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In The Sun Today: O'Malley conditionally supports approval of Constellation's deal with French firm

Final briefs in regulatory case before the Public Service Commission were due by noon. The PSC will determine the fate of the massive deal that the companies say is needed for a new nuclear reactor to be built in the state.


O'Malley backs CEG merger

Gov. Martin O'Malley for the first time is backing regulatory approval of Constellation Energy Group's joint venture with a French utility - but only if BGE customers get one-time credits that could be worth more than $200 per household and other conditions are met.

O'Malley, a Democrat, has publicly reproached Constellation and argued that the Public Service Commission, the state's top energy regulator, should ensure that the company's proposal to sell half its nuclear business to Electricite de France for $4.5 billion is in the public's interest.

The governor's heavily qualified support for the transaction comes after he failed to wrangle concessions from Baltimore-based Constellation, which owns Baltimore Gas & Electric, during months of negotiations that took place apart from the regulatory hearings. Many of the demands O'Malley made during those talks are now the conditions he proposes to the PSC.

“The Commission should attach conditions to the approval of this transaction that will give full confidence to the credit markets, to BGE customers, and to the public as a whole,” the administration writes.

Constellation spokesman Robert L. Gould declined to comment on the administration's latest stance Sunday night.

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