12:30 PM EDT, September 23, 2011
Do you remember the hurricane of "historic proportions?" You most likely slept through it. Let me give you some key points to think about. Baltimore Gas and Electric cut back 1,500 personnel designed to address these types of disasters. It was more economically feasible to retain the service of others outside the utility such as members of other utilities or private sector people to call in to restore power. You can also throw the burden of this expense onto BGE customers, so the net result is it's free to BGE.
Here is one more tidbit to consider. In order to prevent tree limbs and such taking out power lines, BGE had in place a very effective line maintenance program where crews would go out and trim back encroaching tree limbs — just as other utilities do. This program wasn't eliminated but was scaled back drastically.
When you haven't taken necessary precautions or line maintenance actions, you can be assured that when a storm strikes the damage to the system or power grid is going to be more severe.
Does anyone remember the years gone by when BGE showed up with trucks with dry ice so customers didn't lose perishable foods in their refrigerator or freezer? That program was also eliminated.
My suggestion is not to drink the Constellation Energy Group Kool-Aid, and try some old fashioned investigative reporting. You may be surprised what you find out.
When the utility gets sold to Exelon Corp., hold on to your wallet. Most people have recognized that Constellation CEO Mayo A. Shattuck III runs a hedge fund not a utility interested in serving the public.
Tom Black, Sparks
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