Press Conference Highlights Cronyism in Florida’s Energy Bill

Published April 10, 2012

Conservative Groups Refute Supporters of H.B. 7117

TALLAHASSEE – The Heartland Institute and the Florida chapter of Americans for Prosperity were joined this morning by grassroots leaders representing 110 organizations from around the state to discuss H.B. 7117 and the impact it will have on Florida’s future energy policy.

“Floridians already pay substantially higher electricity prices than the residents of any other state in the Southeast. H.B. 7117, the Crony Energy Bill, will drive up Florida energy prices even higher, rewarding those companies that produce costly, unreliable electricity and punishing those that produce affordable, reliable electricity,” said James M. Taylor, senior fellow for environment policy at The Heartland Institute.

“This energy bill is bad business, bad politics, and bad for Florida’s consumers. H.B. 7117 is the legislature’s way of boosting up less competitive energy sources, at the increased cost to consumers and businesses,” said AFP-FL State Director Slade O’Brien. “We believe Governor Scott supports the free market and opposes government picking winners and losers in business. The best way for government to help encourage innovation and competition is to get out of the way and let the marketplace run its course.”

In the past week, AFP activists have made more than 3,000 contacts, both email and phone calls, with Gov. Rick Scott asking him to veto the bill, and this does not include the additional efforts being made by other coalition partners.

O’Brien added: “H.B. 7117 continues the legislative cronyism that has become standard at the local, state, and federal levels of government and it is time for it to stop. The legislature chose to ignore their constituents when they approved H.B. 7117, despite the overwhelming opposition that was voiced. Governor Scott should send a clear message that Florida is open for business for everyone and will not encourage some businesses to flourish at the expense of its citizens and entrepreneurs.”

For additional comments, contact Christian Cámara, Florida director of The Heartland Institute, at [email protected] or 305/608-4300 or Slade O’Brien, Florida director for Americans for Prosperity, at [email protected] or 561/441-5866.

The Heartland Institute is a 28-year-old national nonprofit organization with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Washington, DC. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a nationwide organization of citizen-leaders committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and intrusiveness of government is the best way to promote individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. Americans for Prosperity does not support or oppose candidates for public office. For more information, visit

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