Riemer to O'Malley: Fire State Regulators Who Oversee Pepco

The county councilman has launched a petition urging the governor to replace members of the Maryland Public Service Commission.

County Councilman Hans Riemer (D-At large) of Silver Spring is calling on Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) to replace members of the Maryland Public Service Commission, the state regulatory body that oversees Pepco and Baltimore Gas and Electric.

Riemer has launched a petition at a MoveOn.org-sponsored website, The Gazette reports. The petition comes in the wake of mounting frustration with Pepco after the June 29 derecho storm, which left widespread power outages and tens of thousands of people in the heat and dark for days.

Nearly 2,400 have signed on to the petition since it launched Friday at noon, Riemer said Monday night, speaking at a meeting of the Western Montgomery County Citizens Advisory Board. By Tuesday morning, nearly 2,700 had signed on.

“It’s time for the governor to act and replace those PSC members and give us a regulatory agency that will get the job done,” Riemer told the citizens advisory board.

Maryland Public Service Commission chairman Douglas Nazarian told The Washington Post this month that regulators “did not have a sense that Pepco stacked up that poorly with other companies” and should have realized sooner that Pepco’s performance was seriously lacking.

Regulators asked Pepco two years ago how its performance in keeping the lights on and restoring power measured up against its peers, The Gazette reports.

Analyses have shown Pepco ranked near the bottom nationally.

“Pepco has been in the bottom quartile for years, and that our own regulatory agency didn’t know is a stunning, stunning admission of failure,” Riemer said Monday.

In response, O’Malley’s office has released this statement, according to WTOP:

"While the Governor understands the frustration and anger of those citizens and businesses that have suffered repeated and prolonged outages, he reminds everyone of both the steps that have been taken in the recent past to hold utility companies liable and the deliberative process currently underway to evaluate, based on the data, the performance of the utilities' during the recent derecho outage."

Should O'Malley fire and replace members of the Maryland Public Service Commission? Tell us in the comments.


Captain Cook July 18, 2012 at 02:09 AM
If you think O'Malley cares about - you deserve him AND Obama. O'Malley and his judge wife ONLY care about running for the White House!
Eileen Cheng July 18, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Fire all of them!!!!
NO2O July 18, 2012 at 06:23 PM
O'Malley in the White House OMG ... time to get a carry permit. PEPCO had problems with a storm of an intensity that the area had never seen. Do you prep for the 100 year storm or build for something a little more reasonable? Everyone complains about the rates now, can you imagine what the rates would have to be to put all the utilities underground. For you that are bitching and calling for PEPCO scalps, please first answer the question "What could have been done differently?" What could be done better and at what price? How much are you willing to pay for 99.99% availability of your utilities? It would be much less expensive for you to go out and get a whole house generator for emergencies.
Eric Balkan July 18, 2012 at 09:46 PM
Pepco's behavior would be easier to take if they weren't paying a 5.6% dividend to stockholders. A public utility should put the public first, not stock traders/investors, who add nothing to the company. We need a PSC that realizes this.


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