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Shattuck at the State House

For the first time since ratepayers learned that their energy bills could jump as much as 72 percent this summer, Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) and the top Democrats in the General Assembly met together with Constellation Energy officials to hear the company's latest proposal to soften pending electricity rate hikes.

Constellation's Chairman Mayo A. Shattuck III made his first appearance at the State House since word of the rising rates broke. Shattuck has become the target of criticism, particularly from Democratic legislators, who believe the company's planned merger with a Florida power company will do nothing to help Maryland customers, while enriching executives.

Shattuck and other company representatives slipped out a back hallway from the governor's office, leaving a spokesman to answer questions from waiting reporters. But the company later issued a statement, calling its latest proposal "aggressive."

The pending merger, according to the company, gives Constellation more resources to help reduce rate increases for its Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. customers.

"We're drawing upon all resources company-wide to support a far-reaching plan that is in line with electric rate increases seen in Maryland during the past two years," Shattuck said in the press release.

In other words, BGE customers would see no more increase than Pepco's customers in Montgomery and Prince George's have already experienced. Still no word on rate relief for Pepco ratepayers, who will see a 38.5 percent increase this summer.

By Ann Marimow  |  March 29, 2006; 9:51 AM ET
Categories:  General Assembly  
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But in Florida, our former Chairman PSC Lila Jaber has emails giving information to the DEP Florida Castille related to the merger one month BEFORE the Contellation FP&L merger anouncement.
And already, there are bills in Florida to invalidate county and cities from denying the building of new nuclear power plants in Florida. The determination of need before the PSC and siting board will be scrapped so that FP&L does not have to retool high price gas plants.

Already, the PSC under Jaber advocated and controlled dockets so that we have environmental clause, hurricane clause and fuel increase clauses directly added on TOP of Florida consumers' bills. So that FP&L does not have to pay out of profits for the merger.

The KEMA report FP&L produced for their Senate sub. investigation in Florida was not accurate, to the Florida PSC's own audit in 2005 four months before the hurricane. The FP&L audit showed the company did not spend money on maintenance. Now, a ruling before the PSC in two months will make it mandatory for a major percentage of FP&L's profits to go into mandated repairs in Florida's infastructure.

I guess from a FOIA Act record request, I had a better view of how a Florida company is subsidizing you Maryland Constellation consumers rate decrease..

Posted by: Peggy Arvanitas | March 29, 2006 12:02 PM | Report abuse

With Global warming we can expect a hotter summer and with the energy rate hikes, less people able to afford air conditioning. A hot summer wih people becoming more and more unhappy with their President,the War in Iraq, etc. and the perception of the lack of power to change things in Government because there is a one party lock on all three branches of government. Heat, powerlessness and discontent don't mix well. I sure hope we don't duplicate the riots in Paris this summer. I can't help but remember the components that went into our urban riots in the past.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 29, 2006 3:59 PM | Report abuse

These rate increases are incredible considering the utility companies are making hefty profits already, even with price caps in place. So why the massive, MASSIVE increases when the caps go away?

Simply because the caps are going away. If the government isn't going to regulate an industry that does not allow for broad competition to keep prices down, increases like the ones Pepco and Constellation are pushing will easily become the norm.

Posted by: corbett | March 30, 2006 9:58 AM | Report abuse

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