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solar amendment

Solar Amendment 1 flames out

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Amendment 1, the contentious solar-power ballot initiative supported by the state’s investor-owned utilities, pulled an Icarus and melted down. The amendment failed Tuesday night with only 51 percent of the statewide vote. In Florida, proposed amendments must receive no less than 60 percent to pass. Public support for the initiative had cratered in recent months, according to opinion polls, from the low-80s in September to just below the needed 60 percent by last month. That was after opponents barraged it with…

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Solar amendment supported by 66% of Floridians, new poll finds

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A solar power amendment is poised for passage, according to a new poll by the Florida Chamber Political Institute. The survey found 66 percent of Florida voters would support solar power initiative, while 16 percent of respondents said they would vote against it. “The Florida Chamber supports the solar energy policies in Amendment 1 and it appears Florida voters do too,” said Mark Wilson, the president and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, in a statement. The amendment is…

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Consumers for Smart Solar forks over $6.5M in ad buys last month, contributions slow

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The committee backing an amendment adding solar power rules to the state constitution spent more than $6.5 million on ad buys last month as contributions slowed to a trickle. According to the May report, Consumers for Smart Solar forked over more than three-quarters of its war chest to Virginia-based firm National Media Research, Planning and Placement for a campaign supporting the amendment. The massive outflow of funds was met with just a single $5,000 contribution, leaving the committee with just…

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Responding to Times reporter Robert Trigaux’s ‘three pointed questions’ for Duke Energy

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On Wednesday, Robert Trigaux penned a column asking “three pointed questions” for Duke Energy in the fallout of a flat quarterly earnings report and its annual shareholder meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina. Trigaux prefaces his piece by proposing a mild winter is what brought lower demand for power – hence the softer earnings report. Next, he piles on several “missteps,” including Duke’s shelved nuclear power program and a “less-than-inspiring role as a bully of Florida’s young solar power industry.” Trigaux then suggests…

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Solar amendment now at 75 percent of needed signatures

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A proposed constitutional amendment has crossed the 500,000 signatures line on its way to being approved for voter consideration on the 2016 ballot. The utility-backed Consumers for Smart Solar is sponsoring the amendment titled “Rights of Electricity Consumers Regarding Solar Energy Choice.” As of Tuesday morning, it had reported 513,375 valid signatures, according to the state Division of Elections. An initiative needs 683,149 to merit ballot placement. The latest signature tally puts it at 75 percent of its goal. “We are pleased that our signature gathering efforts…

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Lawyer for solar initiative predicts ‘no fiscal impact’

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The lawyer for the group behind one of two proposed constitutional amendments on solar power Monday told a panel of state economists he expected the initiative would have “no fiscal impact” if passed. Attorney Neal McAliley of the White & Case law firm, representing Consumers for Smart Solar, spoke before the Financial Impact Estimating Conference on Monday. McAliley told the panel the amendment essentially would be a net wash on state finances. According to its ballot summary, it would create a constitutional right “for…

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Supreme Court approves first of proposed solar amendments

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A proposed constitutional amendment that would allow Floridians to generate and sell their own solar power passes legal muster, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday. The court’s purview was limited to whether the language embraces one subject and uses “clear and unambiguous language” in the ballot summary. The majority said yes on both counts. Justice Ricky Polston, however, disagreed on the ballot summary portion, saying it was “confusing.” The decision clears the way for the amendment to go before voters in 2016, assuming it gets…

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