Nutter Slams City Council Over Rejection of PGW Sale in Inquirer Op-Ed

Mayor Michael Nutter wrote an opinion piece in the Inquirer on Thursday blasting City Council for not holding a hearing on the now-rejected PGW sale.

In an opinion piece published in the Inquirer today, Mayor Michael Nutter ripped City Council over its rejection of the deal to sell PGW to UIL Holdings Corporation, a gas company based in Connecticut.

It’s headlined, “Council, do your job on PGW.”

Nutter is particularly incensed that City Council did not even call for a hearing on the sale of PGW. (“What makes far less political sense was Council’s decision to never give the UIL deal a hearing,” our own Patrick Kerkstra wrote yesterday. “It just looks awful.”)

Nutter writes in the op-ed:

What is Council’s proposal to improve infrastructure safety? It calls for a 50 percent rate increase on the funding source of the pipe replacement. Yes, PGW ratepayers, who already have the highest natural-gas rates in the commonwealth, would face an immediate rate hike under Council’s plan.

UIL, which has decided to continue to pursue this sale despite Council’s announcement Monday, offers another approach to infrastructure improvement, along with dozens of other proposals, all subject to change through the legislative process, which would protect consumers, our vulnerable citizens, and the employees of PGW.

But the only way that we’ll get to the truth about this proposed historic sale is for Council to introduce the bill, schedule hearings, give everyone a chance to be heard, and then let Council members do what they’re paid to do – explain where they stand, make choices, and then vote. That’s the way Philadelphia should conduct its business.

Nutter says the sale to UIL is a “a unique, once-in-a-generation opportunity” to add an influx of cash into the city’s pension fund and a way to improve the city’s aging pipe stock.

The administration has even started a mini-social media campaign to attempt to call for a hearing on the PGW sale.

So far, these haven’t been retweeted much — but we’ll see what the rest of the day holds.