PGW Nightmare: Family Has Gas Shut Off Over “Secret” Gas Line

(This piece has been updated to include comment from a PGW spokesperson and a copy of the termination of service notice Anderson-Bell says she received.)

LiRon Anderson-Bell and her husband Glenn relocated from Blue Bell to a big house in the Overbrook Farms neighborhood of Philadelphia in 2003 after they fell in love with the tree-lined community just minutes from the Eastern edge of the Main Line. But now their love affair has turned into a veritable nightmare after a visit this week from PGW. Read more »

UIL: Despite Crucial Deadline Passing, We Still Want to Buy PGW

[UPDATE: 12:07 p.m.] Mayor Michael Nutter has issued a statement praising UIL Holdings for not backing out of the PGW sale, and essentially letting everyone know where the bottleneck is:

“This incredibly important issue is squarely in front of City Council and both the Company and our Administration have been providing voluminous amounts of information to City Council and its consultant, Concentric Energy Advisors,” Nutter said in the statement. “We eagerly await Concentric’s report and the opportunity to present our case for selling PGW to City Council and the public.

“We stand fully prepared to provide Council with any further information or analysis it might need as it conducts its vital and historic due diligence on this matter. We look forward to the introduction of the legislation and the announcement of a schedule of Council hearings. Philadelphians have an absolute right to know the basic details of the transaction and how it will impact them as consumers and also how it will affect the dedicated workforce and retirees of PGW, the fiscal impact on City government and its Pension Fund and the city’s economy.”

Full statement below:

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City Council Study of PGW Sale to Cost Nearly $100K More Than Expected

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

On the eve of a deadline that would allow Connecticut-based UIL Holdingsto back out of an agreement to purchase PGW for $1.86 billion, the Inquirer reports that the studies commissioned by City Council to evaluate the deal will end up costing $522,750. That’s nearly $100,000 more than the $425,000 Council had previously announced it was going to be paying Concentric Energy Advisors. The reason? Council modified its original RFP:

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City Council Spending $20K on Ads Defending Delay on PGW Sale

In February, Mayor Michael Nutter announced the sale of PGW for $1.86 billion. But City Council has questions, and didn’t review the sale before the summer recess. That delay matters: Since Council hasn’t taken any action yet, UIL Holdings can back out of the proposed sale after July 15.

Now, of course, the latest twist: City Council is spending $20,000 on radio ads defending the delay. Wait, what?

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Council Won’t Finish PGW Sale Review Before Recess

When City Council ends its spring session today, it will leave one major piece of unfinished business behind: Whether or not to approve the sale of Philadelphia Gas Works to a Connecticut company.

As CBS Philly reports: “With Council adjourning today until the fall, that means Council won’t be holding a public hearing on the PGW sale until long after July 15th, the date on which the prospective buyer, UIL Holdings of Connecticut, could opt out of the deal.”

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Clock Is Ticking on PGW Sale

Mayor Nutter wants action. City Council won’t be rushed.

Whether or not the mayor is an irresistable force, the council certainly is proving to be an immovable object. Faced with a July 15th deadline for the sale of Philadelphia Gas Works — after which, proposed purchaser UIL Holdings can simply walk away — the Council has responded by … not really responding. (UIL has not said if it will walk away.) Council President Darrell Clark says a full review is more important than externally imposed deadlines.

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Sam Katz Is Right: It’s Time for Philly to Get Creative and Privatize

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Sam Katz is right.

In a recent Philadelphia Inquirer opinion piece, he urged “creative solutions” to the city’s funding crises. Among his recommendations were the passing of an additional sales tax and completing the sale of the Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) so that the proceeds could be used to partially fund the city’s pension liabilities and school district budget gaps. “In approving the sale of PGW and dedicating the first $120 million of the sales tax to our schools, the city can tackle both problems and send a powerful message to the skeptical state leaders that Philadelphia is innovatively addressing challenges with smart policy choices,” he wrote.

By why stop there? Katz, a former mayoral candidate and a business man, is only proposing what any other rational business person would do when faced with too much debt and not enough cash flow: Sell assets and pay down liabilities. He wants the city to be more creative, more innovative. And he’s on to something.

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