Opponents to Justices: Energy Choice Proposal Deceptive
By BRENDAN FARRINGTON, Associated Press Aug. 28, 2019
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Opponents of a proposed constitutional amendment that would deregulate the power industry told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that it should be kept off the Nov. 2020 ballot because it’s confusing and deceptive — and the justices seemed to agree.
“This summary … is something you can’t figure out, even if you were a sophisticated insider,” said lawyer Barry Richard, representing Florida Power & Light and Gulf Power.
Justices seemed to agree.
“A summary cannot be affirmatively misleading. It cannot state something that’s not true,” Chief Justice Charles Canady said to Ken Sukhia, who is representing Citizens for Energy Choices. “That certainly seems to be a good principle to follow, and I having trouble seeing how we can follow that principle and uphold this.”
Similarly, Justice Ricky Polston said, “The summary is confusing to me.”
Polston said the proposed amendment states that investor-owned utilities can’t sell power, but that the companies that would replace them also would be making a profit and essentially be investor-owned utilities.