Supreme Court tosses energy deregulation amendment off 2020 ballot
By A.G. Gancarski on January 9, 2020
In a major setback for proponents of so-called “energy choice,” a controversial citizens’ initiative was thrown off the 2020 ballot in a unanimous decision by The Florida Supreme Court.
In an 11-page written opinion, the Court took issue with the initiative, dubbed “Right to Competitive Energy Market for Customers of Investor-Owned Utilities; Allowing Energy Choice,” saying it should not be on the ballot.
This was the latest, likely ultimate, setback for the movement.
The ruling from the state’s highest court: “the ballot summary affirmatively misleads voters to believe the Initiative grants a right to sell electricity.”
While the court added that the amendment would grant “several rights, such as the right to purchase electricity from a provider of one’s choice, the right to purchase electricity in competitive wholesale and retail markets, the right to generate electricity oneself or in combination with others,” it does not offer what the court called a “freestanding constitutional right to sell electricity.”
“The question is not whether a person has the right to sell electricity if the Initiative is adopted, but whether, as the ballot summary claims, the Initiative grants that right. It does not, and the ballot summary is therefore affirmatively misleading,” the opinion adds.