The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

BGE/Constellation Robbing the Poor to Line the Pockets of the Rich

Apr 30, 2007

The Maryland Public Service Commission is about to rule on giving Baltimore Gas and Electric Company the go-ahead for a 50% residential electric rate hike scheduled for June. This hike comes on top of a 15% hike BGE got last July, plus the interest they are paying on the 50% increase that was deferred last July.

These rate increases apply to over a million residential customers in Maryland. After all the increases kick in, BGE says the average residential customer will end up paying a total of $586 more per year than before the rate hikes began last July.

Constellation Energy Group, which owns BGE, just announced that its profits for the first quarter of this year were up by 70% over the same period last year–and BGE/Constellation was already quite profitable last year! The rate increase will only make it still more profitable.

The company says higher electric rates (meaning more profits) will stimulate investment in more power production. They claim increased power production in turn will lower rates.

But the electric companies have been making good profits for years–and haven’t been investing. They haven’t even been maintaining their existing power supply. They"ve just been using the scarcity they create to charge still higher rates.