former pol weighing in on this effort. Former Attorney General Bob Butterworth has already been enlisted and we hear many more are in line. Watch here for how it's going.
Then there's the line in Bush's piece that, at this point, appears to be unsubstantiated: "...the five Public Service Commissioners who make the decision are de facto judges. Their job is to follow the law, not to impose their personal opinions about the merits of the proposed rate increase."
One problem: What's he talking about? None of the commissioners have publicly expressed their opinions on the merits of either FPL or Progress Energy's rate case. Governor, if you know better, please tell us where you found that.