The Baltimore Sun

Regulating energy won't help consumers

The Maryland Chamber of Commerce would like to add a perspective missing from state Sens. E.J. Pipkin and Jim Rosapepe's column "Let's get a better deal" (Commentary, Sept. 23).

We are in extraordinary and uncertain economic times, with great instability in global energy and financial markets. The merger offer from MidAmerican Energy Holdings represents value, low risk and a high degree of certainty for Constellation Energy, Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. stakeholders and the state.

MidAmerican has made positive statements about allowing BGE to continue to operate autonomously and under local management. That's good news for job retention in Maryland and for charitable nonprofit groups that have relied on generous donations from Constellation Energy for many years.

MidAmerican's infusion of capital has also immediately strengthened and stabilized Constellation Energy's balance sheet.

Re-regulation of energy would not provide a "better deal" for BGE ratepayers. It would, in fact, expose ratepayers to all the financial risks associated with owning and operating power plants and investing in new generation.

In its 2008 session, the legislature established a process for the Public Service Commission to review merger transactions, including criteria such as the proposal's impact on rates, reliability, quality of service and employment.

Let's let the process and the PSC work.

Adding more instability and uncertainty to the marketplace would only be an added burden to us all.

Kathy Snyder, Annapolis

The writer is president and CEO of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce.

Energy stakeholders deserve better deal

Bravo to state senators E.J. Pipkin (a Republican) and Jim Rosapepe (a Democrat) for speaking out on the "fire sale" of Constellation Energy Group ("Let's get a better deal," Commentary Sept. 23).

The whole truth must be told to the citizens of Maryland regarding the sale of our energy company and what we citizens are losing here. Constellation Energy was profitable once, and would have been even more profitable if it had not been mismanaged.

It's outrageous and unforgivable that CEO Mayo A. Shattuck III and his board of directors would so quickly accept such a ridiculously low offer for the company and refuse even to consider a higher offer.

I feel sorry for the employees and shareholders who may lose much of their retirement funds and savings by being forced to sell their shares at $26.50.

More importantly, I feel sorry for the commercial and residential energy users of Maryland, who will really lose in the end.

If this deal goes through, we will lose a golden opportunity to regulate our own energy.

In the big picture, Maryland and its citizens will ultimately lose unless we band together and insist that our lawmakers and the Public Service Commission speak up on our behalf.

Sherrie Jordan, Perry Hall

Elitism may doom Obama's campaign

What upsets me about this election campaign are the efforts by the candidates to delegitimize the other side. And in this election, the Democrats are acting worse than the Republicans are (unlike four years ago, when the "Swift-boaters" were Republicans).

For instance, Garry Trudeau uses his comic strip to make Gov. Sarah Palin into a horrid caricature, and those strips are put on the editorial page as a valid opinion. And Sen. Barack Obama is supported by some of the most intolerant elitists I have ever heard.

The Moral Majority has been eclipsed by "sophisticated" liberals who think that anyone who disagrees with them is unworthy.

The opponents of Ms. Palin have lost all sense of proportion, and their arrogance will do them in.

Leonard Oberstein, Baltimore

Does Keillor see Democrats' failings?

It's a good thing for Garrison Keillor that Democrats apparently never make any mistakes or refine their thinking on the issues or use hyperbole ("Moose on the loose in Sarah Palin country," Commentary, Sept. 18).

If they did, he would have to crank out twice as many of the sarcastic, rambling rants that he has convinced The Baltimore Sun are opinion columns.

Ray Saunders, Towson

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