Orlando Utilities Commission Opposes the “Energy Choice” Amendment
The Orlando Utilities Commission (“OUC”) is a statutory municipal utility that was created by Chapter 9861, Laws of Florida (1923), a Special Act of the Florida Legislature (as subsequently amended from time to time, the “Act”) as a part of the City of Orlando, but governed by a Board of Commissioners consisting of five members (the “OUC Board”). All members of the OUC Commission must be OUC customers, and at least one member must live outside the Orlando city limits. The Mayor of Orlando serves as an ex officio member of the OUC Commission; the other four members may serve up to two four-year terms. All members of the OUC Commission serve without compensation.
Not only does the Initiative impermissibly roll together a whole host of separate subjects (consumer choice for retail electric service, ownership of transmission and generation assets, regulation of electric utilities at wholesale (federal) and retail (state) levels, and competitive markets, to name a few), it is also fundamentally misleading. From its title to the ballot summary, it certainly aims to appeal to voters with consumer-friendly phrases like “right to choose.” Ultimately, however, the Initiative tries to do too much, implicating far too many disparate subjects, lacking a logical and natural oneness of purpose, altering and performing the functions of multiple branches of government (at the state and federal levels), and failing to disclose all constitutional provisions affected by the Initiative, while misleading voters as to the true meaning and ramifications such an amendment will have on them, and on our State.
The Initiative before this Court for review would fundamentally alter the contractual relationships that the Public Power Parties have built and relied upon for decades and destabilize the business arrangements necessary to serve the more than three million people in Florida that rely on those public power utilities. It would also dismantle the governmental framework under which Florida’s public power utilities and other retail electric utilities have been regulated for years.
Read their full legal brief filed with the Florida Supreme Court here.