Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

May 07, 2006

Appalled that BGE seeks sweeter deal

I am appalled that Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. is still going back to the trough to get a better deal on the rate deferral plan ("Utility fights ruling by PSC," May 2). These guys don't know how to take victory for an answer.

Constellation Energy helped write the rules for Maryland's deregulated energy market and is making money hand over fist. Its BGE unit will be profitable without charging interest.

What really needs to happen is for legislators to go back to Annapolis to fix the underlying problems created by deregulation that led to this 72 percent electricity rate increase.

Forget about how much of the rate increase we pay now and how much we pay later. We shouldn't be paying such artificially high rates to begin with.

Structural fixes to the market should include:

Mandatory, enforceable plans for the utilities to acquire affordable and reliable power.

A revamped auction process that prevents generators from selling power at prices that have nothing to do with how much it cost them to generate the power.

Financial assistance for residential and businesses customers to help them install efficient equipment that will reduce their power use.

Elizabeth Ridlington

Baltimore

The writer is a spokeswoman for the Maryland Public Interest Research Group.

Donate the money to help consumers

Constellation Energy Group's chief executive has pledged to give millions of dollars in merger-related compensation to a charitable foundation if the company's merger with Florida's FPL Group is approved ("CEG boss offers charity aid," May 2).

I think it would be a blessing if he would also share some of those millions with the many Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. customers who will be hit hard by the sudden increases in their bills in the coming months and may end up forfeiting food and drugs and turning off their heat to pay their outrageous electricity bills.

Freda Garelick

Baltimore

Nanny state intrudes on our freedoms

Adam Benforado's column "Deciding to kill" (Opinion Commentary, May 1) discussed executing prisoners convicted of crimes that deserve the death penalty. It also decried the killing by the government of motorists, and smokers, by "allowing" excess speeds on our highways, and "allowing" people to smoke.

The last sentence in the column is: "The day we abolish the death penalty will be a great day, but our work will be far from over."

My question is: Who is the "we" of whom he speaks and what is "our work"?

It sounds to me like it is the work of some sinister group that intends to bring about a nanny state in which the government prohibits life-threatening behavior (i.e. smoking, fast driving).

What's next? Doesn't anyone remember Prohibition and its disastrous consequences?

William D. Young

Timonium

Verdict will doom terrorist to footnote

Zacarias Moussaoui's sentence of life in prison is a more severe punishment than the death penalty ("No death penalty in Sept. 11 plot case," May 4).

If he had been sentenced to death, he would have become a martyr, going out in a blaze of jihadi-wannabe glory that would have fed his delusions of grandeur while stoking al-Qaida's public relations machine.

Instead, he will spend the next quarter-century or more as a small, forgotten man in a concrete box.

Mr. Moussaoui is on his way to becoming a historical footnote - a far worse fate than the well-publicized execution he had apparently hoped for.

America won.

Steve English

Clarksville

War won't control the nuclear genie

The fear expressed by the writer of the letter urging the United States to attack Iran before that country develops nuclear weapons is obviously sincere and deeply felt ("Waiting to attack Iran adds to danger," April 29).

And indeed, the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran is truly frightening.

But it is precisely the fear of a rival nation developing nuclear weapons that has allowed these monstrously evil devices to flourish.

From the beginning of the Atomic Age, fear has fed nuclear proliferation.

The United States developed the atomic bomb out of fear that Adolf Hitler would develop it first, only to use it on Japan - an already utterly defeated nation - in order to send a message to Josef Stalin.

Stalin responded to that message by developing the atom bomb in response.

And so it has gone, right up to the present day.

Israel developed the bomb out of fear of the Arab states. And Iran may now be developing the bomb out of fear of the United States and Israel.

It may already be too late to stop this madness; the world may very well be on the precipice of a nuclear Armageddon.

But if anything can save us, the history of the Atomic Age has shown that fear will not do so - fear can only push us all over the edge.

And if there is a way to put the genie back in the bottle, attacking one "bad" regime after another will surely not do it.

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