State, Constellation need to settle ASAP, Ehrlich says

Constellation Energy Group Inc. and Gov. Martin O’Malley’s administration could be hammering out a deal to settle their dueling lawsuits as you read this blog post.

Former Gov. Robert Ehrlich Jr. sure hopes the two sides will see eye-to-eye sooner rather than later. As he sees it, the lawsuits are “a loser for both parties and we hope it gets settled pretty quickly.”

Ehrlich was governor during the General Assembly’s special session in 2006 where the $386 million deal was sealed, but he wasn’t happy with it then, and he isn’t happy with it now.

“If the right thing would have been done in 2006 there wouldn’t be a lawsuit,” he told me.

In fact, Ehrlich vetoed the legislation in favor of giving customers $600 million, but only if Constellation’s merger with Florida Light & Power went through. As you might recall, that deal went up in smoke, which would have left ratepayers without any relief for the 72 percent rate hike.

What do you think? Was Ehrlich’s deal the better option?

DANIELLE ULMAN, Business Writer