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PSC approves one-year halt to hedging of natural gas prices by utilities

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The Florida Public Service Commission signed off Wednesday on a moratorium on hedging of natural gas purchases by Florida’s major public electric utilities, pending negotiations over how the practice could stop costing ratepayers so much. The stipulated agreement calls for the commission to oversee one or more workshops beginning early next year in which the power companies, major customers, and the Office of Public Counsel will seek a more cost-effective way to insure against rising gas prices. “Hedging needs to…

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Utilities, trial lawyers give big in recent reporting period

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Florida candidates and committees collected more than $10.5 million in contributions for the July 30 through Aug. 5 reporting period, though a lot of that money can be tagged to a handful of players. More than a quarter of that total came from utility companies pumping money into Consumers for Smart Solar, the committee backing the solar initiative on the November ballot. Duke Energy led the cadre of power companies with a $1.5 million check to Smart Solar, with FPL,…

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Justices hear arguments on proposed solar power amendment

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Florida Supreme Court justices on Tuesday heard both sides of a proposed constitutional amendment on solar-generated electricity. Lawyers for its proponents and opponents presented their cases to the court as part of a required legal review. Proposed amendments can deal with only one subject and the summary that voters see on the ballot can’t be misleading. The amendment is aiming to get on the 2016 ballot. Bob Nabors, lawyer for amendment sponsor Floridians for Solar Choice, told the court the question isn’t about the…

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PSC/Duke Energy bill teed up for Senate vote after amendment withdrawn

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A Senate bill amendment to bar legislators from serving on the Public Service Commission within two years of leaving office was withdrawn on Thursday. Stat Sen. John Legg, a Republican from Lutz, had filed the amendment to SB 288, a PSC bill that was brought up on second reading Thursday. The amendment was withdrawn because of a likely rule challenge because the language is contained in another bill SB 170, Legg said. The bill was never heard in a committee.…

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