Takes some doing, but I finally penetrate the Great Wall of Drooling Flaks and get to somebody at FPL (Florida Plunder and Loot) who can answer my questions about the company’s abject failure leading up to and following Hurricane Irma. Special Advisor to the CEO for Media Relations and Communications, he gives his name as Josef Mengela.
Hmm. Can I call you Joe?
“Not if you want this to conversation to continue.”
I ask him to respond to data reported in the Miami Hurled, which includes the following:
Overall, nearly 4.5 million of Florida Power & Light’s 4.9 million customers had their power fail, including 92% of accounts in Miami-Dade County and 85% in Broward County.
The widespread outages happened despite FPL spending nearly $3 billion over the past decade to “harden” its electrical grid against the next monster storm. The investor-owned utility — which by law makes a guaranteed profit for shareholders between 9.6 and 11.6 percent — says it responded quickly to restore outages and that its storm-hardening efforts are working.
“Yeah — that’s right. We responded quickly. Is that a problem? You think we should have responded slowly, or maybe not at all?”
I gently remind the smarmy cockbite that the real concern isn’t their response, sluggish as it is, but an extraordinarily gigantic rate of systemic failure despite an allegedly costly campaign to render such responses unnecessary.
“Lemme stop you now because I know where you’re going with this,” says Mengele. “We hear this whining all the time, and it kinda gets old.
“First of all, it ain’t our fault, it’s yours. Let FPL trim trees the way we want and you’d have no problems at all. Here’s your choice: enjoy the beautiful, natural, healthy environment of subtropical landscaping and tree canopy, or live in a cratered moonscape. You want (a), you get power outages. We advocate (b), but you goddam tree-hugging snowflakes won’t let us nuke the terrain back to the stone age where we’d have unlimited fluorescent lights 24/7.”
And there’s no middle ground.
“Don’t matter if there is or there ain’t. We’re a monopoly — did you notice? It’s our way or the highway. Which brings me to the second point.
“We — FPL — do this for money. You know what is money? Money is why there’s an FPL. Money is why me and my CEO go to work every day, and why millions of investors trust us to make them more. You dickless goobers out there keep talking like FPL’s job is to provide electric power. HA! FPL’s job is to make profits. We’re a business, not a sniveling charity. We don’t give a possum’s pecker about power, all we worry about is a 10% return for our investors. Okay?”
Got it. You’d even kill for profit, like you did at the Hollywood Rehab Center.
“Oh, fuckin’ spare me. The reason people warehouse their decrepit family in these places is to get rid of them, first put ’em out of mind, then put the old farts out of their misery. How many croaked — a baker’s dozen so far? In a state so stuffed with ancient withering carcasses every dining room that runs Early Bird specials looks like a taxidermist’s studio? We did ’em a favor. They should thank us, not sue us. Hell — we made the roads a little safer and opened a few parking spots.
“But we got plenty of money — owning the PSC and the Florida Lege might cost a lot of campaign cash upfront but ultimately it saves us and the stockholders a bundle — so we’ll settle this quietly. Toss in a few bouquets for the funeral, if there’s any flowers left in this storm-ravaged shithole of a state.”
Well, thanks for your time and your candor Mr. Mengele. Can’t say anything you told me is a surprise, but it’s nice to hear my darkest suspicions about what fucking fiends and cutthroats you are entirely justified.
“No problem, loser. I get paid for this — I bet you don’t!”