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Radio ad blasts Jeff Brandes on ethics

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

An activist group is now running a radio ad in the Tampa Bay area against St. Petersburg-based state Senator Jeff Brandes that questions his ethics. The ad from Florida Strong is called “Let’s Make a (corrupt) Deal.” It attacks the Pinellas Republican for receiving campaign contributions from companies like Duke Energy and insurance lobbyists, and then claims that he voted on issues on behalf of those companies at taxpayers expense. It’s part of the advocacy group’s campaign for stronger ethics reform legislation, called “Got Ethics?” and calls on…

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Duke Energy signs deal to turn pig poop into electricity

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

Duke Energy Corp. said Monday it is expanding its renewable energy from livestock waste, adding poop power to investments the country’s largest electric company has made in whirring wind turbines and acres of solar arrays. The Charlotte-based utility said it contracted with Carbon Cycle Energy, which will build and own a North Carolina plant that collects methane from pig and chicken waste, refines the gas and delivers enough for Duke Energy to generate enough electricity to power about 10,000 homes…

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State Supreme Court allows oral argument for Smart Solar amendment

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The Florida Supreme Court on Monday granted requests for oral argument on a hotly contested proposed constitutional amendment on solar power. The court scheduled argument at 9 a.m. May 5 for the amendment called “Rights of Electricity Consumers Regarding Solar Energy Choice” and backed by Consumers For Smart Solar. Among other requirements, proposed amendments to the state constitution must be OK’d by the court to ensure they cover only one subject and that their ballot title and summary aren’t misleading. The proposed summary now reads: This…

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FPL breaks ground on new solar power plants

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

At the site of the future Manatee Solar Energy Center in Parrish, Florida Power & Light executives, environmentalists, state and local officials cheered as a groundbreaking ceremony significantly changed the dynamics of solar power in the Sunshine State. At 10:50 a.m. Thursday, FPL President and CEO Eric Silagy and Agricultural Commissioner Adam Putnam flipped the switches on dual Tuchi pile drivers to start the next phase of a 10-plus-year vision for innovation by the Sunshine State’s largest energy provider. The…

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Email insights: Unlike other basic needs, Duke Energy keeps Florida electricity costs down

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

It’s an unfortunate fact of life, but one we deal with every day. As time goes on, nearly everyone expects to pay more for basics such as food, housing and other utilities. However, one necessity has actually been getting cheaper at the same time: electricity. A new email from Duke Energy reminds consumers that, for nearly a decade, the company has been powering the lives of Floridians for less, unlike other essentials like food and housing, which has steadily been…

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Gloomy August fundraising for Florida’s Solar Choice amendment

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

August fundraising numbers for the committee backing an amendment making it easier for consumers to buy and sell solar power looked gloomy while receipts for its industry-backed competitor show no sign of slowing down. Floridians for Solar Choice brought in just $591 for the month, with more than $135,000 heading out in expenditures. The contributions are a major drop-off from past months, which saw the committee routinely post five-digit hauls, mainly from major backer SACE-Action Fund. SACE did give $7,521…

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Smith Bryan & Myers collects nearly $1 million in Q2 lobbying fees

in Statewide by

The up and coming firm Smith Bryan & Myers had itself a healthy second quarter this year, a legislative year so far defined by lawmakers — and lobbyists — spending a lot more time in Tallahassee than anyone thought was likely when 2015 began. According to estimates based on recently submitted compensation reports, SBM took home around $970,000 during the last reporting period, which ran from April 1 to June 30, $490,000 of that from 50 executive branch contracts and $475,000 from…

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