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Government watchdog report says utility companies have too much power in legislature

FLORIDA  --  A government watchdog report released today says Florida's biggest utility companies have too much power in the legislature.

Integrity Florida's report singles out Florida's four biggest utilities: Florida Power and Light, Duke Energy, Teco Energy and Gulf Power.
   
The report shows electric utility companies contributed more than 18 million dollars to lawmakers between the 2004 and 2012 election cycles.

Integrity Florida says the power company's influence has lead to legislation leading to rate hikes and a lack of transparency on customer's power bills.

"We're paying for power plants that are never built but companies are profiting our money, and they're doing it because we have a legislature that's essentially bought by the campaign money and lobbying from the electric companies."
   
The report was paid for with a grant from an advocacy group that wants Florida to adopt more electricity options.
   
The utilities vigorously reject the allegations.