O'Malley Launches Campaign for Electricity Rate Relief
A day after the Public Service Commission concluded that it has a right to review the proposed sale of half of Constellation's nuclear plants, Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) launched an offensive to force the Baltimore-based energy giant to come up with givebacks to electricity customers.
"We will spare no expense at retaining experts to defend the public's interest," a visibly angry O'Malley told reporters today at a press conference in Annapolis.
Customers "expect their government to stand up and fight for their public interest," he said.
The governor accused Constellation of "standing for one thing and one thing only: The profit motive."
The heated rhetoric is designed to bring Constellation to the table with concessions before regulators allow the proposed sale of half of the company's nuclear assets to Electricte de France International. The PSC has concluded that the sale would give Constellation's new partner "substantial influence" over Baltimore Gas & Electric, the utility owned by Constellation.
Since Maryland deregulated its energy markets, electricity bills all over the state have skyrocketed. O'Malley's biggest efforts to seek relief have been for BGE customers, since its parent company is in Baltimore and the PSC still regulates the utility.
The O'Malley administration is asking Constellation to give BGE customers a one-time, 10 percent rebate on their average annual energy bill and to limit a proposed golden parachute of $87 million for Constellation CEO Mayo Shattuck, among other concessions.
Constellation, not surprisingly, is balking and yesterday's appealed the PSC ruling to Baltimore Circuit Court. Attorneys for the attorney general's office said this morning that they have filed a countermotion to dismiss the appeal because they believe it should not be filed until the PSC review is completed.
Posted by: carylamari | June 16, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse
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