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Frosh petitions court to force reconsideration of Exelon-Pepco merger

Annapolis , MD -- Sen. Brian E. Frosh acknowledges applause from the House Chamber after he was sworn in as Maryland Attorney General in January. Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun
Annapolis , MD -- Sen. Brian E. Frosh acknowledges applause from the House Chamber after he was sworn in as Maryland Attorney General in January. Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun (Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun)

Attorney General Brian E. Frosh joined an effort in court Wednesday to require the Maryland Public Service Commission to reconsider its approval of Exelon Corp.'s merger with Pepco Holdings.

Frosh filed a friend of the court brief in an effort by the Office of People's Counsel, Maryland's consumer advocate, which filed a petition in Circuit Court for Queen Anne's County asking for judicial review after the PSC approved the $6.9 billion merger in May in a 3-2 vote.

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Advocacy groups such as Public Citizen petitioned the court as well. Chicago-based Exelon is the parent of Baltimore Gas and Electric.

Frosh and other critics had been vocal about their opposition to the merger, which they claimed would harm utility customers by creating a near-monopoly and lead to rate hikes. The merger was approved in several states until it was rejected by Washington, D.C., regulators in August, though the D.C. PSC is in the midst of another review of the case.

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Frosh's filing argued that the merger would harm efforts to expand renewable energy.

"If Exelon acquires Pepco and Delmarva, it would be in a position to exploit its dominance in Maryland to force us to consume more energy from power plants, and less from renewable and decentralized sources," Frosh said in a statement.

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