Governor Issues Executive Order Eyeing Electric Distribution Systems

Today, Governor Martin O’Malley issued an Executive Order directing a fast-paced evaluation of Maryland’s electric power distribution system, the wake of widespread concerns following a recent “derecho” storm in the region, and multiple days of outages. From the Governor’s blog site:

Citing the economic and health damage resulting from repeated and prolonged electricity outages, and pointing to projections of more violent weather to come, the Executive Order sets in place an important evaluative process for the following:

1) The effectiveness and feasibility of undergrounding supply and distribution lines in selected areas as a means to increase the resiliency of Maryland’s electric distribution system;

2) Options for other infrastructure investments in the electric distribution infrastructure that can or should be made in order to improve the resiliency of Maryland’s electric distribution system. The costs and benefits of such investments should be evaluated over various time periods, including a 30-year period; and

3) Options for financing and cost recovery for capital investments to the electric distribution system.

The group is tasked with reporting back to the Governor within 60 days regarding recommended legislative changes, regulatory reforms, and other executive branch actions.

The Executive order itself is also available online.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties

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