O'Malley orders study to improve state's electric distribution system

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has ordered a study to find ways of improving the state's electric distribution system.

O'Malley issued an executive order on Wednesday to pool the resources of state agencies to gather input and recommendations to strengthen the state's utility infrastructure.

The governor has directed his energy advisor, Abigail Hopper, to mobilize the effort. Participants have been asked to report back to the governor within 60 days with recommended legislative changes, regulatory reforms and other actions that could be taken by the executive branch.

O'Malley is citing economic and health concerns that have resulted from repeated and prolonged electricity outages. Many Maryland residents went days without power from a powerful storm that hit the state late last month.