New Report Highlights How Florida’s Big Power Companies Maintain Their Grip on State Capitol

May 16 • 156 Views • View Comments

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Political Contribution and Lobbying Dollars
Result in Policies Harmful to Consumers

A week after a 2018 electoral filing deadline, the nonpartisan government watchdog group Integrity Florida released a new report examining the influence that contributions from big power companies have on Sunshine State politics.

In 2018 Power Play Redux: Political Influence of Florida’s Top Energy CorporationsIntegrity Florida reveals how Florida’s four largest investor owned utilities’ political spending to state level candidates, political parties, and political committees grew to more than $43 million in the 2014 and 2016 political cycles.  The report is posted HERE.

2018 Power Play Redux concludes that the Florida State Legislature increasingly set its agenda and policy outcomes based on the directives of large political donors rather than the public interest.

Southern Alliance for Clean Energy’s Florida Director, Susan Glickman, issued this statement about today’s report and its findings:

“Campaign and other political contributions from monopoly power companies have greatly increased in the last two election cycles while policy to advance clean energy solutions in Florida, like solar and energy efficiency, continues to lag behind. The updated Power Play report tracks this and will be a helpful reference as the upcoming primary and general election season heats up.”

A few of the key findings of this report include:

  • Major campaign donations.  Florida’s four largest energy companies contributed more than $43 million to state level candidates, political parties and political committees in the 2014 and 2016 election cycles.
  • Political spending increasing.  The energy companies spent more than twice as much in the most recent four-year period than in the previous eight-year period documented in the original 2014 Power Play report.
  • Funding for Political Committee.  The state’s four largest energy companies spent more than $20 million to advance a constitutional amendment that critics said would limit rooftop solar expansion.
  • Lobby expenditures trending upward. Utilities continue to have an outsized lobbying presence in the Florida Capitol, employing more than one lobbyist for every two legislators.
  • Trade associations used to lobby.  While the energy companies are not supposed to use customer profits to lobby, its alleged regulators are allowing them to bypass the ban by paying dues to trade associations that lobby on their behalf.

The entire report can be accessed HERE.

Additional information presented on today’s telepresser call includes these charts detailing Florida Utility Political Contributions to date in the 2018 Cycle:

About Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
Founded in 1985, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible energy choices that work to address the impacts of global climate change and ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Learn more at cleanenergy.org.

 

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