By Approving Exelon Takeover of Pepco, Maryland Public Service Commission Ignores Harm to Consumers and Clean Energy, Puts Corporate Profits Ahead of Public

Statement of Tyson Slocum, Director, Public Citizen’s Energy Program

TysonSlocumsmNote: Today, the Maryland Public Service Commission approved the proposed merger between Exelon Corporation and Pepco Holdings, Inc. Public Citizen was an intervenor in the case before the commission.

Today, on behalf of our thousands of members who also are Pepco customers, we condemn the Maryland Public Service Commission for approving Chicago-based Exelon’s acquisition of Pepco. As an intervenor who also served as an expert witness in the proceeding, Public Citizen stressed that Exelon’s acquisition of Pepco would be bad for consumers and bad for clean energy. The commission should have stopped this power grab. Instead, it facilitated it.

In giving the deal the green light, the commission ignored the more than 1,500 Marylanders, the Maryland Attorney General, the Maryland People’s Counsel and nine Montgomery County Councilmembers who called on the commission to reject the merger and put people before corporate profits.

Despite the commission’s action today, this isn’t the end. For the deal to go through, the D.C. Public Service Commission (PSC) also must approve it. Already, the D.C. Office of People’s Counsel, four D.C. Councilmembers, 19 District advisory neighborhood commissions and more than 1,000 District residents oppose the deal. The D.C. PSC should heed their call to reject this bad deal for the public.

The proposed merger likely would lead to higher electricity rates and would make it harder for Maryland and the District to meet their renewable energy goals.

Instead of handing control of our electricity to a mega-corporation based in the Midwest, community leaders, regulators and lawmakers should work to ensure that we modernize the way we produce and use electric power. Our region’s electricity system should maximize cost-effective opportunities for households, small businesses and churches to lead the fight against climate change by generating their own electricity through rooftop solar panels.