Merger holds promise for clean energy

Hannah Cho's recent article ("O'Malley praises Exelon-CEG deal," Dec. 16) reported on a far superior merger agreement between Exelon Corp. and Constellation Energy Group than previous arrangements. Between 1999 and 2009, electricity prices across Maryland doubled, hurting businesses and families across the state. And although prices have fallen in the last two years, it is clear that we not only need the $100 credit that the Exelon-CEG merger will provide, but also a permanent rate relief solution.

That solution will come from increased renewable energy development, which is why I strongly support both the new merger agreement as well as the Gov. Martin O'Malley's push to develop Maryland's offshore wind industry. This merger provides $32 million for offshore wind development and we should build off that success by passing a strong wind bill during the General Assembly's 2012 legislative session.

If Maryland wants to reach its goal of getting 20 percent of our electricity from renewable sources by 2022, lawmakers will have to pass ambitious measures to stimulate private investment. With the new Exelon-CEG merger agreement and proposed bills like the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act, Maryland can begin to meet its renewable energy goals, stimulate this investment, and provide certainty and stability in electricity prices.

Sam Rivers, Silver Spring

The writer is communications director for the University of Maryland student group, Clean Energy at UMD.

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