When presented with just two simple facts, more than 60% oppose the Deregulation Amendment
Tallahassee, Fla. — Today, Floridians for Affordable Reliable Energy (FARE) released findings from a recent statewide poll showing that support for the so-called “Energy Choice” initiative falls far short of the 60% threshold for passage when voters are given the actual language as it will appear on the ballot.
This comes as the summer months further exposed the dangerous gamble being proposed by the so-called “Energy Choice”campaign to deregulate Florida’s energy marketplace. Opposition has grown as the dangers for Florida of this reckless policy have become clearer and clearer. Business and Labor, Republicans and Democrats, Environmental Groups and Cities and Counties, all are coming out against energy deregulation because it is bad for families, bad for seniors, bad for Florida.
FARE Board Member Scott Arceneaux shared, “It’s clear that the initiative’s fiscal impact statement, which warns about significant cost increases and the loss of revenue for state and local governments makes voters think twice about this misleading proposal to dismantle Florida’s existing electricity system.”
The poll found that when voters read the title, summary and fiscal impact statement as it would appear on the ballot, only 40% say they would vote “Yes” on the proposed amendment, leaving them well short of the 60% threshold for passage of constitutional amendments.
When respondents were given two simple facts regarding the misleading amendment, opposition soared to 62% while support plummets to 21% with 17% undecided. This shows that opposition comes from across the political spectrum and around the state.
In what is an increasingly polarized political landscape, a uniting force among Florida’s congressional delegation is the clear opposition to the misleading proposed constitutional amendment called “Energy Choice.” In July, 24 congressional members- 12 Republicans and 12 Democrats- signed on to a letter expressing major concerns with the proposed constitutional amendment. In their letter, they wrote their concerns included “dismantling the power grid; threatening “complete energy deregulation”; higher rates and worse reliability. We cannot allow Florida’s energy market to be disrupted by special interests,” the signatories contended.”
“It’s clear that support for this amendment is very soft and can be easily eroded when voters hear just a few basic facts about what it would do,” said Mark Allen, President of AmericanPublic.us, which conducted the poll.
This comes as Texas, often a model for the energy choice campaign, faces skyrocketing costs to buy power. The latest story in Bloomberg News shows that Floridians would be devasted if we followed the Texas-way of energy deregulation. In fact, the headline says it all- “Sweltering Texas Is Most Costly Place to Buy Power in U.S.” Florida families would be hit hard with prices like those seen in Texas- increases of 21,147%, which represents $3,848.69 a megawatt-hour across the Texas grid. There is a reason that no state has moved to deregulate its energy market in the last 20 years, and many who did are trying to go back.
This proposal is seriously flawed, misleading and confusing and should be struck from the ballot by the Florida Supreme Court who is hearing the matter today. But even if it is approved by the high court to appear on the ballot, it is an unpopular concept that Florida voters do not support.
The poll, commissioned by FARE, was conducted August 14-21, 2019 with a sample of 1,344 Florida registered likely voters and a ±2.68% margin of error at the 95% confidence level. The online panel format allowed respondents to read a mock-up of the actual ballot wording as it would appear on the ballot.