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Rosapepe responds to letter opposing BGE, Pepco fines [Letter]

2:13 PM EDT, March 25, 2013

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Mr. St. Peter's recent letter (March 14) opposing fines on BGE and Pepco for their power failures during last summer's derecho missed the mark in several ways.

First, the legislature gave the PSC the authority to fine monopoly utilities which fail to provide service for one obvious reason: to incentivize the companies do their job. There need to be serious consequences for failure.

Second, the law explicitly requires that fines be paid by shareholders, not customers, as Mr. St. Peter mistakenly thought.

Third, Senator Frosh and I specifically proposed that the fine revenue be used to underground power lines and to pay for technicians to restore power, not for other things.

Finally, while the derecho was clearly caused by climate change, not by the utilities, BGE and Pepco, not the good Lord, have the legal and moral responsibility to protect power lines from extreme weather and to repair them promptly when they are blown down.

Like most consumers, Senator Frosh and I just want them to do their job.

State Sen. Jim Rosapepe

21st District