Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 25, 2006

Deal lets BGE profit at public's expense

The Sun's bold headline "Rate Deal Reached" on Friday's front page must have been a parody. But after reading the articles about the energy deal, I doubt the citizens of Maryland will be laughing anytime soon.

Is anyone really fooled by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s announcement that this deal is "a vast improvement over what would have occurred"?

Increases of 44 percent almost immediately plus surcharges, with an endorsement of allowing rates to reach market levels by January 2008 - in 20 short months - mean that Marylanders may end up paying even more for their energy than they would under the plan the Public Service Commission had endorsed prior to this so-called deal.

As Marylanders become increasingly strapped by higher energy and gas prices, the only entity that ultimately benefits from this agreement is Constellation Energy Group.

While Marylanders pay dearly for the necessities of heat and electricity, some forgoing food or needed medicine to do so, Constellation shareholders will receive their biggest stock dividend of the last five years.

While Constellation Energy moves toward its merger with Florida's FPL Group, it will accumulate even more market control and higher profits at our expense.

All this is happening on the watch of Governor Ehrlich and his Public Service Commission - people who are supposed to be looking out for our common good.

What Maryland citizens need is a plan to protect them from such outrageous corporate greed and irresponsibility.

Let's stop the PSC's and the governor's political pandering and replace them with new voices of leadership and conviction.

Let's stop this parody from becoming our reality.

Michael J. Palumbo

Ellicott City

Energy deal a boost for working families

Kudos to the latest accomplishments of Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., who just announced a $1.2 billion financing package with Constellation Energy and Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. that will help all of Maryland's working families ("Democrats calling for rate action," April 22).

This package will allow some consumers to drastically reduce the proposed 72 percent increase rate on electricity to 19 percent this summer and will give Maryland's working families the option of an interest-free phase-in of electricity rate increases.

This truly shows that Mr. Ehrlich is looking out for Marylanders and especially for working families.

Al Eisner

Wheaton

Ehrlich energy pact still a bad bargain

You would think Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. would show some disappointment that his friends at Constellation Energy and Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. didn't give him more to offer the voters ("Democrats calling for rate action," April 22).

Despite all the hand-wringing and last-minute theatrics, BGE will still gets its 72 percent rate increase for residential customers and the state's threat to delay Constellation's merger with Florida's FPL Group will go away.

The governor claims this is the best deal he could get, although it falls short of the plan presented to the General Assembly, which failed at the last minute. But it appears to me that BGE got a better deal by just waiting for the state's business-friendly governor to step in.

Yet, here we are in the midst of a gubernatorial election campaign, and Mr. Ehrlich is left trying to blame the legislature, and Democrats in particular, for not getting a better deal.

George F. Harrison Jr.

Bel Air

Consumers get bill for GOP's leadership

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. has not helped consumers whatsoever with his "pay me now, pay me later" approach to the huge electricity rate increase consumers will soon have to pay ("Democrats calling for rate action," April 22).

Marylanders are paying a lot more at the pump under the watch of President Bush.

We are paying a lot more in rising health care costs under the watch of the Republican president.

Now we will be paying an incredibly significant amount more for our electricity under the watch of the Republican governor.

Mr. Ehrlich has failed the common person. I hope people will remember his terrible leadership in November.

Siri Svaeren

Catonsville

Don't blame BGE for our energy crisis

We aren't seeing the forest for the trees. Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.'s rate increase is but a reflection of an impending energy crisis that is caused by many factors, complicated and simple.

I don't fully understand them myself. But to criticize BGE for a 72 percent rate increase is like yelling at the local gas station owner for the rising gas prices we see every day at the pumps. It doesn't make sense.

Both BGE and the gas station owner are simply passing along the increases in the cost of energy to the customer.

I don't know who is getting rich from all of this, but it surely is not the gas station owner or BGE.

It makes some sense to me that the average ratepayer wouldn't understand all of this. But I expect the legislators to be informed - that's why we elected them.

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