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March 19, 2009

Constellation: Impeccable timing once again

Ohhhh, Constellation.

Remember a couple of years ago when Constellation was trying to merge with another company, and the top executives were getting big bonuses, and BGE was pushing for a rate hike. Oh, and in case that combination wasn't explosive enough, we were in the middle of an election. That worked out well.

And now, we've got the company trying to sort-of merge with another company (a foriegn one this time, to boot!), BGE is trying to get a rate increase and, Hanah Cho reported today, the executives are due for big bonuses, in spite of the fact that the company was, six months ago, on the brink of bankruptcy. But at least this time, there's not some big external event going on that would focus public ire on the company's executives and prompt populist outrage from politicians over something like bonuses. Oh, wait, never mind.

For a company whose whole raison d'etre is to game the energy market by buying low and selling high, it sure has lousy timing. Especially since there's a bill hearing today for Del. Pat McDonough's proposal for a Cosntellation Energy Group Review Commission. That and the hearings on Gov. O'Malley's partial re-regulation plan may get a whole lot more interesting.

Posted by Andy Green at 9:53 AM | | Comments (7)


Shattuck and those aiding and abetting him need to be very aware of how angry people are becoming. Consider a dear , hard working friend at work who is worried SICK abour how he wil pay his BG&E bills. It makes me ill to my stomach. How obvious it is becoming that these oh-so-fat cats have long been ethically and morally bankrupt.

Why is it that everyone seems to hate those that are successful? Ever get a job from a poor person?

At least now I know why my BGE bill has doubled in the last year and half.

And OldNavyChief: I am certainly not one to decry the successful, and I am far more anti-politicians who approve of payouts by voting for bills they don't read and then go grape nuts over it. But if you call the performance of CEG over the last year or so bonus-worthy you have mighty low standards, my friend.

Um, Andy? Once again you don't understand all the facts. The timing of this latest story isn't Constellation's fault - they filed documents in accordance with a deadline they had to meet. And, the information about bonuses was already available in Constellation's and EDF's SEC filings. Really, I have to wonder if Hanah Cho and her editors chose the timing of the story to coincide with Pat McDonough's hearing date in an effort to sell more papers.

Energygal: That's true, the info was in SEC filings made some time ago. We got a tip about it this week and wrote it as soon as we verified it. Bad luck for Constellation that it happened when it did, vis a vis AIG, though I suppose if they had publicized the bonuses from the start, luck wouldn't have mattered.

"if they had publicized the bonuses from the start, luck wouldn't have mattered."

SEC filings are public.

Yes, SEC filings are public, and maybe you're an avid reader of them. But considering the company's spokesman had no idea what we were talking about when we first asked about the bonuses, you may be the only one.

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Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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