More and more DC Neighborhoods Oppose the Pepco-Exelon Merger
Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs) from across the District are rising in opposition to Exelon’s proposed purchase of Pepco, calling on Mayor Muriel Bowser to halt the deal. In total, 22 ANCs have now passed resolutions against the merger or publicly expressed concerns since public hearings began in mid-December.
None of the District’s ANCs has expressed support for the proposed merger.
The District of Columbia’s ANCs are part of the DC government and consider a wide range of policies and programs affecting their neighborhoods. ANCs are the body of government with the closest official ties to the people in a neighborhood.
"We are asking the Mayor not to settle,” added Sheila Carson Carr, Chairperson of ANC 7F. “The long-term electricity needs of our community are best met by a company that can be held locally accountable, not by a Chicago-based conglomerate that will have the financial resources to dominate DC’s legislative and regulatory process."
“The decision rests on the PSC’s determination of whether the merger is in the public interest,” noted Ward 8D03 Commissioner, Absalom Jordan. “When the PSC gives great weight and consideration to DC's ANCs - as required by the DC Code - and ratepayers, it's hard to see how they could approve a deal so clearly against the best interest of DC residents, businesses, or the environment."
ANCs representing communities across the District have expressed opposition or concern, including 1B, 1D, 2B, 3B, 3E, 3F, 3/4G, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 5B, 5C, 5D, 6B, 6C, 6D, 7B, 7F and 8D. A map of ANCs by Ward is available at http://www.ancdc.us/.
"The merger could mean that low-and-middle income, elderly, and tenants on fixed incomes will remain captive to a utility model in which they must pay more and more for electric service, leaving them less and less for rent, food, clothing, health care, and personal necessities,” said ANC5B Chair, Ursula Higgins. “Who believes the DC’s Public Service Commission can regulate a giant with Exelon’s nationwide market power in electric generation, transmission and distribution? How can this be in the public interest?”
“The diverse group of DC communities opposed to this merger demonstrates a broad recognition that this deal could be bad news for the District’s electricity consumers,” said Dan Bradfield, ANC 3/4G Commissioner. “Exelon has a well-documented history of opposing and undermining renewable energy policies, and there is no guarantee that they won’t begin pursuing similar tactics here if this merger were to go through.”
"After learning more about Exelon and its proposed takeover of Pepco, I simply cannot support this proposal," said Douglass Sloan, ANC 4B09 Commissioner. "Some of DC’s electricity consumers have long suffered from poor reliability and allowing our power decisions to be made by an out-of-state energy conglomerate with a sizeable roster of high-priced nuclear power plants would not be in our community’s best interest. I would like to see Mayor Bowser take a leadership role in opposing this deal."
The DC Public Service Commission’s (PSC) is still taking comments from the public. Final ruling on whether or not to approve the proposed merger may take until August 2015.