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Report details how Florida's utility regulators have become 'captive' to the industry they regulate

FPL trucksThe watchdog over electricity rates for most Floridians has been captured by the utility industry and the result is costing consumers, according to a new report released Monday by the independent research organization Integrity Florida.

The report analyzed dozens of decisions made by the Florida Public Service Commission in recent years and concluded that there is an “inordinate focus on what additional money a [utility] company wants, at the expense of attention to what the public interest needs.”

The report details what it calls “egregious voting and unfair ratemaking,” a selection process that allows the utility industry to heavily influence legislators and the governor — who appoint the regulators — through campaign cash and lobbyists, and a revolving door between the Florida Legislature, the PSC and the utility industry.

“Make no mistake, what we’re talking about today is corruption. It’s legal corruption,” said Ben Wilcox, director of Integrity Florida at a news conference Monday. “It’s institutional corruption but it’s corruption nonetheless.” Story here. 

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