Progress Energy Greed
One of the important roles American government plays in the lives of its citizens is protection from the abuses of true monopolies.
A monopoly company is one which so controls consumer choice that that company is free to exploit their position in the marketplace.
Progress Energy is a monopoly company.
The state of Florida has made it possible for Progress Energy to be the only allowed energy source for consumers in its service area. For the state of Florida to further allow Progress Energy to bill customers for capital improvements is unconscionable.
In a free market democracy, Ford for example wouldn’t bill its customers to fund a new assembly plant simply because those customers would instead become General Motors customers.
Given that the State of Florida has enabled Progress Energy to attain monopoly status over its customers, the state of Florida owes its citizens a higher, not lower responsibility to protect those citizens from exploitation.
The state of Florida should either allow open competition for Progress Energy customers, or disallow Progress Energy from billing its customers for things no free market company would ever be able to do.
Progress Energy should do what other free market companies do when they need money to build: sell stock, borrow or take it out of profits.
<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen