Pepco, PSC criticized at forum

Just hours after Pepco executives touted earnings and promised investors a push for higher rates, power reliability advocates castigated the utility and the Maryland system they say hurts customers. Pepco representatives were not welcome Wednesday evening at a forum in North Bethesda, designed to educate candidates for state and local office about the current regulatory climate. (Gazette)

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Environmental group again rallies residents to action against Dominion project

Maryland is at a crossroads between clean, renewable energy and a “radical detour,” according to Chesapeake Climate Action Network. On Wednesday night, about 50 people attended CCAN’s town hall meeting at St. Mary’s College of Maryland as part of the organization’s nine-stop “Maryland Crossroads 2013 Tour: Clean Energy, Not Cove Point!” The purpose of the tour is “to rally public opposition” and “educate Marylanders” about Dominion’s proposed liquefied natural gas export project at its Cove Point facility in Lusby, according to a CCAN press release. (Recorder)

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Commissioners accept MAA grant money for airport master plan

A new master plan for the Carroll County Regional Airport in Westminster will be developed as the county prepares to fund a runway expansion project. The Carroll County Board of Commissioners voted 3-1 Thursday to accept $8,333 from the Maryland Aviation Administration to cover 5 percent of the cost to develop a new airport master plan. The county will be responsible for $8,333 while the Federal Aviation Administration will pay $150,000, according to Jeff Topper, deputy director of the county Department of Public Works. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Court denies bid to reopen menhaden fishery

A Dorchester County judge has denied a watermen's group's bid to reopen Maryland's menhaden fishery, but ordered a trial scheduled next spring on how the Department of Natural Resources has imposed catch limits on the prized bait fish. Circuit Court Judge David B. Mitchell refused in a hearing in Cambridge Wednesday to issue either a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction against DNR's enforcement of regulations under which it curtailed the catch of menhaden at the end of June. (Balt. Sun)

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Nov. 7 // Maryland Gets Approval To Seek Public-Private Partnership To Build, Operate Purple Line

Maryland transportation officials received state approval Wednesday to pursue private companies to design, build, operate and help pay for a $2.2 billion Purple Line in the Washington suburbs, marking a major milestone for the light-rail proposal. The state’s Board of Public Works — Gov. Martin O’Malley, State Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot — unanimously approved the Maryland Department of Transportation’s plan to seek a public-private partnership for a 16-mile Purple Line. (Wash. Post)

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Maryland Employment Expected To Get Boost From Construction Jobs In 2014

A local economist projects Maryland employment to grow 2.5 percent in 2014, led by growth in construction and professional and business services. The higher employment forecast for next year will be followed by even stronger growth of 2.8 percent in 2015 and 2016, said Daraius Irani, executive director of Towson University’s Regional Economic Studies Institute. Construction in Maryland is expected to rise by 8.5 percent next year, driven by increased federal government projects on military bases in Maryland and across the country. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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State Approves $1 Million To Maintain Airport Hotel

The state Board of Public Works on Wednesday gave approval for the Maryland Aviation Administration to spend about $1.05 million to maintain the hotel on the airport grounds, said MAA spokesman Jonathan Dean. The manager of Four Points by Sheraton BWI Airport in September notified the MAA, which owns and operates the airport, that it would close the hotel when its 30-year lease expired at the end of this month. (Balt. Sun)

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$122 Million Expansion Of Exelon Power Plant In Harford Proposed

Exelon officials plan to a power plant in Harford County by building two additional natural gas-fired power generating units on utility-owned land off Chelsea Road in Perryman. The project has an estimated price tag of about $122 million, an Exelon spokesman said. The two Pratt & Whitney turbines have combined capacity to generate 120 megawatts of power, or 60 megawatts per unit, said Robert Judge, regional manager of communications for Exelon Power. The generators will be built on nearly nine acres, Judge explained. (Aegis)

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