Pa. officials want PGW sale to move forward

Listen
 Philadelphia Gas Works offices located at 1601 S. Broad Street (Nathaniel Hamilton/for Newsworks)

Philadelphia Gas Works offices located at 1601 S. Broad Street (Nathaniel Hamilton/for Newsworks)

The backlash continues over Philadelphia City Council’s decision not to take up legislation to sell Philadelphia Gas Works for $1.86 billion to UIL Holdings Corp.

Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission Chairman Robert Powelson said he will personally work to revive the process of selling PGW because  the current situation is unacceptable. Antiquated cast-iron gas mains in the city are a problem waiting to happen, he said Wednesday.

“It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when, and I think everyone should take a pause and understand this is a problem,” Powelson said of the possibility of a potentially deadly accident.

Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai said a decision not to sell the gas works will have repercussions in the state Capitol.

“It’s going to be hard for people in Harrisburg to understand why that wasn’t taken seriously,” Turzai said. “I think everybody in Harrisburg is going to be skeptical if Philadelphia is asking once again for more money out of the state budget.”

Powelson said City Council’s own consultant found that ratepayers will pay more if the city keeps running PGW instead of selling it.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.