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Economy / Business

Duke Energy Rate Hike Causes Controversy

Duke Energy plans to invest in renewable energy and natural gas-powered plants with a goal of reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. FACEBOOK

A protest was held Wednesday morning in front of the state Public Service Commission headquarters in Tallahassee to oppose a new Duke Energy rate hike.

The protesters want to stop a settlement that would require Duke Energy customers to pay $3.2 billion to close the shuttered Crystal River nuclear plant and stop plans to build another generator in Levy County.

Democratic State Representative Dwight Dudley of Pinellas County - who was at the protest - says Duke Energy picked the wrong time to build a power plant.

“They have expended billions of dollars in planning to build a nuclear plant, sadly, they didn't look around,” Dudley said. “They weren't reasonable and prudent in their planning that people were following and that was to not go forward with building nuclear plant.”

A court ruling allows for Duke Energy to keep the money needed for the plants even if they aren't built.

This ruling is being challenged by a group called "Stop Duke Rip Off", which is a coalition of Duke Energy customers. Duke took over Progress Energy Florida and serves most of the counties along the Gulf Coast.

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