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FPL's renewables bill hits another hurdle

"It looks dead,'' said Rep. Clay Ford, R-Pensacola, when he learned from House leaders that the renewables bill won't make it on the agenda of the final meeting of the House State Affairs committee Thursday.

A Florida Power & Light-backed amendment to require the Public Service Commission to review the cost-recovery request sought by FPL to raise rates to build new solar power plants was expected to surface at the meeting. The amendment was going to be attached to appease Gov. Rick Scott's opposition to the automatic cost recovery (aka rate increase) to the bill, said Ford, the House sponsor of the measure.

But it appears the bill now is a bigger priority for Senate leadership than the House's. The bill will get a hearing at the Senate Budget Committee's Monday meeting. Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, R-Fort Myers, said she expected the amendment to emerge in time for the meeting as well.

"We're working very hard to balance the impact on the ratepayerse and a desire to see positive movement in the renewables energy sector,'' she told the Herald/Times. "I believe more work can be accomplished in the next few days." Here's a draft of the amendment: Download 2078C1 Amendment 4-14-2011[1]