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NEWS
February 7, 2011
Your Feb. 4 editorial ( "State of leadership" reflected a deep misunderstanding of the radical impact electric deregulation has had on Maryland's economy. By now, virtually everyone else understands that deregulation failed to meet its two major promises — lower rates and more reliable service. In his Thursday address, Gov. Martin O'Malley, a courageous champion of reregulation, simply noted what is plain to every ratepayer, particularly in the PEPCO service area. Since deregulation in 1999, rates have risen more than 70 percent — and the reliability of service has dropped.
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NEWS
Editorial from The Aegis | April 22, 2014
Like it or not, a new generation of electric meters is on its way to Harford County. BGE has called the new devices smart meters, a name that appears to have been coined to capitalize on the popularity of smart phones, even as that tactic appears to have backfired in certain circles. At recent county community input meetings, a topic on the minds of a fair number of speakers has been a general disdain for the smart meters. The energy company assures its captive customers they can opt-out of the smart meters program - at least for the time being - but they'll have to pay an upfront fee of $75, plus an additional $11 a month to keep the old meters.
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BUSINESS
By Thomas Easton and Thomas Easton,Tokyo Bureau of The Sun | October 19, 1994
TOKYO -- Wary of the tumult that occurred in the United States and always resistant to abrupt change, Japan finally completed its deregulation of interest rates this week after more than a decade of tiny shifts.The major banks in Japan responded to their new-found freedom by doing -- nothing.Rates on just-deregulated deposits, for example, previously set at a negligible 0.22 percent a year, rose an average of 0.03 percent. That translates to 30 cents a year for every $1,000 on deposit."Price competition is two to five years away," predicted David Snoddy, a banking analyst at Jardine Fleming Securities in Tokyo.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | November 3, 2013
James Malaro Jr. bought electricity from a company other than his utility for the first time last fall. The deal quickly went bad. The Centreville man hadn't realized it, but the money-saving rate he'd been quoted was variable, not fixed. It more than doubled during the winter. As more customers and companies jump into Maryland's electricity-purchase market, reports of problems and outright scams are mounting. Maryland's Public Service Commission has seen a more than 50 percent spike in complaints about energy suppliers this year compared with all of last year, including so many about Starion Energy - the company that increased Malaro's rate - that it launched an investigation into the Connecticut firm.
BUSINESS
By John E. Woodruff and John E. Woodruff,Sun Staff Writer | January 18, 1995
Maryland power companies and some of their biggest customers say the state's economy has a lot to gain from more competition in the electricity business.But almost all sides want the Public Service Commission to move very cautiously if it deregulates power prices, and most say Maryland should not go it alone but instead should join neighboring states in a regional deregulation plan."Let others blaze trails. There are bound to be constructive lessons to be learned from their mistakes," the Potomac Edison Co. urged in a 117-page paper that added up to an essay on the need for caution in changing familiar arrangements that have provided Marylanders with electric power for decades.
BUSINESS
By JAY HANCOCK and JAY HANCOCK,SUN COLUMNIST | March 15, 2006
Don't blame deregulation for the 72 percent pop in electricity bills that Baltimore Gas and Electric customers will see after July 1, says BGE. "It is not deregulation that has failed," BGE spokesman Rob Gould said on WYPR radio last week. "The real cause for the price increase is the world energy market." But for all of BGE's and parent Constellation Energy's portrayals of themselves as victims of high energy costs, the facts show not only that regulation would have softened this kind of rate shock but that deregulation was fixed from the start in their favor.
NEWS
By Gary Skulnik | February 26, 2002
THE PARTY'S over for electric deregulation. The question is, will Maryland consumers get stuck cleaning up the mess? When he led the fight to pass deregulation legislation in 1999, Sen. Thomas L. Bromwell Jr., a Baltimore County Democrat, erroneously declared that the bill was a "well-balanced blueprint for change, with carefully crafted protections for consumers, businesses, utilities and the environment." What Maryland got was a money-making dream for utilities. But it's looking like a nightmare for the state's consumers.
BUSINESS
By Kevin L. McQuaid and Kevin L. McQuaid,Sun Staff Writer | February 7, 1995
The state's two largest natural gas suppliers said yesterday that they support a deregulation plan for the industry but cited a number of obstacles to bringing true competition to the business.Representatives from Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. and Washington Gas Light Co. said they will work to implement the state Public Service Commission's deregulation plan, which is meant to encourage competition for the business of large industrial and commercial users."We believe this plan meets with the direction the industry is going on a federal level and fits with our vision of where local distribution will be in the future," said S. Edward Hargest, manager of BGE's gas planning department, at the PSC's first hearing on the deregulation issue.
BUSINESS
By JAY HANCOCK | March 12, 2006
Maryland and Michigan were electricity twins in the 1990s. Served by nearby nuclear and coal generators, households in both states bought kilowatts for roughly $1,050 a year - a little over the national average. Then they took divergent roads to deregulation, and that has made all the difference. Customers of Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. are due for a whopping 72 percent price jump after July 1, when a transitional rate freeze on electricity expires. Detroit Edison customers, on the other hand, saw only a 9 percent increase when their rate caps were lifted Jan. 1, says a Detroit Edison spokesman.
BUSINESS
By JAY HANCOCK | October 20, 2002
WHENEVER THERE was a plane crash in the 1980s, or an airline bankruptcy or a report on airport chaos, people would often call Alfred E. Kahn in upstate New York and ask, "How do you like deregulation NOW?" More than anybody else, economist Kahn was responsible in the late 1970s for dismantling the price and route controls that had made airlines expensive but stable public utilities. With each new gust of post-regulatory turbulence, journalists and policymakers wanted to know whether he had changed his mind.
NEWS
By Jacob Hacker and Nate Loewentheil | August 12, 2013
Everyone has heard that tackling poverty and inequality is bad for the economy. This is the dilemma that economist Arthur Okun, writing in the 1970s, called "The Big Trade-Off" - equality and efficiency are at odds. Yet more and more research and real-world experience suggest just the opposite. If there is a "Big Trade-Off," it is not between equality and efficiency. It is between policies that enrich the most fortunate and a broader distribution of opportunity that helps all Americans.
SPORTS
By Jon Fogg and The Baltimore Sun | December 26, 2012
Among the most talked about stories in college lacrosse in 2012, perhaps none was bigger than the recruiting of high school underclassmen. Nearly three years after the first recorded oral commitment by a sophomore, Johns Hopkins made history by accepting the first such commitment from a freshman - attackman Forry Smith of Haverford School in Havertown, Pa. Two more commitments from fellow members of the Class of 2016 soon followed....
NEWS
November 2, 2012
The Republican mantra to get rid of regulations just grates my ears. And after Hurricane Sandy, the most recent example of climate chaos, caused incalculable damage, the Republicans are suggesting privatizing search and rescue operations. Anyone who calls for less regulations is heartless and somehow ignores the deaths left in the anti-regulatory wake. The latest travesty are the illnesses and deaths caused by the New England Compounding Center ("Report finds lax pharmacy oversight," Oct. 31)
BUSINESS
Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | April 12, 2012
Maryland energy regulators Thursday ordered the construction of the state's first new natural gas power plant since the state's electric power market was deregulated more than a decade ago. In a decision questioned by other power producers, the Maryland Public Service Commission said it awarded a contract to CPV Maryland LLC to build the new $500 million facility in the Charles County town of Waldorf. The order calls for three of the state's largest publicly regulated power companies, including Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., to buy electricity from the plant.
BUSINESS
Jay Hancock | October 3, 2011
Last week, a decade after Maryland deregulated electricity by splitting the business of generating power from the business of delivering it to your house, worried regulators took a step backward. They essentially ordered Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. and Potomac Electric Power Co. to seek proposals for building a big, new electricity plant — and billing the cost to ratepayers. BGE, Pepco and other delivery companies were supposed to be through with generation plants. They were supposed to supply households, factories and stores with electricity bought from third parties on the unregulated wholesale market.
NEWS
By Peter Morici | September 7, 2011
America is in crisis. The new normal is not good enough. The unemployed can't find jobs, the old can't retire and those in between live in constant fear of being tapped on the shoulder and thrust into the abyss. Property values are lower than a snake's belly, stocks are diving and gold - the "fear asset" - seems the only sound investment. Thursday, President Barack Obama will address Congress and is expected to propose ideas that only maintain the status quo, or perhaps even make things worse.
BUSINESS
By Jay Hancock and Jay Hancock,Sun Columnist | May 27, 2007
You thought Steve Larsen could mutter an incantation, lift his eyes to heaven and make BGE's electricity-price increase vanish? We wouldn't be in this mess if it were that easy. If there's an upside to last week's Talladega act by Larsen and the rest of the Public Service Commission, it's this: Now we know how difficult it is to fix electricity deregulation. Larsen waved Baltimore Gas and Electric's 50-percent increase across the finish line virtually untouched. (It takes effect Friday.
BUSINESS
By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,SUN STAFF | March 6, 2002
Wary of changes in the marketplace, two powerful Maryland legislators want to create an oversight committee to monitor the process of electric deregulation that the General Assembly adopted in 1999 and recommend any changes that might be needed. Sen. Thomas L. Bromwell and Del. John A. Hurson said they will introduce legislation to create the panel within the next few days. Both legislators emphasized that they are not backing away from the state's deregulation plan, but want to know whether any course corrections are needed before the caps begin coming off residential electricity prices in 2004.
BUSINESS
By Jay Hancock | June 14, 2011
Deregulation has made BWI Marshall one of the most popular, admired and affordable airports in the country. But when passengers at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport step off the plane and head outside to fetch a cab, suddenly Gerald Ford is president again. Maryland awards the business of picking up BWI fares to one taxicab company, shielding it from competition much as the Civil Aeronautics Board did for airlines before 1978. If getting from the airport to your house seems almost as expensive as getting from the airport to Disney World, maybe the BWI taxi monopoly is part of the reason.
NEWS
February 12, 2011
In the past week, both Sun columnist Jay Hancock and state Senator James Rosapepe have used a deeply flawed premise to argue for a return to the days when Maryland consumers were captive to a monopoly utility ( "Misleading electric ads make case for reregulation," Feb. 6 and "Deregulation has made electricity less reliable," Feb. 7). Both fail to recognize the harm this would cause to the consumers they seek to protect. Approximately 179,800 residential customers of the state's largest utility are paying less for electricity, thanks largely to the significant savings offered by competitive energy marketers.
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