The following was received from the office of Del. Rick Impallaria:
Senate Bill 844 – Public Service Commission – New Electric Generation Facilities – Rate Regulation and Contracts
This bill, which supposedly reregulates utility companies, passed the Senate at the end of March and was given to the House Economic Matters Committee with little time to review. The Committee put in as many hours as we could to study it, and as a member of the Utilities Subcommittee for six years and someone who understands all the issues involving the utility industry, it is clear to me and to my Subcommittee colleagues that this bill does not contain any plan whatsoever to reregulate the industry, has no timelines, no benchmarks, no localities for siting power plants, nor does it have a clear perspective for successful completion of reregulation. The Public Service Commission testified that, “If you’re looking for a plan, you won’t find it here.” The statements by the Governor’s Office were constantly contradicted by other agencies. The Office of the People’s Counsel had a position on the bill, but no position on what the bill actually did. Finally, the Chair of the Senate committee and the sponsor of the bill clearly stated that not a single new nuclear plant, nor any new coal-fired plant would ever be built in Maryland, and that the existing coal-fired plants would be forced to shut down over time. That raises the question, if this is a bill to reregulate, what will it regulate?
What is most important to Maryland consumers is that this bill seems to be a tax on energy, which will only cause utility prices to go up, and will block any future construction of power plants by private companies.
Being a supporter of reregulation, I am committed to voting for a real reregulation bill. However, this is not a real reregulation bill, and I will be voting against it.
Delegate, District 7