Donald Fry: We must not lose sight of new nuclear plant’s benefits

By Donald Fry Jay Hancock raises some interesting issues in his August 19 column speculating that the pending $4.5 billion deal between Constellation Energy Group and Electricite de France (EDF) will fall victim to a combination of overreaching state regulators and/or Constellation’s improving financial condition. Hancock’s speculation notwithstanding, the...
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GBC’s Fry: Baltimore City’s “green building” standards well-intentioned but flawed

Don Fry Commentary on WYPR The unintended consequences of well-intentioned Baltimore City “green building” standards that will take effect on July 1 may hamper, rather than nurture, city efforts to promote the construction of commercial and residential buildings that conserve energy and reduce their environmental impacts. The reason? The city law, as currently written, imposes more stringent “green” standards than in most surrounding counties. Baltimore, Howard, and Carroll counties also … Continue reading

Fry to Sun readers: Electricity choices benefit consumers

In a June 22 Sun op-ed page, Greater Baltimore Committee president and CEO Donald C. Fry noted, as a result of de-regulation, government agencies and businesses in Maryland have saved millions of dollars by purchasing cheaper electricity through the competative energy marketplace.  He urges the state to shift its policy focus away from electricity re-regulation and toward enabling Maryland consumers to take advantage of the savings and benefits of shopping for electricity … Continue reading

GBC’s Fry: Are re-regulation and energy innovation compatible?

Don Fry Commentary on WYPR Because of the price-increase trauma we all experienced in 2006 as a by-product of Maryland’s 1999 de-regulation of electricity, Marylanders tend to think that de-regulation hasn’t worked. But the fact is, de-regulation in Maryland and elsewhere has been far from a failure, local energy experts say. Remember, the 2006 price shock for residential electricity customers occurred because for seven years prices were, by law, artificially … Continue reading

Some successes for business emerge from difficult General Assembly session

Despite what has been a difficult session for both lawmakers and business advocates, a number of GBC-supported bills that will have a positive impact on Maryland’s business climate and economic growth gained passage, including measures to extend and improve the bioscience investment tax credit, provide local incentives for transit oriented development, and to strengthen the minority business enterprise program. Meanwhile, a bill to re-regulate electricity — which was strongly opposed … Continue reading

GBC’s Fry: Re-regulation issue merits caution, not haste

Don Fry Commentary on WYPR This winter, Marylanders have been very angry about unusually high utility bills. That’s why lawmakers in Annapolis feel a certain amount of pressure to revert our state back to full-fledged regulation of electricity prices. As a former legislator, I remember the same kinds of pressure during the late 1990s that ultimately led to the passage of electricity de-regulation. We have since learned some things about … Continue reading

GBC to form Energy Committee

The GBC has identified energy and working toward a stable regulatory policy environment in Maryland as key issues for the region’s business community. Working with a small steering group of GBC members interested in energy issues, the GBC is now moving toward expanding this interest to a full policy committee of the GBC. The new Energy Committee will have a strong educational component as well as public policy or project … Continue reading

GBC’s Fry: Facing Maryland electricity challenges

Don Fry Commentary on WYPR There was good news for Maryland in early August when the West Virginia Public Service Commission approved plans to build a 500-kilovolt electric transmission line through their state from Pittsburgh to Northern Virginia. Why is that good news for Maryland? Because the new transmission line is an important first step toward easing congestion on the PJM power grid through which Maryland utilities import up to … Continue reading

GBC’s Fry: Framework for a Maryland energy strategy

Don Fry Commentary on WYPR Last month, in commenting that our state lacks a strategy for funding transportation, I also noted that our elected leaders in Annapolis do not appear to have a sustainable long-term strategy for energy as well. However unlike transportation, where lawmakers continue to raid transportation funds to balance Maryland’s operating budget, the issue of energy supply is at least on the radar at the State House. … Continue reading

Capacity and conservation pivotal to solving Maryland’s energy crisis

Maryland faces a growing energy crisis, GBC leaders warned at the organization’s annual meeting on May 7. The state’s power infrastructure is aging and demand for electricity in Maryland is increasing eight times faster than its generating capacity. Maryland currently imports more than 25 percent of electricity sold to customers in the state, according to Maryland Public Service Commission data. Meanwhile, stricter federal and state regulations are causing energy providers … Continue reading