OLD Media Moves

Sun's coverage of Baltimore Gas & Electric praised

March 20, 2006

Baltimore Sun Public Editor Paul Moore praised the paper’s coverage of the recent Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. rate hike request in his Sunday column, noting the jobs by reporter Paul Adams and columnist Jay Hancock.

Baltimore Gas & ElectricMoore wrote, “As Adams reported in his Feb. 20 front-page article about the first deregulated power auction – ‘Electric rate jolt coming’ – the combination of events such as Hurricane Katrina and deregulation means profound changes for all BGE customers. Adams’ article was the first to explain what was coming.

“Readers have appreciated the newspaper’s in-depth coverage.

“‘I want to thank The Baltimore Sun for its fantastic coverage of the BGE situation,’ said reader Christine Chisholm. ‘I can’t name all the reporters individually, but I’d like every one of them to know that I appreciate their efforts.'”

Later, Moore wrote, “Business columnist Jay Hancock’s recent pieces have focused on how the consumer will be affected. A review of Hancock’s columns shows that he raised questions as early as 2001 that are especially relevant today.

“In an Oct. 3, 2001, column, ‘Lapse by Md. regulators means higher electric bills,’ Hancock questioned why each Maryland BGE consumer had begun paying an extra monthly charge of $4.60 – called a ‘stranded cost’ – to compensate for what BGE and Constellation claimed was a major decline in the value of the Calvert Cliffs nuclear plant. The problem, as Hancock noted, was that nuclear plants were no longer a loss but a growing asset. Today, Calvert Cliffs is extremely profitable.

“When the ‘stranded cost’ payment expires July 1, it will have generated $528 million for Constellation from the same BGE ratepayers who had already footed the bill for building Calvert Cliffs.”

Read the column here.

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