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Philadelphia city council approves municipal energy authority

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Philadelphia City Council has approved a bill creating a municipal energy authority. After a long debate, it was unanimously passed over objections from PECO.

During a pre-council caucus, members of City Council sparred with a PECO lobbyist who said approving a municipal authority would hurt the utility’s bond rating because it would give the city an option to generate its own electricity and possibly sell it to residents. Councilwoman Marian Tasco, who is Chairwoman of the Philadelphia Gas Commission, shot back instantly.

When the people on Wall Street look at the possibility of the people of Philadelphia getting into energy, it won’t matter; we’re having problems running Philadelphia Gas Works.

Councilman Darrell Clarke who co-sponsored the bill says the move gives the city options, as caps on electric rates get lifted in Pennsylvania next year. He envisons installing solar panels on city buildings or construction of a small power plant to help the city during times of peak demand.

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