- Opposition to the proposed acquisition of the mid-Atlantic utility Pepco Holdings by Illinois-based Exelon Corporation seems to be growing in the nation's capital. This week, Power DC, an advocacy organization opposed to the merger, announced that nearly half of the neighborhood governments in D.C. are against the merger or concerned about it as well.
- So far, 19 of the 40 Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs), the most localized form of neighborhood governance in the District, have passed measures expressing opposition to the merger. None have passed resolutions in support.
- Critics say the numbers demonstrate D.C. residents don't want the merger. Exelon responded by saying that testimony at multiple community and Public Service Commission (PSC) "shows that there is broad support for the merger in the community."
Washington, D.C. has been the epicenter of opposition to the Exelon-Pepco merger since January, when a coalition of progressive activists and organizations formed Power DC to oppose the merger.
Since then, three members of the D.C. Council — Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3), Elissa Silverman (I-At Large), and Charles Allen (D-Ward 6) — have come out against the merger as well. And in February, Power DC released a poll showing that only 6% of District residents support the acquisition — a poll Exelon called "fundamentally flawed."
Now the advocacy organization is pushing another press release, this time showing that nearly half of the most localized government forums in D.C. have passed resolutions either in opposition to — or expressing concern over — the proposed merger.
“The decision rests on the PSC’s determination of whether the merger is in the public interest,” said Ward 8D03 Commissioner Absalom Jordan, in a press release. “When the PSC gives great weight and consideration to DC's ANCs — as required by the DC Code — and ratepayers, it's hard to see how they could approve a deal so clearly against the best interest of DC residents, businesses, or the environment."
For its part, Exelon says there is substantial public support in the District for the merger as well. Spokesman Paul Elsberg sent over a list of supporters and a statement:
"A diverse set of individuals and organizations, including District residents, business owners, faith groups and local nonprofits, have voiced their support for the merger and understand that it will provide substantial benefits to Pepco customers and communities, and the District."