The only reason to rush into re-regulation would have been a maxed-out grid and the need for new, regulated generation pronto.
The recession and accompanying decline in the use of energy has pushed back the day when we need to start building.
Now policymakers can seek reform on the federal level, monitor the economy, energy prices and grid capacity and figure out what to do at some leisure.
Electricity companies lobbied like heck to keep this bill from being passed. It'll be back next year, but there is one thing the industry could do to stop it in its tracks: build a dang generation plant.
Maryland has seen no significant new generation since the 1990s. Deregulation was supposed to bring new, privately sponsored plants, along with the competition and lower prices they imply.
It never did.
This is industry's last chance to get a non-regulated, moderately sized natural-gas generator in Maryland and deliver on the promise of dereg. If it doesn't, next year the Assembly or the Public Service Commission really will order BGE to build a regulated one instead.