Wednesday, March 29, 2006

MD General Assembly Democrats: The PSC implemented the moronic laws we passed. What were they thinking?
Maryland Senate votes to oust PSC

ANNAPOLIS -- The Democrat-controlled Senate yesterday gave preliminary approval to a bill that would fire the five members of the utility-regulating Public Service Commission (PSC) for approving significant energy rate increases this summer.

"We don't have any confidence in the Public Service Commission," said Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., Prince George's County Democrat. "They have shown that they're completely and totally aligned with the utility companies."

Mr. Miller said PSC Chairman Kenneth D. Schisler made a "horrible mistake" by allowing Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. (BGE) to raise its rates by 72 percent, Potomac Electric Power Co. (Pepco) by 39 percent and Delmarva Power by 35 percent.

The Senate president said the PSC "did not cause" the energy-rate crisis, but it has "done absolutely nothing to alleviate the crisis."

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., a Republican who has appointed four of the five PSC commissioners, yesterday said, "If the same folks who brought you this situation want to control the Public Service Commission, let them have it."…

The rate increases are partly the result of a 1999 deregulation plan approved by the Democrat-controlled General Assembly and signed by Gov. Parris N. Glendening, a Democrat. [Ed. – there’s no ‘partly’ about it. The clueless Democrats forced the utility companies to borrow money to cover their operating expenses because their revenue under the mandated rate caps couldn’t. Now the chickens have come home to roost]

The plan included rate caps that kept electric bills artificially low for the past six years and discouraged competition from entering Maryland's partially deregulated utility market.

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