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Rick Scott privately profited in FPL pipeline deal approved by governor's appointees

By Dan Christensen of the Broward Bulldog:

Upon his election in 2010, Gov. Rick Scott’s transition team included a Florida Power & Light executive who pitched his company’s plan to build a major natural gas pipeline in North Florida to fuel a new generation of gas-fired power plants in places like Port Everglades.

“The proposed project will need state regulatory and governmental agencies to understand and support this project,” said the proposal submitted by FPL vice president Sam Forrest.

Gov. Scott understood. In May and June 2013, he signed into law two bills designed to speed up permitting for what came to be known as the Sabal Trail Transmission — a controversial, 474-mile natural gas pipeline that’s to run from Alabama and Georgia to a hub in Central Florida, south of Orlando.

Five months later, the Florida Public Service Commission, whose five members were appointed by Gov. Scott, unanimously approved construction of Sabal Trail as the state’s third major natural gas pipeline. More approvals are needed from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, which the governor oversees.

What wasn’t publicly known in 2013, however, was that the governor owned a stake in Spectra Energy, the Houston company chosen by Florida Power & Light that July to build and operate the $3 billion pipeline. Sabal Trail Transmission LLC is a joint venture of Spectra Energy and FPL’s parent, NextEra Energy.

Before the story, here's the governor's whole statement:

"Neuberger Berman, and therefore Spectra, became an investment after the Governor’s blind trust was created in 2011. Therefore, he had no knowledge of the investment because the decision to invest was made by a trustee of the blind trust. Immediately upon disclosing his assets to the public, Governor Scott placed all of his assets back into a blind trust to ensure that there would not be the possibility of any conflict of interest. As a result, Governor Scott has no knowledge of the current contents of the blind trust. Governor Scott went above and beyond to provide Floridians with transparency by disclosing his assets and releasing tax returns for both himself and the First Lady. Charlie Crist is still refusing to follow suit by releasing his wife’s tax returns, which only makes us wonder what he’s hiding."

More here

Comments

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ed jenkins

The readers do not need articles such as this showing common sense action by this scott who approved a needed pipeline to be built by a company that constructs pipelines as this is not news and is simply more lazy article writing from an article writer that the readers had previously requested on many occasions be terminated for his inability to produce news stories as defined by the readers.

At the very least this most horrible article writer should not write articles on business dealings since the readers have concluded he does not understand how businesses operate.

miles

Why else would an allegedly intelligent businessman spend $75 million of his own money to land a job that pays $135K?

Mrs. Ed Jenkins

Did he have to get drug-tested? Did the company have to get drug-tested?

Miles and Ed support welfare!

Jimmy Marbles

The Scott campaign is clueless. If you have a blind trust, keep it blind. They brought this story on themselves.

Anti-Tallahassee

Scott is a pathological liar. Just look at his face, and when he flashes those big round eyes, you know he is lying. Scott is a typical Republican - public resources are supposed to be used to create personal gain. Crony crapitalism and corporate welfare are the hallmarks of the Florida Republicans.

MarvinM

A trust is only as 'blind' as its trustor and trustee are ethical.

Highly paid Republican

ed jenkins is right again. What is wrong with the Boss making a few bucks?

More important is how he will spend the $100,00,000 to beat up the Dems!

ed jenkins

As the readers have stated many times they want news from their article writers and while they do appreciate that their governor acted quickly, they do not consider it news that a pipeline had to be built so a pipeline construction company was hired to do so.

They realize that public employees can hold extremely small percentages of companies that on occasion do business with the government but do not consider it a problem that for example the government has to add a phone line at an office and the governor has some small holding in the telephone company.

Bill Thompson

The citizens are outraged at this scumbag Scott who forced FPL to use natural gas as a fuel source so that he can profit personally from this project. The USA has a tremendous supply of coal that is stable in price and plentiful. It is shameful that this most horrible man forced one of our great corporations to switch its operations to natural gas so that he can privately profit from these secret insider deals. Just like all other criminals, this horrible man is not able to stop. Once a thief, always a thief.

MarvinM

What's that I hear? Oh yes, the sound of many fingers to the keyboard typing out FOIA requests.

We deserve answers to this, real ones, not bogus 'deflection to what the other candidate-guy did' responses.

If Spectra got the bid fair and square, no favoritism/cronyism, then show us the bids - who else bid on the project, and when, and explain ultimately why was Spectra chosen.

Actually, I'd like an answer to why the whole project was chosen in the first place. It had considerable opposition from Floridians, with extremely compelling reasons.

Why push something, in the face of popular opposition, unless you have something to gain?

jay

Not sure how anyone can criticize rick Scott for the investments made by a trustee in a blind trust.

This really stretches is, Herald. Reprinting from the Broward Bulldog? Come on

ed jenkins

The readers are disgusted as tis wise Jay points out that this most horrible article writer is merely an article reprinter once again after previously reprinting press releases of opinion surveys that the readers do not care about. This reader picked up his hometown paper this morning only to find it is as thin as his school paper used to be which he was not charged for while this once great hometown paper is now simply a reprinter. The readers call for the termination of these reprinter article writers if they are to continue to pay for this now poor product.

Keith Stegath

While I agree with the criticism against Scott, what concerns me more is that "We the People" are surprised by his actions. And that he and Charlie are the only candidates for Governor that the media has determined is worthy of bits, bytes, and ink.

There is another choice.

www.fla-gov.org

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