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      Md. state senators propose fining Pepco, BGE $100 million each

      Two Maryland lawmakers want to fine Pepco and BGE $100 million each.

      A majority of Montgomery County residents went without electricity and air conditioning for long periods after the June 29 storm that tore apart the D.C. area. Many spent the better part of seven days in the dark.

      As Pepco recruited response crews from all around the country and even Canada, the outages left behind by the storms highlighted where one Maryland lawmaker says the utility company is the weakest, emergency preparedness.

      "They were terrible, they didn't know if they were coming or going. They couldn't make reasonable predictions," says Sen. Brian Frosh.

      Frosh, is one of two state senators calling on Maryland regulators to fine utility giants Pepco and BGE $100 million each and to set up a surge reserve fund.

      The money would train local people who could be called in the next crisis, and could get power restored much faster than any crew coming cross country, they say.

      The steep fines are meant to hit the power providers where it hurts most. And fed up customers say they welcome that.

      They created a petition to fine the utilities.