The following letter was sent by Del. Pat McDonough to the Maryland Public Service Commission. A copy was provided to The Dagger for publication:
Mr. Douglas R. M. Nazarian, Chairman
MD Public Service Commission
6 St. Paul Street, 16th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21202
Dear Commissioner Nazarian,
I have received numerous complaints about the lack of service provided by Constellation-BGE after the arrival of Hurricane Irene. During the past 10 years, Constellation-BGE has drastically reduced the number of skilled, experienced employees who specialize in system line inspection, tree trimming management, repair, and other pertinent skilled areas related to maintaining the system. This policy of a reduction in force in these key areas has been debated in the past and I know previous commissioners have expressed concern.
It is my belief that the short-sighted manpower reductions have resulted in Constellation-BGE not being “Storm Ready.” As a result, the consumers of this state, despite drastic increases in rates, are receiving drastic decreases in service. Historically, this skilled workforce that was part of the BGE consumer service policy had engaged in line inspections and tree trimming management/prevention which would reduce the amount of damage from storms because many problems had already been anticipated and corrected. Now, that smart policy only exists on a very limited basis.
An additional concern is the report that the company preparing to buy-out Constellation-BGE has made public its intention to, once again, engage in workforce reductions. This will compound the problem.
I, along with many other consumers, based on the volume of calls received, have concluded that Constellation-BGE is not “storm ready” and can not serve the people of the State of Maryland at the level required. Too many Marylanders, including the frail and elderly, are at risk and suffering dangerous consequences as a result of the mismanagement of the leadership at Constellation-BGE.
I am requesting the following from the Public Service Commission:
1. The PSC must conduct a public hearing and review the performance of Constellation-BGE regarding Hurricane Irene.
2. Appropriate professionals and experts must review the Constellation-BGE preparedness plans.
3. I need to receive statistical information about the number of employees who are in the skilled fields which I mentioned today as compared to 10 years ago. I will need a year-by-year analysis.
4. All hearings related to the buy-out of Constellation-BGE by Exelon must include an intense analysis of their proposed workforce reductions and the potential impact that those changes will have on consumer services.
Thank you for your consideration and cooperation in this matter. I anticipate an immediate response on these issues.