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Energy choice amendment gets signatures, but success is still a long way off

766,200 signatures are required.

A proposed Constitutional amendment that would change Florida’s energy industry might be a little closer to the 2020 ballot.

Nevertheless, gathering signatures doesn’t mean the much-reviled amendment is a shoo-in.

As of Thursday morning, the push to create an “open and competitive energy market” announced it had roughly two-thirds the 766,200 signatures needed by Feb. 1, 2020, for ballot access. However, less than 400,000 of those signatures have been verified — a long way from the key step to actually getting on the ballot.

Sponsoring organization Citizens for Energy Choice (CFEC) entitled the proposed amendment “Right to Competitive Energy Market for Customers of Investor-Owned Utilities.”

If the amendment passes, it would radically change Florida’s energy sector — allowing customers of investor-owned utilities to shop for the best price — with the possibility of myriad unforeseen consequences. For example, current investor-owned utilities, or IOUs, would be hamstrung, restricted only to construction or maintenance of infrastructure.

A vast number of organizations and individuals oppose the proposal, from business groups and the Urban League to the League of Cities. They say it’s misleading. Sixteen organizations have already filed briefs against the measure with the state Supreme Court.

Attorney General Ashley Moody had already come out against the proposed ballot item.

The group behind this movement Citizens for Energy Choice, raised over $3 million through June. July finance activity is not yet available. The sole funding for the effort is Coalition for Energy Choice, with Infinite Energy offering staff help.

Infinite Energy is a multistate operator with a Gainesville branch. The company also operates in Texas, Georgia, New York and New Jersey.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at a.g.gancarski@gmail.com.

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Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

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