About Bury The Lines

The Better Energy Alliance (BEA) is a Miami-Dade-based, 501(c)4 organization dedicated to the belief that any new power transmission lines to be run through the county, whether through a commercial or residential route, should be undergrounded for the safety and economic security of the residents of our community.

Florida Power and Light (FPL) has submitted applications, and received preliminary approvals, for two new nuclear reactors in Miami-Dade County, Turkey Point nuclear plants 6 and 7 (TPN 6&7). We strongly believe that FPL has no real intention of building these plants (read here about why) – but FPL continues to pursue state and federal licensing for TPN 6&7 which allows them to take advantage of Florida’s corporate welfare statute, known as Early Cost Recovery (ECR).
ECR allows a publicly traded utility to begin collecting money from ratepayers – in order to help finance development of new nuclear facilities – years in advance of construction. They can then use these funds to finance additional infrastructure projects that, once constructed, can be counted towards their capital base and, yet again, charged back to us, the ratepayers. (For more about ECR, go here)

FPL has been collecting ECR funds from Florida ratepayers since 2008. They have already collected $256 million from us and they are seeking $196 million more this year.

Nearly a decade before ground is broken on new nuclear facilities in this county (if it is even broken), FPL has proposed building a new 230 kV transmission line which must either run through a densely populated residential neighborhood or a densely populated commercial district (maps here). In either case, because of Florida law, FPL is under no obligation to construct these lines in any way other than the cheapest possible for them. They are also under no obligation to protect residents from electro-magnetic fields (EMF) above 15 feet from the ground (factcheck).

The facts are clear about power transmission lines of this voltage and size:

  • People living within 165 feet of transmission lines experience doubled rates of childhood leukemia and Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. (More here)
  • Property values within sight of transmission lines are reduced by 10% on average.  This decline in property value reduces the tax base, the level of economic activity, and the number of jobs.  Affected properties also take longer to sell. (More here)

FPL should do what is best for the residents and businesses of Miami-Dade County and underground the lines. We are already paying for them every month on our power bill; we shouldn’t have to pay for them with the health of our children and families, and the economy our community.

Public Counsel: Progress Energy should stop charging customers for Levy County nuclear plant

By Ivan Penn, Times Staff Writer In Print: Wednesday, August 17, 2011

TALLAHASSEE — Progress Energy customers should no longer have to pay for any additional develo ...