In the wake of last month’s storm that knocked out power for hundreds of thousands and prompted widespread outrage, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) on Wednesday announced a work group that will explore ways to “strengthen Maryland’s utility infrastructure and create a more resilient electric distribution system.”

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley. (Patrick Semansky — Associated Press)

“As a result of climate change, Maryland may continue to suffer violent weather patterns in the months and years ahead,” O’Malley said in a statement. “That’s why we must engage in a thoughtful and informed dialogue to strengthen the resiliency of our electric grid.”

The order came less than a week after Maryland regulators rejected the bulk of a rate increase sought by Pepco — the second time in seven months that state officials slapped the utility for chronic poor performance.