Florida high court strikes down energy deregulation ballot question

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A proposed constitutional amendment that would have deregulated Florida’s energy industry won’t be on the November ballot after the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the ballot language is misleading.

The proposal was fought by large utility companies and Attorney General Ashley Moody, among others. The court focused on ballot language that said Floridians would have the right to sell electricity and said that right wasn’t expressed in the full amendment language.

A group called Citizens for Energy Choices has been gathering signatures to put the proposal on the ballot. At the time of the ruling, it had 642,245 of the 766,200 required signatures needed before a Feb. 1 deadline.

The group has spent more than $5.5 million on the initiative.

If the proposal had succeeded, it would have limited current big, for profit utilities to transmitting electricity and maintaining lines while opening up electricity markets to virtually anyone who wanted to sell power to Florida customers.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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