Councilwoman Decries “Scare Tactics” in PGW Sale

Tasco says UIL Holdings radio ad "is not in good taste."

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Councilwoman Marian Tasco is criticizing a new radio ad from UIL Holdings, the company that’s trying to buy Philadelphia Gas Works from the city.

The ad suggests that the “dangerously outdated” gas infrastructure of century-old cast-iron pipes is an “accident waiting to happen.” It’s a suggestion that has stirred Tasco’s ire.

“I think UIL is using scare tactics,” she told KYW Newsradio. “It’s just one issue that is slanted, clouded, and not in good taste. I believe that the members of City Council are going to look at all of the information relative to the sale and make an intelligent decision about what we should do with PGW. And this whole scare tactic by UIL is not helping.”

Michael West, UIL’s spokesman, denied the company was using scare tactics. “This is a reality message,” he told the radio station.

Whether it counts as scare tactics or not, the truth is that Phialdelphia has one of the highest concentrations of cast iron pipe for gas delivery in the nation — more than 3,000 miles’ worth — and at last report, had an exceptionally high rate of leaks: 89 per 100 miles of pipe. And the results haven’t been benign: A 2011 explosion in Tacony killed a PGW worker; gas explosions in the city haven’t been exactly rare. That is scary. [KYW Newsradio]

Previously:Philly Has A Lot of Leaky, Aging Gas Pipes Sitting Underground
Previously: Philly (Still) Has A Lot of Leaky Aging Gas Pipes