PSC unaffected by DGA contributions

November 30, 2011

I am a big fan of transparency and disclosure in government, but one of the leaps made in The Sun's recent article about contributions by certain companies to the Democratic Governor's Association is misleading and needs to be corrected. ("Firms with Md. interests give to Democratic group," Nov. 27.)

After describing contributions by a company called Competitive Power Ventures, the article states that in "October, CPV got what it wanted" when the Maryland Public Service Commission ordered utilities to consider proposals for new power plants to be built in Maryland. Not so.

The PSC has been considering contracts for new resources, including generation, since August, 2008. We opened our investigation after PJM Interconnection, the operators of Maryland's electricity grid, testified that Maryland might experience shortages beginning in 2010. To prevent that from happening (successfully), we ordered electric companies to enter contracts for demand response resources in 2009; after further proceedings, we ordered the companies to issue requests for proposals for new generation in September 2011. Responses to the RFP are due in January, and our orders make clear that the PSC may decide not to order any contracts at all.

The PSC is an independent regulatory agency, and we have been running an open, transparent process relating to possible new generation for more than three years. And as a citizen and public official, I appreciate The Sun's efforts to ensure that government is and remains accountable to the public. There is, however, no connection at all between contributions any company may have made to a national political organization and the decisions our agency has made, now or ever.

Douglas R. M. Nazarian, Baltimore

The writer is chairman of the Maryland Public Service Commission.

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