St. Petersburg, Florida – Over 50 people held a rally at the Progress Energy Building to protest the proposed charges to ratepayers for new nuclear power generation this past Saturday, October 1. The protests called on the Public Service Commission (PSC) to reject the utility’s current request to charge customers up-front for new reactor costs, stop supporting the dying and polluting nuclear industry, and instead to support solar in the Sunshine State. The PSC is currently considering millions of dollars in bill increases for the proposed new nuclear reactors at Progress Energy’s proposed Levy County site and FPL’s Turkey Point nuclear plant, a disastrous move that would jeopardize the safety of the state and put a financial burden on Florida ratepayers.
At the rally, Florida youth from the Florida Youth Environmental Sustainability Coalition (FL YES) and concerned citizens from the Coalition Against Nukes (C.A.N.) participated in a “People’s Hearing” to demand that the Public Service Commission work for people, not polluters, and stop nuclear cost recovery. Because the PSC did not allow for public comment on this very public issue during hearings held in August, Floridians chose to take it into their own hands, and provided a space for the public to comment on their concerns with nuclear cost recovery.
"It is obvious to us that Progress Energy and other nuclear energy providers are perfectly content to take advantage of Florida’s citizens,” said Cara Cooper, graduate student at Florida International University. “Nuclear is not a safe or affordable option for Floridians, we need solar in the Sunshine State!"
Florida’s youth are working towards a truly clean and renewable energy economy, and Saturday’s rally marks the start of a month-long national effort to raise their voices in support of a 100% clean energy future. Throughout October, Florida youth will be asking our leaders and elected officials to stand with the people, not polluters, and work towards safer and more sustainable communities.
“Youth from all over the country have been working hard to ensure that our futures are not put in jeopardy through risky, unsustainable and irresponsible nuclear power proposals. We need to take a stand and demand that energy companies like Progress Energy and Florida Power & Light and their governing agencies are held accountable,” said Lauren Reilly, a student from the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg.
Photo by Will Wysong, University of South Florida