Maryland PIRG, along with Attorney General Brian Frosh and a broad coalition of consumer, environmental, faith, and other groups, have publically opposed the proposed merger between the electicity behemoth Exelon and Pepco, the electricity utility for parts of Maryland. Our work is beginning to pay off.
Feeling the pressure from communities across the state, Exelon has reached a settlement with some of the parties challenging its acquisition of Pepco. The Chicago-based mega-utility then asked Maryland regulators to approve the takeover, claiming that the settlement resolves all the contested issues in the proposal.
But despite the new deal, this merger is still bad for Maryland. Exelon claims the deal resolves all the contested issues in the proposal. It doesn’t – not by a long shot.
And as the Maryland Public Service Commission reoppens hearings and public comment on the adjustments to the merger this week, we’re making sure they hear from stakeholders and ratepayers that we’re counting on them to reject the merger.
Exelon’s new deal does not address our fundamental concerns with the merger. It does nothing to mitigate the long-term risks associated with giving the company control of 85% of the utility generation and distribution market in Maryland. This virtual monopoly is counter to the competitive marketplace and could mean higher prices and lower quality of service for Maryland families and businesses.
The Maryland Public Service Commission is scheduled to make a decision on the merger in the next month and is again asking to hear what Marylanders think of the merger. We’ll be collecting comments until they are due on Friday.
Another one of our biggest concerns with the merger is that Exelon’s business model is reliant on a fleet of aging, dangerous, and expensive nuclear power plants including two Maryland reactors at Calvert Cliffs. As Exelon makes less money from their nuclear plants – and even starts losing money – they could make up for those losses through higher electric bills. You needs to look no further than Exelon’s home state of Illinois to see this happening.
Marylanders should not be subsidizing this expensive, dangerous and outdated technology in Maryland or elsewhere.
We’ve got them on their heels. Let’s stop this merger for good.
Recent local coverage of the merger:
No to Exelon’s takeover of Pepco, Brian Frosh in the Washington Post, April 3rd, 2015
Montgomery council disagrees with Leggett, opposes Exelon-Pepco merger, The Washington Post, March 31st, 2015
Exelon-Pepco opposition is bigger than two counties, Baltimore Business Journal, March 20th, 2015
Pepco, Exelon gain key endorsement from Montgomery, Prince George’s, The Washington Post, March 18th, 2015
More parties settle over Exelon-Pepco merger, Baltimore Sun, March 17th, 2015
Hogan delays new PSC appointments until merger decision, The Daily Record, March 16th, 2015
Can the Exelon-Pepco merger be in the public interest?, Baltimore Sun, March 16th, 2015
Exelon-Pepco merger opponents are unmoved by latest concessions, Baltimore Business Journal, March 5th, 2015
Exelon sweetens deal for Pepco customers in merger proposal, Baltimore Sun, March 5th 2015
Frosh urges PSC to reject Exelon-Pepco merger, Baltimore Sun, March 5th, 2015
Exelon, Pepco sweeten package for utility customers in Maryland, The Washington Post, March 4th, 2015
Exelon, Pepco move to sweeten their deal in Maryland, Baltimore Business Journal, March 4th, 2015
Exelon must show regulators that Pepco merger is a good deal, Baltimore Sun, March 3rd, 2015
State Director, Maryland PIRG
Emily directs strategy, organizational development, research, communications and legislative advocacy for Maryland PIRG. Emily has helped win small donor public financing in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County, Montgomery County, and Prince George's County. She has played a key role in establishing new state laws to to protect public health by restricting the use of antibiotics on Maryland farms, require testing for lead in school drinking water and restrict the use of toxic flame retardant and PFAS chemicals. Emily also serves on the Executive Committees of the Maryland Fair Elections Coalition and the Maryland Campaign to Keep Antibiotics Working. Emily lives in Baltimore City with her husband, kids, and dog.