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Blue Crabs, Exelon, and the Chesapeake Bay

bcrabjuly08 From the department of unintentional irony:

Chestertown resident Hope Clark said Exelon has a history of being against clean energy generation and policies. She cited the company’s use of nuclear power as an example.

This is from a Bay Times (Maryland) story about a public meeting concerning the proposed merger of Exelon and Maryland’s Pepco electric utility, specifically in this gathering Pepco’s Delmarva subsidiary. (Exelon’s Calvert Cliffs facility roosts on the western shore of the Chesapeake and might be what Ms. Clark is concerned about locally.)

As you may know, everything in Maryland has always been (and will always be) about the Chesapeake Bay if the bay is in any way involved in an issue. Partisan politics has no role here and is non-functional – the bay must be kept as pristine as possible by any human being that interacts with it. There is no higher purpose than that. It would be cynical to call this absolutism a blue crab thing, but even if it were, so what? The outcome is the same as far as the bay is concerned and that’s an unalloyed good. Would that such determined environmental stewardship were copied wherever it would be useful.

Local attorney Charles “Chip” MacLeod, representing the Clean Chesapeake Coalition, said the coalition intervened because of its concern with Exelon’s environmental track record and what that means for the Conowingo Dam.

He said the dam is the largest source of renewable energy in Maryland and needs to be properly taken care of. He said the counties involved in the coalition are worried about the future of the Chesapeake Bay if the merger were to go through, because Exelon seems not to care about maintaining the Conowingo Pond, the reservoir above the dam that is nearly filled to capacity.

“Environmental stewardship is important to consider and the coalition thinks Exelon has not done what it could to help the Bay,” MacLeod said.

This line - “Exelon has not done what it could to help the Bay” - would be said by someone in a group like this if Exelon were the World Wildlife Foundation. Still, this is where you express these concerns and that’s fine. This is how it goes in Maryland. May it always be thus.

In a conference call Wednesday, Jan. 7, Exelon’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy Chris Gould said the company is committed to sustainability in an environmental, social and economic sense. He said anyone can find a report about the company’s success with that commitment online.

The Bay Times doesn’t tell you where to find that. We will.

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