Cumberland Times-News

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February 7, 2013

Md. lawmakers approve natural gas surcharge bill

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The Maryland Senate and the House of Delegates have approved measures allowing natural gas companies to seek a surcharge of up to $2 on monthly gas bills to help recover costs for replacing aging infrastructure.

The Senate voted 35-12 on Thursday for the bill. The House vote was 120-17.

Lawmakers who supported the bill said companies need the boost to help replace aging pipes and address safety concerns. Supporters also say the surcharge would have to be approved by the Public Service Commission, and the money wouldn't be charged until work was done to improve infrastructure.

But opponents argued gas companies shouldn't be asking for extra money to do a job they should have been doing all along.

The two separate measures are similar.

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