Montgomery County Residents Target Pepco, PSC, At Hearing | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Filed Under:

Montgomery County Residents Target Pepco, PSC, At Hearing

Play associated audio
A Pepco truck makes its rounds in Northwest D.C. to restore power in early July. Power outages resulting from the June 29 derecho storm lasted as long as a week. 
Mylon Medley
A Pepco truck makes its rounds in Northwest D.C. to restore power in early July. Power outages resulting from the June 29 derecho storm lasted as long as a week. 

It's been more than a month since the derecho storm tore through the D.C. area, leaving hundreds of thousands of Pepco customers without power, some for as long as week. Anger over those lengthy outages hasn't subsided, if a hearing in Rockville last night is any indicator — and electric utility Pepco wasn't the only target.

The hearing was held by the Maryland Public Service Commission, which is starting its investigation into the response to the storm by the state's utilities. Last night focused on Pepco, and plenty of Montgomery County residents turned out.

The terms "reactive, not proactive," "outrage," "no clue" and "arrogance" were common refrains from residents — one of whom also read a limerick he crafted for the occasion. 

Many speakers also directed their ire at the PSC itself as the body that is supposed to regulate the utility. Former Rockville mayor Susan Hoffman, for example, told commission members she isn't sure any more whether the PSC can regulate effectively.

"While each of you has a fine resume, some of you come from the world of public utilities," she said. "Perhaps you are too close to the issue, know too much, and may have unwittingly become apologists for the very utilities you regulate."

The commission did approve a rate hike requested by Pepco last month, though the hike was far below what the utility asked for. 

The commission will hold a second hearing on Pepco's response tonight in Prince George's County, as well as four hearings next week in areas served by BG&E. The utilities will speak before the commission next month.

NPR

'Little House,' Big Demand: Never Underestimate Laura Ingalls Wilder

Wilder's memoir reveals that she witnessed more violence than you'd ever know from her children's books. The South Dakota State Historical Society can barely keep up with demand for the autobiography.
NPR

Coffee Horror: Parody Pokes At Environmental Absurdity Of K-Cups

The market for single-serving coffee pods is dominated by Keurig's K-Cups. But they aren't recyclable, and critics say that's making a monster of an environmental mess. Meet the K-Cup Godzilla.
NPR

Insurance Choices Dwindle In Rural California As Blue Shield Pulls Back

When Blue Shield Of California stopped selling individual health policies in many zip codes in 2014, even insurance agents were surprised. Blue Shield says it dropped out to keep premiums low.
NPR

Charles Townes, Laser Inventor, Black Hole Discoverer, Dies At 99

Physicist Charles Townes died Tuesday. He was a key inventor of the laser and won the Nobel Prize for his discovery in 1964. But his career didn't end there.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.