Reporting Pat Warren
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– No turns to yes. An agreement with the state allows a proposed merger between Constellation Energy and Exelon to move forward, and it could benefit BGE customers.
Pat Warren explains what changed the governor’s mind.
Gov. Martin O’Malley says he opposed the merger because he didn’t believe the original plan was in the best interest of the state. He says there is now a new and better deal.
Constellation and Exelon entered into agreement with Maryland to invest in renewable energy, to harness the power of the sun and the wind, burn natural gas and chicken poo, and pass on the savings to you.
“It’s 10 times as much new generation as was originally proposed,” O’Malley said.
The state first opposed the deal as a significant risk or harm to BGE customers. These mergers are legally required to do no harm, to benefit ratepayers and be in the public interest.
The deal benefits residential ratepayers with a $100 credit on their BGE bill, assistance to people who can’t pay their bills and a weatherization program for low- to moderate-income families.
The public benefit includes 6,000 new jobs, increased development of renewable energy sources and reducing greenhouse gases. It also gives the Public Service Commission the power to separate BGE from its parent company.
“One of the major concerns that we had was that BGE — the electric company, the service delivery company – could be compromised in its ability to maintain its lines to deliver its service, to provide the reliable electricity, the restoration of power after big events or to become a cash cow for this new company,” O’Malley said.
O’Malley says appropriate protections are now in place.
The agreement moves the merger forward but does not guarantee that it will be approved.
Some members of the General Assembly want a mandatory spin-off of BGE as a condition of approval.