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12:48 AM / Friday March 1, 2024

31 Oct 2014

Phila. City Council refuses to introduce bill to sell PGW

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October 31, 2014 Category: Local Posted by:

By Tom MacDonald

WHYY

A deal to sell the Philadelphia Gas Works is dead as far as City Council is concerned.  

When the Nutter administration chose UIL Holdings as the winning bidder for PGW, City Council hired a consultant to review the entire process. Council President Darrell Clarke says after the extensive evaluation, council has decided not to move forward with a bill to sell the gas utility.

“As a result of those documents, the City Council through it’s process met with and talked to members and decided we could not endorse the deal as proposed,” he said.

Clarke says council will hold hearings in December to figure out what to do next with PGW, the largest city-owned utility in the country.

“Because the reality is the approach that was taken was very narrow and people need to understand about the process they need to understand the realities of this industry beyond commercials,” he said.

Michael West of UIL says the company is disappointed it never had a chance to make its case to City Council.

“We’re just trying to understand what this all means what all the parameters around this include and make a decision from there.”

The utility can walk away from the $1.86 billion deal at any time without a penalty.  West said he’s not sure if the matter will come up at a UIL board meeting slated for Tuesday.

Mayor Nutter was planning to use sale proceeds to shore up the city’s underfunded pension accounts.  He is not happy with council’s decision.

“I think what we heard and what we saw is quite possibly the biggest cop-out we’ve seen in recent legislative history in Philadelphia,” Nutter said.

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