Thursday, May 20, 2010

FPL Shareholders and customers ask, “What’s the company's connection to BP’s disaster in the Gulf?”

Juno Beach, FL-- FPL generates over 20,000 megawatts of energy from oil and gas in the state of Florida.* Shareholders and customers want to know how much of their profits came from oil or gas related to BP's operations in the Gulf. Several Shareholders have submitted their question without any response thus far. They will have their chance to ask in person Friday, May 21st at 10am, during the annual FPL Shareholder’s conference.

The Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition (PBCEC) will hold a demonstration in front of the corporate offices in Juno Beach, located at 700 Universe Blvd. beginning at 9:15am with the primary message to Shareholders that those profiting from the drilling operations which led to the BP oil disaster must also be held accountable.

The primary item on this year's Shareholder agenda is a name change for the corporation from FPL to 'NextEra Energy'. PBCEC feels this is an effort to distance themselves from recent scrutiny regarding a myriad of environmental, safety and ethics issues.

"There are clearly much more important issues at hand then what they call themselves," stated Shareholder, Thomas Saporito, former employee of FPL and current Executive Director of Endangered Planet Earth. Saporito will be attending the FPL meeting and providing an update to media and demonstrators following the meeting. Other stock-holding PBCEC representatives may also be present inside the meeting.

Regarding FPL's relation to the Gulf disaster, Panagioti Tsolkas, Co-Chair of PBCEC, commented, "This wouldn't be the first time FPL was associated with an oil spill along Florida's coast," referring to a 2006 pipeline leak off Manatee County*. That leak occurred amidst the group’s battle against a new gas-and-oil burning FPL power plant, which is still under construction 1000 feet from the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge.

"This month we've been offered a devastating reminder of the toll taken by industrial disasters. All confidence has been shattered that the government or corporations can safeguard the public," stated Tsolkas. "The days of this Energy Empire are numbered. The whole system has got to change."

The PBCEC also maintains several concerns with other FPL operations and practices which it wishes to convey at the meeting, including:

-Impacts to the Barley Barber old-growth bald cypress swamp by Martin County plant;

-Environmental racism in Riviera Beach;

-Hazardous radioactive emissions and dangerous storage practices in St. Lucie and Turkey Point nuclear plants;

-'Greenwashing' their image by providing exaggerated environmental benefit and fraudulent programs to mask negative impacts of centralized, combustion energy

-Extortion of rate payers through 'Early Cost Recovery' which is charging customers for plants that aren't even permitted yet;

-Involvement in documented corruption with the Public Service Commission staff (PSC) and Board of Palm Beach County Commissioners, as well as coercive influence over all levels of government in Florida;

-Proposed hikes in utility rates for more fossil fuel infrastructure and high-level executive pay increases.


*Map of FPL plants in Florida: (This link does not include 3,800 megawatts recently added and more underway.)


Saturday, May 15, 2010


Tuesday May 18, 2010

There will be an interfaith dialogue at L'Dor Va-Dor, which will involve Hindu, Muslim, Christian and Jewish clergy discussing the Guld oil spill and the role of the religious community to protect God's handiwork, the environment.

L'Dor Va-Dor is located one block east of the Turnpike at 7400 Lake Worth Road.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Where Does FPL Stand on the BP Disaster?

Protest the Gulf Oil Spill at 2010 FPL Shareholders
conference in Juno Beach
MAY 21st 9am to 11am
(on the corner of US 1 and Universe Blvd).

Join us in asking FPL to acknowledge their role in BP's Gulf of Mexico disaster, as Florida's single largest purchaser of oil and gas in the State.

While we must make personal changes in our lives, we also need to face the fact that profit-driven corporate demand for fossil fuels is at the root of the problem.

FPL has sought approval for near 7000 megawatts (MW) of new gas/oil burning facilities in Florida in the last 5 years, on top of the 20,000 MW of oil & gas plants they already have in operation (compared to 300 MW in solar).

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

FPL wants to take reservoir water intended for environment, community supplies,0,3169769.story

South Florida

By Andy Reid, Sun Sentinel

11:01 PM EDT, May 11, 2010

Reservoir water intended to replenish the Loxahatchee River and boost community supplies could instead get tapped by Florida Power & Light Co.'s new power plant in western Palm Beach County.

South Florida taxpayers invested $217 million to convert old rock mining pits at Palm Beach Aggregates, west of Royal Palm Beach, into a 15 billion-gallon reservoir.

The reservoir — criticized for its cost and touched by political scandal — was finished in 2008, but expensive pumps must still be constructed to start delivering water to the Loxahatchee. Also, water-quality concerns are hampering the reservoir's ability to replenish community water supplies.

In the meantime, FPL proposes dipping into the reservoir water to help run its nearby plant, also built on former Palm Beach Aggregates land.

The South Florida Water Management District's board on Thursday is to decide whether to allow FPL to install a temporary pump and pipeline to deliver reservoir water to the power plant.

"That wasn't the purpose of the reservoir. … They shouldn't set that precedent," said Drew Martin, of the Sierra Club.

FPL would pay for the temporary pump and pipeline, but wouldn't have to pay for using the reservoir water.

The long-term water-supply plan for the power plant is to use recycled, treated wastewater — typically used for irrigation — but Palm Beach County's water lines are not yet completed. FPL wants to use the reservoir water until early 2011.

Water management district officials contend that sending some of the water to FPL would help address water-quality problems arising from the stormwater now largely left stagnant in the reservoir.

Elevated levels of chloride in the reservoir water are raising concerns about its suitability for replenishing the Loxahatchee, or even replenishing community supplies during droughts.

The district has been cycling fresh water into the reservoir from the nearby L-8 stormwater drainage canal and then discharging mixed water back into the canal.

South Florida's system of canals flushes stormwater out to sea to guard against flooding. The purpose of the reservoir is to hold onto some of that water and use it to replenish the Loxahatchee River, cut off from water flows by decades of draining South Florida to make way for development and agriculture.

The reservoir also is intended to boost local community water supplies and during recent droughts helped prop up West Palm Beach's strained supplies.

Sending water to FPL ultimately could use about 10 percent of the water supply available in the reservoir and is estimated to lower chloride levels, said Ken Ammon, deputy executive director of the South Florida Water Management District.

"Recycling and being able to dilute the water … it's a good win-win system in the interim," Ammon said.

Two of the three power-generation units at FPL's new natural-gas-fuel power plant, called the West County Energy Center, are up and running.

To get water to run the power plant, FPL is now using water from 1,200-foot-deep wells that pump it out of the salty aquifer that also is tapped to supplement South Florida's drinking water supplies.

FPL's plant heats water to generate steam used to power electricity-producing turbines. It also uses water to cool the steam so that the water can be heated again to keep providing energy. The waste water produced by the plant gets pumped underground.

The new plan would blend the water from FPL's wells with water from the reservoir, reducing the amount of water the utility pumps out of the ground. The company estimates it would pump about 5,000 gallons per minute out of the reservoir, FPL spokesman Neil Nissan said.

The power plant and reservoir have been dogged by controversy.

Environmental groups have protested FPL's new power plant, arguing against more fossil-fuel-powered energy production that they contend leads to more pollution and encourages development in already overcrowded South Florida.

Also, the reservoir project and Palm Beach Aggregates' past development proposals were linked to corruption investigations that prompted two Palm Beach Countycommissioners to resign and go to prison amid a federal corruption investigation.

The water management district is collaborating with the Army Corps of Engineers to get the reservoir pumps built. Design work on the pumps could begin this summer, Ammon said. How to pay for the estimated $60 million cost remains the key stumbling block.

"I'm very confident that long-term, this project will be able to deliver the water," Ammon said.

Martin, of the Sierra Club, called the reservoir at Palm Beach Aggregates "a huge waste of money."

"They never should have built it," Martin said.

Andy Reid can be reached at or 561-228-5504.

Copyright © 2010, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

PBCEC statement on the BP offshore drilling oil blowout disaster in the Gulf of Mexico

Oil from the Deep Horizon disaster is moving rapidly towards the Gulfstream current, potentially bringing an oil spill to our shores in Palm Beach County.

In light of the BP disaster in the Gulf, We demand an end to all off-shore oil drilling on the coasts of Florida.

BP is primarily responsible for this oil spill thus, we call for a boycott of all BP products until the oil spill is cleaned up and all damages paid for.

We seek the declaration of a state of emergency by the State and Federal governments in order to use all available resources to stop the leak, clean the spill and stop the oil from coming to Florida if at all possible.

We seek a special session of the Florida Legislature and U.S. Congress to accomplish the above, and to take all feasible measures to get our state and nation off of its fossil fuel addiction by ending all further expenditures and permits for fossil fuel plants and granting tax and financial incentives for decentralized, renewable energy.

While BP is primarily responsible, other corporations such as Halliburton and energy companies such as Florida Power & Light (the state's largest single purchaser of oil and gas) are responsible and should also be held financially accountable.

In the end, we are all responsible by living in a society in which we are all dependent on oil and gas. This addiction must end.

We call upon all people from all political, religious and social backgrounds to come together in a common effort to break our addiction to fossil fuels and create an energy independent America.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

PBCEC Announces BP Boycott Protest & Beach Protection Rally

The Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition joined with individuals and groups across the country in announcing their support for a boycott of BP gasoline. Local citizen rallies in response to the disastrous oil spill at the BP oil well in the Gulf of Mexico are planned. Details of the first two events are below.

BP Boycott Protest

Who: Citizens of Palm Beach County & the Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition
What: BP Boycott kick-off
Where: BP station, 4567 South Congress Avenue, Lake Worth (corner of 6th Avenue)
When: Wednesday, May 12 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Why: To urge citizens to join the boycott of BP gasoline
How: Demonstrating at a local BP gas station

Beach Protection Rally

Who: Citizens of Palm Beach County & the Palm Beach County Environment Coalition
What: Mass meeting to discuss short- and long-term citizen and government solutions to
the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico
Where: Lake Worth Beach (across from the Public Beach Casino building)
When: Saturday, May 15 at 2:00 p.m.
Why: To empower citizens in the effort to respond to the current catastrophe and prevent future oil spills in Florida’ coastal waters
How: Holding a public meeting to discuss a special legislative session, state and federal state-of-emergency status, a BP boycott, opportunities to volunteer time and supplies, and other ways to address this preventable disaster