O'Malley Releases Video on Constellation Energy Battle
Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) has taken his battle with Constellation Energy into cyberspace.
The governor emailed a video called "Protecting Maryland Consumers" to thousands of constitutents and users of Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Linked In and MySpace. A year before his reelection campaign will be at full throttle, it's a message to Baltimore-area voters that O'Malley is fighting for them against the energy company that raised their electricity rates.
"For too many of our families, it's become a monthly exercise to figure out whether to pay the BGE bill, or to pay the grocery bill," the governor tells the camera, referring to customers of Baltimore Gas & Electric, a regulated utility owned by Constellation. "That's why it's so important for your state government to do everything we can to protect our hardworking families .."
Sound like a campaign commercial? In effect it is, an early effort to gain control over an issue that vexes voters and could make O'Malley vulnerable next year.
O'Malley has been fighting a public relations war with Constellation since he took office and pledged to lower high electricity bills across Maryland, the result of the legislature's switch to deregulation. Now Constellation wants to sell half its nuclear plants to a French company, and the Public Service Commission has ruled that it has a say in determining whether the deal is in the public interest.
The concern of the PSC and the O'Malley administration is that electricity rates will edge up further still. O'Malley has proposed a menu of givebacks, including a 10 percent rebate on the bills of BGE customers. But Constellation is fighting his plan, saying the door on givebacks was closed last year, when the company agreed to give BGE customers a one-time rebate of $170.
Posted by: Robgould | June 19, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse
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