The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) has canceled its meeting for this week with the threat of Hurricane Ian.
The PSC, which regulates utilities throughout the state, was set to hold three meetings between Tuesday and Thursday this week. However, because of the impending landfall of Ian later this week, the meetings have been canceled with no rescheduled dates yet.
Among the canceled meetings was a 9:30 a.m. Tuesday meeting to discuss proposed changes to a 30-year-old rule on the process for setting clean energy goals. Clean energy advocates at the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy were billing the meeting as an electric showdown between customers and the state’s biggest power companies.
Last week, George Cavros, the Florida director and energy policy attorney for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, said thousands of comments had already been filed about the most recent draft rules.
“Despite mounting public criticism, the Commission’s most recent draft rule would cement the status quo and further burden hard-working Floridians with higher power bills. This workshop is the perfect arena for Florida families to make their voices heard.”
Although Tallahassee isn’t in the storm’s immediate path, the statewide panel was expected to draw public comment from across the state, and the Commission was also expected to hold virtual meetings for certain communities on Wednesday and Thursday.
Gov. Ron DeSantis has declared a state of emergency for the entire state. During a Monday morning news conference, the Republican Governor warned Floridians to heed local evacuation orders but not to panic or over-purchase supplies.
The size of the storm means residents all throughout the Gulf Coast will feel the effects of Ian well before the eye of the storm hits the state.
“The impacts are going to be much, much broader than that,” DeSantis told reporters at the Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee, speaking of the storm’s predicted landfall near the Big Bend region. “You will see storm surge in places like Southwest Florida even though the storm is projected to be 150 miles off the coast of Southwest Florida.”