O'Malley vs. Constellation: Video blast reminiscent of campaign ads
In his latest offensive against Constellation Energy Group, Gov. Martin O’Malley has recorded a video message that was blasted via e-mail to tens of thousands of constituents and posted on his official Web site. The governor declares in the video: “We did not go looking for this fight.”
But he and the company have been at loggerheads for years. His video message evokes the Democrat’s campaign commercials from three years ago when he pledged to fight steep electricity rate increases by Constellation’s Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. Only this time the issue is a bit more nuanced.
This latest dust-up is related to Constellation’s proposal to sell half its nuclear assets to a French utility, Electricite de France. The state’s top energy regulator has asserted jurisdiction and begun hearings to determine if the deal is in the public’s interest. Constellation has cried foul, arguing that the intervention goes against an agreement it struck with state officials last year.
Meanwhile, O’Malley is trying to broker a settlement with Constellation and has taken particular aim at CEO Mayo A. Shattuck III’s employment contract that includes an $87 million golden parachute. While O’Malley calls the potential payout “outrageous,” Constellation has insisted it wouldn’t be triggered by the EDF deal and may never be paid out.
O’Malley was unable to stop the rate increases. The winner of this round remains to be seen.