WASHINGTON, D.C — In a stunning decision, the D.C. Public Service Commission voted 2-1 today to rubber-stamp a widely opposed merger deal that allows Chicago-based utility giant Exelon to take over Pepco.
Commissioners Joanne Doddy Fort and Willie Phillips approved the deal, while Chairman Betty Ann Kane remained steadfast in her opposition, based on the fundamental conflict between Exelon’s failing business model and D.C.’s commitment to clean, affordable energy.
Mike Tidwell, director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, released the following statement in response:
“This decision will go down in history as one of the worst ever by the D.C. PSC, and as a big setback for ratepayers and the environment across the District and Maryland. Commissioners Fort and Phillips have turned D.C. ratepayers over to a Chicago-based corporation interested only in propping up its own bottom line.
“The Commissioners’ approval of the Exelon-Pepco deal, after it had lost the support of every other major party from the mayor to the People’s Counsel, defies logic and shows a stunning lack of judgment. It also defies the overwhelming will of D.C. citizens, neighborhood, faith, small business, social justice, and environmental leaders. While Exelon lobbyists are cheering, DC residents must now brace for big rate hikes and new roadblocks to clean energy.
“Today’s ruling sharpens the need for a regionwide grassroots push for structural change in our energy policy and our politics. Exelon has a vested interest in protecting its aging nuclear fleet at all costs, including suppressing the growth of community-based clean energy and micro-grids. This merger will make it harder for DC — and Maryland — to fulfill official commitments to address climate change. But we are determined to fight harder than ever to protect our region’s clean energy progress, and to enact laws that keep Exelon from poisoning climate solutions along with our politics.”
For more information on the broad-based D.C. coalition that fought the Exelon-Pepco merger, see: http://www.powerdc.org.
Mike Tidwell, 240-460-5838 (cell), firstname.lastname@example.org
Kelly Trout, 717-439-0346 (cell), email@example.com