Ease energy bills up to market rates
As a voter, I have a specific outcome I'm looking for in the coming special legislative session: I want a rate-stabilization plan that will bring my bill up to market rates over a few years ("Special session planned," June 6).
I don't want the legislature wasting its time over firing the Public Service Commission or trying to control the price at which Constellation Energy sells electricity or trying to re-regulate the industry (hello, consumer here, I want a choice).
If the legislature fails to form a plan that works this way, let's vote them out; they don't have our interest in mind.
Miller, Busch offer no energy solution
Who do these people think they are ("Miller, Bush threaten PSC: Act fast or be fired," June 3)?
State Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael E. Busch have had six years to fix the problem they created with energy deregulation, and did nothing.
And now they blame the governor and the Public Service Commission to try to cover up their incompetence.
Mr. Miller and Mr. Busch are both an embarrassment to Maryland, and if they had a speck of decency, they would resign and let legislators with some common sense try to solve the problem.
Neither one has offered anything constructive, and they sorely need to be replaced.
Big-money bonuses an abomination
Referring to the nearly $73 million that 13 Constellation Energy executives stand to gain if their company's merger with FPL Group of Florida goes through, compensation consultant Steven Hall said, "I hate to say this, but $73 million for 13 people doesn't strike me as 'Oh my god' money" ("In merger, officials to net $72.9 million," June 2).
You have to wonder what planet this guy lives on. Maybe he was thinking of the former chairman of Exxon Mobil who retired with an obscene $400 million payout, which was no doubt rationalized by that company's compensation consultant as well.
But $73 million divided among 13 individuals averages out to more than $5.5 million each, and that strikes me as "Oh my god money" no matter how you crunch the numbers.
And I'll bet millions of Americans, living paycheck to paycheck and deep in debt while their pension plans and health benefits steadily erode, would agree.
When you consider that almost half the people on this planet live on less than $2 a day, and that economic insecurity is a constant reality for countless others, a $5.5 million payout is not only "Oh my god money," it is an abomination that shouldn't be permitted under any circumstances.
Re-regulate energy to protect the public
So it's a 72 percent rate hike for us customers and more than $72 million in bonuses for Constellation Energy Group CEO Mayo A. Shattuck III and his fat cat business buddies ("In merger, officials to net $72.9 million," June 2).
If the people in the Maryland legislature who are supposed to represent us don't stop this merger and force Baltimore Gas and Electric to refund the money the state gave it for "stranded costs," they should be voted out and replaced with people who understand what representative democracy is all about.
We need elected officials who aren't in the same "good old boy" club as those they're supposed to be protecting us from.
Constellation Energy has become a predatory business and it must be re-regulated now.
Brutal war brings forth brutal acts
The Sun's editorial "When something snaps" (June 4) stated: "War crimes are not inevitable."
With all due respect, I think that is wrong. War crimes are inevitable because war is a brutalizing experience.
Surely, justice must be done. But the legal comforts of the justice system are an inadequate measure for the events at Haditha.
Beyond justice, those who were killed and those who did the killing were part of a tragedy set in place by the arrogance of misguided policies.
Segregation can be a matter of choice
Annette Fuentes' column "Decades later, segregation appearing in public schools" (Opinion * Commentary, June 5) missed the point that in schools located in places where the population is predominantly black, the students will inevitably be mostly black.
Are schools segregating blacks from whites? Is there a deliberate and systematic segregation by color? Are communities being segregated by law? I don't think so.
A reality check would tend to point to voluntary segregation in which people choose to live in places where they blend in based on color, income and culture.
There is, of course, no law preventing people from choosing which places or communities they want to live in. And it would probably be a bad idea to force schools to bus certain groups of students into schools outside their communities.
But it would be a wonderful thing to put the appropriate facilities, teaching materials and qualified teachers in all communities - whether they are composed of black, brown, yellow or white people or rich or poor.
Gracianus R. Reyes
Postage won't put people in poorhouse
Sam Ryan's column on "Why we're stuck with ever-rising stamp prices" (Opinion * Commentary, June 1) tries to make it sound as if the average American is facing dire hardship because of the increasing price of stamps.
As a postal employee and an average American, I mail about 15 letters a month. That's hardly a budget-breaker.
And I don't personally know of anyone who has trouble putting food on his or her table because he or she has to spend so much money on stamps.
The price of a first-class stamp in America is still a tremendous bargain.
So I have to believe that the people Mr. Ryan is really speaking for are the large corporations and bulk business mailers that would love to gut the wages and benefits of postal workers to improve their own bottom line.
Stamps are still a great bargain
In response to Sam Ryan's column "Why we're stuck with ever-rising stamp prices" (Opinion
Commentary, June 1), I would note that when I think of a 39-cent stamp taking a letter from Maryland to California, I have to say, "What a great deal."
Suppose the postal clerk handed my letter back to me and said, "Here is your 39 cents back, you take it to California"?
If the cost of a stamp were 42 cents, or 44 cents, or even 50 cents or more, I would still consider it a bargain.
I decide how much I spend on postage by the number of articles I allow the post office to handle for me. The Postal Service doesn't make this determination. If I don't use it, I don't pay anything.