Michael Mayo: Communist

He isn't, but I'm sure someone will accuse him of being one after this column. See, Mayo has dared say that an energy company ought to be regulated and, get this, that the consumers ought to be more important than the company's bottom line!

It's long past time for regulations to be rewritten in favor of consumers. But that's not how the world works. FPL pays for lobbyists and campaign contributions to keep the profits coming and the rules in its favor....

Remember these things when you get your FPL bill this fall. No wonder why some call it Florida Plunder & Loot.

I'm not saying FPL isn't entitled to a profit. I'm just saying that the company should bear more risk for hurricanes and fluctuations in the fuel market, just like the rest of us.

If it means a profit margin of 2 percent instead of 8 percent some years, or that its CEO might have to pay for his own lunch and golf, so be it.
Pure, unadulterated communism, straight from Moscow, from Russia. It comes straight out of the pit of hell.* Of course, anyone who knows me knows that I mean that as a kind of a compliment. I'm not a communist, but I am in favor of removing certain industries from the tender mercies of the free market, and energy production is one of them. I'd love to see FPL regulated to hell and back, but I'd like it even more if our energy system was a state-run municipal system and profit wasn't part of the equation. I'd gladly pay what I'm paying now for energy if, instead of stockholders, workers were making a better salary and money was being plowed into alternative energy sources like wind and solar.

And please don't give me the old, tired line about how the free market is more innovative and efficient than municipal systems. I live down here--I know how efficient FPL is. I saw their efficiency at work after Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma when it took crazy amounts of time to get power back because FPL hadn't bothered to keep up with its tree-trimming responsibilities. They're plenty efficient when it comes to trimming customers, not so much when it comes to providing service. And why should they be? They're a monopoly--free market my ass.

So I figure, if the state is going to keep it a monopoly, then why regulate? Just run the damn thing, take the profit motive out of it, and do it responsibly. The potential benefits are higher than any downside I can see.

*Communism bit thanks to Texas State Rep. Debbie Riddle

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