Do you think that the exposure of the Enron frauds cured power utilities of their criminal activities? WRONG!

Another power utility has been developing that is now powerful enough to levy a 72% increase in Maryland electric rates.

Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE) rates have been capped since shortly after the passage of a 1999 deregulation law. The Maryland Public Service Commission imposed the caps with the expectation that competition would develop as the state moved toward a free-market electric industry. [fat chance]

Naturally, energy prices have soared since deregulation. Along came the Constellation Energy Group Inc. to acquire BGE (and PEPCO, the Washington, DC electricity provider) and further discourage competition.

The Maryland Public Service Commission (appointed by Republican Governor Ehrlich)

allowed the acquisition and Constellation Energy Group to become the nation's largest supplier of power since Enron.

Now, the 1999 cap deal has expired and BGE/Constellation Energy announced a 72% rate increase in its already exhorbitant rates. The Maryland Public Service Commissioners again failed to regulate rates and public outrage ensued.

Maryland Governor Ehrlich pressed for a "plan" to increase the rates in steps of 15% spread over several years. Oh, sure, that'll work.

Once again,the corporate/government collaboration is gouging the public.

Ain't Capitalism grand?

UPDATE! Maryland legislators voted to fire all five commissioners for agreeing to the BGE rate increase. The commissioners sued. And lost. Film at 11.

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