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Nuclear Plant Proposals

September 8th, 2009 by flanews

Two of the states largest power companies are seeking rate increases to help build new nuclear power plants.

The Public Service Commission heard testimony from Florida and Power and Light and Progress Energy today. The companies say the plants are needed to meet an increasing need for electricity, but pitching a rate increase is becoming increasing harder given the current economic climate. FPL Spokesman Mayco Villafana says the company shouldnt stop building just because the economy is suffering.

We have to plan for a long term future. We dont stop building school just because we are in an economic downturn. We dont stop building roads. These are major infrastructure developments. Similar with power plants. We need to plan today for the power plant of the future, said Villafana.

About a half a dozen protesters attended the rate hike hearing. Jim Walker, one of the protestors, says people cant afford a rate increase right now.

With this rate paying thing now it becomes more than an environmental issue, it becomes an economic issue. Floridas not growing like it used to be when they brought this feasibility study out. We have 10 percent unemployment. Do you want to pay more in your utility bills? What if you are a senior? What if you are poor or unemployed, said Walker.

If the commission approves the increase, FPLs rates will go up 67 cents a month. Progress Energy customers would pay an average of 2 dollars and 40 cents a month more.

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