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A worthy investment in a better electric grid
Gov. Martin O'Malley's proposal to force Maryland utilities to harden their systems against the kind of damage we saw in the summer's derecho storm raised immediate concerns among consumer advocates. The reason: It could add a dollar or two a month to residential customers' bills to compensate utilities for trimming trees, burying power lines and other activities that advocates say companies like Baltimore Gas & Electric and Pepco ought to be doing anyway. The criticism is particularly pointed in the case of Pepco, which was fined $1 million last year by the Public Service Commission for failing to invest sufficiently in that kind of grid maintenance.
October 3, 2012