January 24, 2019
Tallahassee, Fla. – The Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) today announced it opposes any effort to deregulate Florida’s electric utility industry.
“AIF is staunchly opposed to the deregulation of Florida’s electric utility industry,” said AIF President & CEO Tom Feeney. “As we stated before the Constitutional Revision Commission, we believe deregulation would have a detrimental impact on Florida’s businesses and citizens in the form of increased cost of electricity and market uncertainty.”
“Deregulating Florida’s electric utility industry would create inefficient and uneven services throughout the state, causing major chaos when a natural disaster strikes,” said Feeney. “The bottom line is a deregulated market does not work in other states and will not in the Sunshine State. AIF remains committed to opposing this ill-conceived policy.”
Former Chairman of the Michigan Public Service Commission John Quackenbush has weighed in on the issue on behalf of AIF stating, “It is very troubling a state like Florida, that already has low electricity rates, would even consider electricity deregulation. While a handful of states chose this path 20 years ago, the electricity prices in these states are on average higher than those in Florida. Those higher prices, along with other issues including poor customer service and fraud, have resulted in calls to return to a regulated electricity market among elected leaders and consumers in many states.”
“Floridians already benefit from utilities that are highly respected around the nation for their operational efficiencies,” continued Quackenbush. “In addition to higher prices, Florida consumers should be concerned about the potential for reduced reliability and aggressive and/or deceptive marketing tactics that this proposal to deregulate the electricity market would invite.”
“My experience indicates that it would be a mistake to support this proposal and consumers should beware of unsubstantiated claims of potential savings and a better electric system. History demonstrates that is simply not the case,” concluded Quackenbush.
A proposal, which recently received the signatures required to be reviewed by the Attorney General and potentially Florida’s Supreme Court, was already rejected by the Constitution Revision Commission in 2018.
Known as “The Voice of Florida Business” in the Sunshine State, Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) has represented the principles of prosperity and free enterprise before the three branches of state government since 1920. A voluntary association of diversified businesses, AIF was created to foster an economic climate in Florida conducive to the growth, development, and welfare of industry and business and the people of the state.
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