July 20, 2017
Appellate Court Made Wrong Call in Exelon-Pepco Takeover Case
Statement of David J. Arkush, Managing Director of Public Citizen’s Climate Program and Counsel for DC SUN and Public Citizen
Note: Today the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia rejected challenges to Exelon’s takeover of Pepco by DC Solar United Neighborhoods (DC SUN), Public Citizen, D.C.’s Office of People’s Counsel and the District of Columbia government.
The Public Service Commission twice rejected Exelon’s attempt to take over Pepco because the deal was bad for the District. Less than a month after the second rejection, the commission shocked the parties and the public by granting the takeover via a 2–1 vote over the opposition of virtually everyone except Exelon and Pepco. That reversal was the result of a rushed and unfair process that shut out the public and consumer advocates at the most critical points in the case. And despite producing more than 300 pages of opinions on the deal, the commission has never explained exactly why it thinks Exelon’s takeover of Pepco is good for the District.
In fact, it’s a bad deal. Pepco made that clear right after the commission decided the case, when it requested a massive rate increase that would wipe out the purported ratepayer benefits that it touted when seeking approval and even impose additional charges.
We are disappointed that the court upheld the decision and are considering our next steps.