Deal to sell PGW appears to run out of time in Philly City Council

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With the Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks coming up there are only two Philadelphia City Council sessions before the end of the year.

And with a proposed deal to sell Philadelphia Gas Works expiring December 31st, The clock appears to have run out on the deal. 

Philadelphia City Council held two days of hearings on PGW, but never introduced a bill to sell it. And because it takes three meetings for a bill to get introduced, pass committee and receive a final vote, the existing calendar doesn’t have time to approve the deal.

Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez says the ball is in Mayor Nutter’s court.    

“I think we had a very spirited two day hearings talking about the possibilities, the challenges and it is up to the executive branch to continue to work with the leadership team on how do we move that forward,” she said. 

Council President Darrell Clarke says his colleagues appear more interested in a public-private partnership than selling PGW.

“I’ve indicated to both the administration and UIL that was something that had a lot of traction as it relates to this body. We hope to continue to focus on enhancing the opportunities as it relates to energy hub,” he said. 

The potential buyer, UIL Holdings says it does not intend to extend its offer beyond the end of the year.

A spokesman for Mayor Nutter says there is still time to introduce a bill and vote on the deal. That would require a special session of council.

Nutter has pressed hard for selling PGW for two major reasons.  First, he wants to use money from the sale to refill the lagging city pension funds.  Second, as a private company UIL says it can replace PGW’s aging infrastructure decades faster than PGW can.  

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