Electric utility companies have also spent more than $18 million on campaign contributions to Florida races since 2004.
In exchange for their generous campaign contributions and lobbying budgets, these massive energy companies receive highly favorable treatment from Florida’s elected officials.
In 2006, the legislature allowed Duke Energy to raise rates significantly to pay for a $1.5 billion nuclear power plant. Although Duke recently canceled construction on the plant, the company was allowed to keep all the money from the rate increase, which included more than $150 million in net profit.
Furthermore, the legislature continues to allow Duke and the other utility companies to collect the increased energy fees without disclosing the status of canceled projects.
A report from Integrity Florida, a political watchdog group, found that Duke Energy spent $300,000 on lobbying in favor of the rate increase and another $3.6 million in campaign contributions to key lawmakers.