New Whitepaper: Politics of Power

Today, Maryland PIRG Foundation released a new white paper which takes a look at the scale of direct lobbying by regulated utilities, as well as other activities that can be reasonably categorized as intended to shift public opinion and influence decision-makers.

Utility power lines at sunset

Today, Maryland PIRG Foundation released a new white paper which takes a look at the scale of direct lobbying by regulated utilities, as well as other activities that can be reasonably categorized as intended to shift public opinion and influence decision-makers.

“Utilities are in a unique position in which regulators and legislators have direct control over how much profit they are authorized to deliver to their shareholders. This dynamic makes utilities’ political dealings more vulnerable to corruption or the perception of corruption in the public’s eye. Spending designed to influence the actions of decision-makers must happen with clear guidelines and robust transparency.”  Maryland PIRG Foundation Director Emily Scarr.

Utilities are at a time of transformation in Maryland. As the state navigates the shift away from fossil-fueled home heating, gas utilities face the potential of partial or full retirement of their system, and electric utilities need to adapt to manage the electrification of transportation and homes.

The white paper found that utilities collectively spent more than $2 million on lobbying in Maryland during the most recent reporting period.

 

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