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NEWS
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.
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NEWS
September 30, 2014
Power reliability was a foreign concept just a few years ago. For years, many of us in Howard County suffered through power outage after power outage. We lost freezers full of food, stayed overnight in hotels and risked running generators to stay warm. Sometimes, as in the case of the derecho in June of 2012, we were without power for days and weeks. Things have been markedly better in the last year when it comes to power outages, and lest we forget, I wanted to remind everyone how this happened and why we owe our thanks to Councilwoman Courtney Watson.
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NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | March 12, 2013
Sen. Robert A. Zirkin called on a Senate committee Tuesday to approve legislation expanding the state Public Service Commission's role in overseeing the state's interstate natural gas pipelines -- including one running alongside his Owing Mills home. The PSC, however, expressed ambivalence about taking on the broad new role Zirkin envisions -- saying some of his proposals would run afoul of federal law. Zirkin received a hearing on a package of seven bills he has introduced to increase state regulation of the natural gas pipeline industry.
BUSINESS
By Arthur Hirsch, The Baltimore Sun | August 19, 2014
Exelon, the parent of Baltimore Gas & Electric, filed its application Tuesday with the state to acquire Pepco Holdings, a move company officials say will improve service and boost the economies of Pepco's service areas in and around Washington, D.C., and on the Eastern Shore. Chicago-based Exelon reached a $6.9 billion agreement this spring to acquire Pepco, but the deal must be approved by state regulators, including the Public Service Commission of Maryland. Donna Cooper, president of Pepco Region, said she expected the approvals to be completed in the second or third quarter of next year.
NEWS
July 9, 2014
As a senior citizen with very limited income, I'm appalled at the fact that more than likely we will receive a rate increase in our Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. bill ( "BGE asks for fourth rate increase in four years," July 2). The utility has received multiple rate increases over the past few years without a blink from the Maryland Public Service Commission. This commission seems to lean toward the BGE increases and never toward the consumer. I note this as someone who over the years has had to, as the saying goes, "rob Peter to pay Paul," with each allowed increase.
NEWS
June 23, 2010
The Sun's June 22 editorial on the Public Service Commission's denial of BGE's smart meter application simply repeats BGE's own assertions regarding its proposal as a business venture and fails to acknowledge the important ratepayer concerns at issue in this case. The long-term vision of a "smart" grid for the country is not at issue here. What is at issue is BGE's specific smart meter proposal to spend almost $1 billion, paid by BGE's customers, risk-free and at a profit to the company, to replace all existing electric and gas meters.
NEWS
March 3, 2014
After reading the article "Fees required to avoid smart meters" (Feb. 27) by Jamie Smith Hopkins , my reaction can be summed up with the word "outrageous. " For Baltimore Gas and Electric to impose a charge of $75 to be followed by a monthly fee for customers who do not desire to change to smart meters is just disgraceful. One of my commitments to the voters of the state of Maryland is to try to abolish the Maryland Public Service Commission because of the idiotic rulings it makes such as this penalty forced on customers who want to avoid smart meters.
BUSINESS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | February 17, 2014
A Senate committee voted to approve Gov. Martin O'Malley's nomination of a former employee of a New Jersey utility company to the Public Service Commission over the protest of a group of Montgomery County consumers. Opponents expressed concern that Anne E. Hoskins, who was appointed to the powerful regulatory body in August, would be too supportive of power companies and not sympathetic to ratepayers. Sen. Delores G. Kelley, chair of the Executive Nominations Committee, said she had received letters supporting and opposing Hoskins' continued service on the PSC. Hoskins has been serving in a provisional capacity since her appointment.
BUSINESS
By The Baltimore Sun | March 7, 2011
Maryland's Public Service Commission struck back at an industry proposal to change the rules for wholesale electricity auctions, saying the plan would protect industry profits and block construction of new generators. The PSC "strongly protested" the proposed change before federal regulators, the agency said in a prepared statement. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is considering the proposal from the PJM Power Producers Group, an industry consortium that includes Constellation Energy, owner of Baltimore Gas & Electric.
BUSINESS
By Gus G. Sentementes | gus.sentementes@baltsun.com | February 3, 2010
State regulators proposed on Wednesday that Verizon's ability to raise rates on some basic telephone services be directly tied to the telecommunications giant's efforts to improve customer service – a potential outcome that would be a regulatory first in Maryland. The proposed order from the Maryland Public Service Commission comes amidst several ongoing cases dealing with complaints from tens of thousands of customers who experienced lengthy delays in customer service in 2007 and 2008.
NEWS
August 12, 2014
By its decision to regulate Uber as a "common carrier" ( "Uber is 'common carrier,' commission rules," Aug. 7), the Maryland Public Service Commission stands athwart the tide of technology and history. Allowed to stand, the ruling would harm Marylanders. Why restrict Uber's freedom of operation at all? The public love Uber's quick, reliable service. Virtually no one is complaining apart from taxicab companies. In our time of the Internet, global positioning systems and smartphones, the PSC's decision to prevent Uber from using its celebrated "surge pricing" to assure prompt service all across the area is nuts.
NEWS
August 7, 2014
The Maryland Public Service Commission's decision this week to classify the ride-sharing service Uber as a common carrier is probably not the end of the story as to whether the company will continue its operations in Baltimore City and Annapolis. Uber has said it will appeal the decision, and the PSC itself ordered regulators to begin crafting new rules for for-hire companies in a tacit recognition of the changing nature of the industry. Ultimately, what needs to emerge is a compromise that allows consumers to continue to benefit from Uber's innovative business model (and others that may come after it)
NEWS
August 4, 2014
Harried commuters will be gratified by the Maryland Public Service Commission's decision last week to require taxicabs operating in Baltimore City to install credit card-reading devices in the back seat where passengers sit. The new rule, which goes into effect at the end of the year, will allow customers to just swipe a Mastercard or Visa to pay the fare rather than having to carry cash. It's a convenience riders in other cities have long enjoyed, and it has probably taken a lot of the anxiety out of hailing a cab. It's about time Baltimore caught up with the trend.
BUSINESS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | July 29, 2014
State regulators on Tuesday rejected rate increases for taxis and ordered all operators to install new credit-card-reading smart meters by the end of the year. The Maryland Public Service Commission said the new meters will bring more predictability and better service to customers hailing cabs in Baltimore city and county, while providing better financial data for use in future rate reviews. The commission cited the lack of reliable data as a major reason for rejecting rate increases.
NEWS
July 17, 2014
On July 2, for the fourth consecutive year, Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. asked the Public Service Commission to approve a rate distribution increase for citizens, who receive both gas and electric service. For each of the past three years, BGE has gotten an increase in the rate distribution charge, which has added $6.80 a month to the average electric bill and $4.28 to the average gas bill. If the PSC allows this fourth increase, additional monthly charges will amount to an average of $6.57 on electric bills and $8.53 on gas bills.
NEWS
July 9, 2014
As a senior citizen with very limited income, I'm appalled at the fact that more than likely we will receive a rate increase in our Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. bill ( "BGE asks for fourth rate increase in four years," July 2). The utility has received multiple rate increases over the past few years without a blink from the Maryland Public Service Commission. This commission seems to lean toward the BGE increases and never toward the consumer. I note this as someone who over the years has had to, as the saying goes, "rob Peter to pay Paul," with each allowed increase.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | December 28, 2012
Gov. Martin O'Malley named Maryland's chief utility regulator to the state's intermediate appeals court Friday while elevating a member of the Public Service Commission to be its chairman. O'Malley announced that he has appointed Douglas R.M. Nazarian, who has led the PSC since 2008, to the Court of Special Appeals, which provides the first level of review in most cases appealed from the circuit courts. The governor named W. Kevin Hughes , a longtime gubernatorial aide who has served on the commission since 2011, to the chairmanship.
EXPLORE
July 30, 2012
I found the article about BGE's outages ("Residents lash out at BGE over outages at hearing," July 26) very interesting - as I sat at home reading it by flashlight on Thursday evening. Once again, our neighborhood was without power for several hours. I cannot recall how many times we have lost power, from a few seconds to up to six days (twice), over the last 14 years. In our immediate area it seems to be the same pieces of equipment along the same stretch of lines that are the source of our problems.
NEWS
June 17, 2014
In its permit ruling last month, the Maryland Public Service Commission stated that the proposed Cove Point liquefied natural gas refinery is not in the public interest and would be a net economic negative for the state. That should have been the end of the discussion and the project should have been denied ( "Cove Point natural gas export facility gets state OK," May 30). Instead, the PSC thinks that if Dominion shells out $48 million for absolution for the harm they will cause to the environment and economy, it will be acceptable.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | June 9, 2014
Energy company Dominion said Monday that it formally accepted Maryland regulators' conditions for their approval of a power plant the company needs to export liquefied natural gas from its Southern Maryland complex. Maryland's Public Service Commission said Dominion could build the 130-megawatt generating facility only if the company contributed $48 million toward funds set up for clean energy efforts, energy efficiency and low-income utility bill assistance. Regulators said the project otherwise would provide no net economic benefit to Marylanders.
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