It’s thrilling to see community power at work—and winning.
Today, the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia dismissed the proposed merger of the District’s utility company Pepco Holdings, Inc. with national utility giant Exelon. This decision came after the proposal was approved by the regulatory authorities of four other states in the Mid-Atlantic region.
The proposed merger had been a point of controversy in the utility sector over the past few months. Since the initial negotiation process began in April 2014, many environmental and energy reform activists voiced concerns over the merger, citing Exelon’s investments in fossil fuel generation and nuclear energy as a possible threat to the District’s increased commitment to clean and renewable energy.
Through the leadership of the Power DC coalition, several local organizations rallied together to support efforts in halting to merger. This decision has been noted as a victory by many experts in the renewable energy and environmental activism spaces.
“We applaud the PSC for recognizing that this nearly $7 billion proposed merger would have raised rates and stunted wind and solar development, as well as efficiency gains, across D.C.’s customer base for electricity,” said Mike Tidwell, director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, a Groundswell partner.
This move is a big deal, and a major win for activists and D.C. residents. Decisions like these make positive action on the environment seem possible. D.C., we should all be proud today.
BREAKING: DC PSC REJECTS Pepco-Exelon Merger! Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard to fight this merger!
— Chesapeake Climate (@CCAN) August 25, 2015
Huge win for @PowerDCnow and other anti-merger activists today. DC PSC clearly bought into their concerns about Exelon’s generation fleet
— Gavin Bade (@GavinBade) August 25, 2015
Pepco stock down since DC PSC rejected merger bid with Exelon. pic.twitter.com/G9wb7VYH3c
— Andrea Noble (@anobleDC) August 25, 2015
Imani Lewis is an artist, advocate, and Editorial Fellow at Groundswell, currently living on the outskirts of Washington, D.C. When she’s not dreaming up ideas to change the world, you’ll find her perusing Soundcloud and pretending not to like Taylor Swift. Connect with her on Twitter at @imanirlewis.