O’Malley calls for study on burying power lines

The derecho brought down trees, like this one in Bethesda, all across the WTOP listening area. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)

WASHINGTON – Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is calling for a study on how to improve utility service.

O’Malley has issued an executive order that calls for a study into improving infrastructure and burying power lines. The move comes less than a week after the Maryland Public Service Commission granted Pepco an $18 million rate increase and less than a month after the derecho.

O’Malley suggest the order should not be seen as a jab at the PSC, which regulates the utilities and granted Pepco’s rate increase. The PSC is currently in the process of rating the performance of all the state’s utilities during and after the derecho that left nearly 1 million homes and businesses without electricity, some for up to a week.

Maryland Sen. Jim Rosapepe, who’s called for re-regulation of the power industry and slammed both the PSC and Pepco, calls O’Malley’s action a step in the right direction.

WTOP’s Kate Ryan contributed to this report. Follow Kate and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)


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