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Deregulation

NEWS
October 1, 2006
The issue: Businesses faced the prospect of dramatically increased electricity bills when the Maryland General Assembly's deregulation bill went into effect in 2000, opening the market to competition. What happened: The Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce created an "Electricity Buying Co-operative. " Owners of small- to medium-sized businesses sign up for the program, in which a consultant shops around to find the best electricity rate. Business owners then have the option of signing a contract.
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NEWS
by TAMELA BAKER | September 16, 2006
Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich responded to a number of questions from members of the Hagerstown/Washington County Chamber of Commerce during a Friday luncheon. Topics ranged from budget considerations to the Baltimore Ravens and included: ยท Transportation - Asked whether state resources were available for the proposed "Southern Boulevard" that would connect Edgewood Drive to Frederick Street, Ehrlich said, "You say it, and that will be the priority" for the state's contribution to county transportation projects.
NEWS
by BOB MAGINNIS | August 23, 2006
It seemed like a good idea to many members of the Maryland General Assembly back in 1999. Electricity customers would be able to choose their own suppliers, just as the break-up of the Bell System had allowed citizens to choose their own long-distance carriers. Yes, just as with phone service, you would have to do a bit of research to get the best deal. But just as phone customers who wanted to hang on to their old familiar service were allowed to do so, power customers could opt to stay with their traditional suppliers.
NEWS
June 23, 2006
Lawmakers should revisit regulation To the editor: There was a very bad mistake made a few years ago when electricity was deregulated. In our area, we have seen the disappearance of Potomac Edison, which provided many good, well-paying jobs. We have also seen the loss of Eastalco Aluminum Co. with all its well-paying jobs and all the business that Eastalco gave to other companies in the area. I don't believe either of these things would have happened if there had been no deregulation.
NEWS
June 20, 2006
Electricity customers for Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. will get a two-year reprieve on a 72 percent rate increase, thanks to action taken last week by the Maryland General Assembly. In passing the measure, the legislature rejected a deal worked out by Gov. Robert Ehrlich, who plans to hold his own public hearing today to review what lawmakers did. That could lead to an Ehrlich veto, which would almost certainly be overriden. As this all plays out, we hope voters don't forget that this failed effort to cut consumer costs through deregulation was championed by some of the same leaders now opposing Ehrlich's plan.
NEWS
By DANIEL J. SERNOVITZ | November 24, 2005
daniels@herald-mail.com FREDERICK, MD. - Pittsburgh-based Alcoa intends to follow through with projected layoffs and cutbacks at its Eastalco aluminum smelter in Frederick starting Dec. 19 because it was unable to secure a more competitive, long-term electricity contract within Maryland's deregulated electricity market, the company said in a statement Wednesday. The company, which employs more than 600 workers at the plant according to company information, expects to retain about 100 workers while it gears down and will maintain a skeleton crew of about 25 workers after the transition.
NEWS
By DANIEL J. SERNOVITZ | November 6, 2005
daniels@herald-mail.com It is too early to tell whether Maryland's electricity customers will realize any long-term savings from the state's efforts to deregulate the market, which started in 1999. In the nine months since the process began within Allegheny Energy's service area, however, at least one beneficiary of the effort is beginning to emerge. During a conference call with investors on Oct. 28, Allegheny's chief financial officer, Jeffrey Serkes, said the company posted an additional $37 million in revenue for the third quarter due to Maryland's switch to market-based rates.
NEWS
By DANIEL J. SERNOVITZ | November 6, 2005
daniels@herald-mail.com TRI-STATE - One of the most vocal and active proponents of electricity deregulation five years ago could fall prey to its effects come January, when Allegheny Energy's largest commercial and industrial customers are switched from default- to market-based rates. In mid-October, the Eastalco Aluminum Co. smelting plant in Frederick, Md., sent layoff notices to its more than 600 workers. The notices warned employees the plant could be forced to close on Jan. 1 unless company officials can avert a projected 83 percent increase in electricity costs, plant spokesman Earl H. Robbins Jr. said.
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