Despite prospective PGW buyer staying in the running, City Council President Clarke critical of deadline

Philadelphia Gas Works. Credit: Rikard Larma, Metro
Philadelphia Gas Works.
Credit: Rikard Larma, Metro

UIL Holdings, the Connecticut-based energy firm that has offered to pay $1.86 billion to take over the Philadelphia Gas Works, confirmed this week that they are not dropping their bid despite passing a July 15 deadline.

Meanwhile, City Council is awaiting a report by a private Massachusetts-based consultant, Concentric Energy Advisors, that is reviewing all bids for PGW.

“City Council continues to gather information about PGW’s finances and operations and its actual value relative to the bids for purchase from private entities. We appreciate UIL Holdings’ cooperation to date in this process and welcome today’s offer of ongoing assistance,” City Council President Darrell Clarke said in a statement released today.

Mayor Michael Nutter announced that he accepted Connecticut-based company UIL holdings’ offer to purchase Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) for $1.86 on March 3.

The agreement between the city and UIL Holdings gave UIL the option to leave the agreement if no action has been taken by July 15.

“Yesterday’s deadline, which would have allowed UIL to drop its bid, was not set in consultation with City Council and did not consider Council’s duty to fully examine the details of this proposed transaction,” Clarke said in his statement.

The proposed sale price was said to include $424 million that would be used for the city’s pension fund. The deal would require approval by the Philadelphia City Council and the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

Clarke also criticized media for focusing on “lobbyists … pressuring City Council to fast-forward the review process.”

“While the press has largely been fixated on outside forces such as lobbyists that are pressuring City Council to fast-forward the review process, we in City Council answer to other special interests, namely, the households directly impacted by privatization of PGW and the hard-working men and women of PGW who have made this utility the prized asset it is today,” Clarke’s statement concluded.


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