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Jun. 2009, Baltimore Sun: Constellation

State senator: Constellation is looking out for CEO pay, not citizens

4:17 PM EDT, June 15, 2009

Your editorial attacking Gov O'Malley for insisting that the Constellation/EDF merger benefit ratepayers, shareholders and the environment rather than just a handful of Constellation executives ("Separate Politics, Power" June 15) is based on several significant factual mistakes:

  • Constellation got itself into its latest self-inflicted mess in December by filing a frivolous legal challenge to the Public Service Commission's responsibility to review whether or not the transaction is in the public interest. Had they complied with the law then, the deal could have been done by now.
  • Realizing its mistake, and hoping to avoid a lengthy proceeding with an uncertain outcome, Constellation approached the State about settlement talks. The State agreed to talks, simultaneously advocating that the PSC obey the law.
  • On June 2, the State offered a list of steps CEG could take to protect the public's interest in this deal, including reduced rates for consumers, partial reregulation, protection of BGE from further mismanagement by Constellation, investment in clean energy, and dropping the whopping payout of $87 million to CEO Mayo Shattuck.
  • Constellation was free to accept, reject or counter. Governor O'Malley's proposal was entirely appropriate. Standing up for the interests of the people of Maryland is his job. Constellation never even responded to the State's offer.
  • Finally, the PSC law must approve any settlement, and can only do so only after public hearings and concluding it is in the public interest. Why won't Constellation promptly negotiate a deal which is good for its ratepayers, its shareholders, and our environment? Is it only concerned about protecting a $87 million payday for its CEO?

If that's true, what a shame for Maryland.

Sen. Jim Rosapepe

The writer is a Democrat representing Anne Arundel and Prince George's counties