Florida Chamber of Commerce Statement on Proposed Electricity Deregulation Ballot Initiative Supreme Court Hearing

By: Edie Ousley

“We cannot secure Florida’s future with regulatory policies that will make our state less competitive and electricity more expensive.”

– Mark Wilson, President and CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce

Tallahassee, Fla. (August 28, 2019) – Today, the Florida Supreme Court heard arguments against the proposed Florida electricity deregulation ballot initiative. Below is a statement from Mark Wilson, President and CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce.

“Today, the Florida Supreme Court heard arguments against the proposed Florida electricity deregulation ballot initiative. Opposing counsel were clear in their presentations to the court that the initiative being proposed by retail electricity marketing companies is a drastic proposal for Floridians that is misleading and confusing and should not be allowed on the ballot.

“Arguments made by those few companies and organizations supporting the proposed initiative, that aims to dramatically change Florida’s highly reliable and cost-effective electricity system, continue to at best ignore – and at worst blatantly misrepresent – the facts. 

“Regardless of what the amendment’s sponsors say, the truth is if the initiative were to pass, nobody knows who will own the power plants, poles, power lines and equipment that today reliably serve Florida’s homes and businesses. Additionally, while they call the initiative ‘energy choice,’ the fact is that 75 percent of Floridians would be forced to change electricity providers and would not be allowed to choose to keep their current electric companies.

“States across the U.S. have learned the hard way that deregulating their electricity system does not save money or improve service. Even the Texas electricity system – which the initiative supporters say is the model for their proposal – this summer has suffered low supplies of electricity and has seen electricity costs skyrocket as much as 36,000 percent. Not only is this ballot initiative modeled after a state with serious electricity supply issues and high summer prices, the initiative is illegal, and is a senseless effort by a few to rob Florida’s families and businesses of their hard-earned money and reliable electricity.

“We cannot secure Florida’s future with regulatory policies that will make our state less competitive and electricity more expensive.”

The Florida Chamber has a long history of protecting Florida’s constitution. Earlier this year, the Florida Chamber filed a legal brief, agreeing with Attorney General Ashley Moody, in opposing the ballot initiative as it could cause great harm to Florida’s economy.

Additionally, the Florida Chamber conducted a financial impact study with Charles River Associates and found that the proposed changes to Florida’s electricity market would have a very damaging financial impact on state and local governments of more than $1.2 billion per year in increased costs and reduced revenues.

This proposal will drive up costs on Florida’s families and should not be enshrined into Florida’s foundational document.

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Established in 1916 as Florida’s first statewide business advocacy organization, the Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Florida Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.