Florida Court Blocks Push to Break Electricity Monopolies




MIAMI - Florida’s top court ruled against a proposed constitutional amendment that would have allowed customers to pick their electricity provider, threatening monopolies held by NextEra Energy Inc. and Duke Energy Corp.

In a ruling Thursday, the court said the petition’s language is “misleading” and doesn’t comply with requirements to be included on the 2020 ballot. The measure’s sponsor, Citizens for Energy Choice, said the move ends the initiative.

“While we were confident in our plan to gather the remaining signatures required, we cannot overcome this last obstacle,” the group’s chair, Alex Patton, said in a statement.

The proposed measure was one of several efforts underway to deregulate U.S. electricity markets. Earlier this week, two Virginia state lawmakers unveiled a bill to allow residents and businesses to pick their electricity provider, threatening Dominion Energy Inc.’s longstanding local monopoly. And in Arizona, where Arizona Public Service Co. has long reigned, regulators are considering a similar move.



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