12/10/2014 01:41 pm ET Updated Dec 10, 2014

NextEra Gets What It Wants, Including HECO

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Earlier this year, Florida Power & Light Company presented regulators with an audacious request: allow the company to drill for natural gas in Oklahoma and transfer the financial risk — estimated at $750 million a year— to the utility’s 4.7 million Florida customers.

A subsidiary of NextEra Energy, which is in the process of acquiring  Hawaiian Electric Industries in a $4.3 billion deal, the Florida utility contended that the natural gas exploration would ultimately help lower customer bills. But the plan has sparked opposition from the editorial boards of some of the state’s newspapers, as well as Florida’s Office of Public Counsel, which advocates on the behalf of ratepayers.

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