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Groups to Tell D.C. Regulators: Exelon-Pepco Merger Not in Public Interest, Would Shift Risk From Exelon to Consumers

Dec. 12, 2014

Groups to Tell D.C. Regulators: Exelon-Pepco Merger Not in Public Interest, Would Shift Risk From Exelon to Consumers

Press Conference Before D.C. Public Service Commission’s First Public Hearing on Exelon-Pepco Merger

WHAT: Testimony before the D.C. Public Service Commission. An Exelon-Pepco merger would not be in the best interest of the public and would not benefit consumers, Public Citizen and allies will tell the commission at a public hearing next week.

The hearing will be the first of four the commission will convene to receive comments from the public on the merger, which was proposed in April, between Exelon Corporation and Pepco Holdings, Inc. Public Citizen will testify at the hearing along with environmental, public health, business, faith, low-income and social justice advocates who oppose the merger.

Tyson Slocum and Allison Fisher of Public Citizen’s Energy Program will explain why a merger would harm consumers. One serious threat of the proposed transaction is that it would shift financial risk away from Exelon’s shareholders and onto Pepco customers. Exelon owns power plants and sells power to the wholesale market. Pepco, in contrast, owns no power plants. Instead, it buys power on the wholesale market and sells electricity to its customers. The merger would fundamentally change Pepco’s business model from a neutral supplier of energy to a more captive conduit of Exelon’s power sales. As a result, an Exelon-controlled Pepco likely would discourage consumer-owned energy, like rooftop solar, because it would compete with its power plant-generated electricity.

Further, if approved, not only would the merger give Exelon a near-monopoly over D.C.’s utility market – increasing the company’s political and economic control – but also it would severely restrict the District’s ability to transition to a clean, affordable and reliable electricity grid. Exelon has been a vocal opponent of tax credits for wind farm developers and has voiced opposition for solar power generation.

Find more information regarding the merger.

Before the hearing, Public Citizen, as part of the Power DC coalition – made up D.C. citizens, business leaders and community advocates opposed to the merger – will hold a press conference.

WHERE: 1333 H St. NW, Washington, D.C. – Press conference will be held on the 10th floor (at the Center for American Progress) and the public hearing is in Suite 700.

WHEN: Press conference: 5:30 p.m. EST Wednesday, Dec. 17
Public hearing: 6 p.m.

WHO: Tyson Slocum, director, Public Citizen’s Energy Program
Allison Fisher, outreach director, Public Citizen’s Energy Program