Gov. Charlie Crist’s new environmental standards for utilities call for emission reductions to 2000 levels by 2017 and for 20% renewables in utilities’ production portfolios by 2020. Here’s what two northwest Florida electricity providers are projecting regarding the impacts.
» “There’s no question that prices will go up. If you look at the California model — which Gov. Crist’s plan is based on — prices are 80% higher than here. Nuclear must be an option. Higher energy costs will make it more challenging to compete with neighboring states for businesses and jobs.”
— John Hutchinson, public affairs manager for Gulf Power, which has 418,892 customers
» “We’re 95% powered by natural gas. It’s clean but expensive. We’re trying to diversify: We have a contract to buy power from a biomass plant; we’re looking at plasma torch technology, generating power from garbage. Long term, those things identified won’t meet our power future.”
— Michelle Bono, assistant to the manager, Tallahassee, which owns a municipal utility serving 100,000 accounts