Energy Fairness Opposes the “Energy Choice” Amendment
Partnership for Affordable and Clean Energy, a/k/a Energy Fairness (“Energy Fairness”) is a non-partisan, not-for-profit public interest group dedicated to bringing together and educating consumers, policymakers and other stakeholders to discuss energy policy and affordable energy solutions in a fact-based manner. Energy Fairness advocates for policies that benefit consumers at both the state and federal levels. The organization supports an “all-of-the-above” approach to energy policy, including renewable energy. Energy Fairness is managed by a diverse board of directors, including membership in Florida.
Energy Fairness publishes a variety of reports, makes presentations, and offers public testimony to legislators and other policymakers around the country, concerning a wide variety of issues impacting the delivery of affordable, reliable energy. Energy Fairness has advocated for energy issues in states such as Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Kentucky, Texas, and Wyoming, as well before Congress. Energy Fairness has consistently opposed electricity deregulation efforts in Florida, for example, offering testimony during the 2018 Constitution Revision Commission process and the 2019 Financial Impact Estimating Conference.
The citizen initiative petition at issue would amend the Florida Constitution to, among other things, (i) create new constitutional rights of electricity customers of investor-owned utilities to choose their electricity provider and to generate electricity; (ii) force investor-owned utilities to divest their electricity generation assets and limit their activities to the construction, operation and repair of electrical transmission and distribution systems; and (iii) require the Legislature to enact sweeping laws that would create undefined “competitive” wholesale and retail markets for electricity generation and supply, as well as provide for unspecified “consumer protections.” Energy Fairness opposes placement of the initiative on the ballot because it is clearly and conclusively defective in that it fails to satisfy both the single-subject requirement of Article XI, section 3, and the clarity requirement of Section 101.161(1).
The Proposed Amendment violates the single-subject requirement in that it constitutes impermissible logrolling, to wit: in order to gain the ability to select their own electricity provider, generate their own electricity, and/or obtain the proposal’s promise of “competitive” markets and “consumer protections,” investor-owned utility customers must vote to give up their current investor-owned utility electric providers because the Proposed Amendment: (1) prohibits investor-owned utilities from owning/operating power generation plants; and (2) bars investor-owned utilities from the wholesale and retail sale of electricity (by limiting them to the “construction, operation, and repair of electrical transmission and distributions systems”).
Read their full legal brief filed with the Florida Supreme Court here.