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

Continued Robbery by Utility Giant

Feb 4, 2008

Residential customers of BGE (Baltimore Gas &Electric) have been keenly aware for months that they are getting ripped off by the company and its corporate parent, Constellation Energy. Since deregulation took effect last year, residential electric rates have increased more than 70%!

Now a study of deregulation by the Maryland PSC (Public Service Commission) shows how huge some of the ripoffs have been.

For example, Constellation and its affiliates have been allowed to collect almost a billion dollars in compensation for a projected drop in the value of their power plants even though the estimated value of the plants is now more than ten times what it was just seven years ago! Constellation is also collecting billions of dollars from BGE customers to cover the costs of some day shutting down the two aging nuclear reactors at its Calvert Cliffs power plant. Yet BGE customers can’t get a rate reduction based on the profits from the operation of these reactors. Since deregulation, they claim that Constellation is a legally separate company from BGE, even though in reality they work hand-in-hand!

The newly appointed members of the PSC, with Maryland’s governor behind them, sound like they are going to do something about this great electricity deregulation ripoff that the old PSC approved. But so far, they have only produced a study.

Meanwhile, residential electric customers go on being forced to empty their pockets every month to boost the outrageous profits of the ripoff artists.