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Florida Passes Misleading, Utility-Backed Anti-Solar Constitutional Amendment

Approving the status quo, the Florida Supreme Court backs corporations in an intentionally mislabeled amendment that allows utilities to keep calling the energy shots.

As reported by Jim Rosica for Florida Politics.

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday barely approved a proposed state constitutional amendment on solar power.

Source: Jeff Krause,Orlando Science Center, Flickr Commons
Source: Jeff Krause, Orlando Science Center, Flickr Commons 

In a 4-3 decision, the court approved the amendment in question, called “Rights of Electricity Consumers Regarding Solar Energy Choice.

It’s backed by Consumers For Smart Solar, supported by the state’s biggest private utilities, including Duke Energy Florida, Florida Power & Light, Gulf Power Co., and Tampa Electric Co.

Chief Justice Jorge Labarga and Justice R. Fred Lewis joined the court’s conservatives, Justices Charles Canady and Ricky Polston, for a majority. In dissent were Justices Barbara Pariente, Peggy Quince and James E.C. Perry.

“Let the pro-solar energy consumers beware,” wrote Pariente in dissent. “Masquerading as a pro-solar energy initiative, this proposed constitutional amendment, supported by some of Florida’s major investor-owned electric utility companies, actually seeks to constitutionalize the status quo.”

In a footnote, she went on: The proposed amendment “may actually have the effect of diminishing some rights of solar energy consumers.”

Read the details of the amendment at Florida Politics.

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