Philly council leader wants complete review of PGW sale plan

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On Monday, Mayor Michael Nutter announced a deal to sell the Philadelphia Gas Works.

But there is at least one major hurdle to overcome, City Council.

While City Council President Darrell Clarke said he’s not against the sale of PGW, he did express concerns when asked about sale of the utility to UIL Holdings Corp. of New Haven, Connecticut, for nearly $2 billion.

“When you talk about a limitation on some of the issues, particularly the rates, you talk about a three-year commitment,” he said. “What happens at the end of three years? A lot of us will still be in elected office, so we will have to deal with the aftermath of that three-year commitment.”

There is no rush to judgment in the deal, Clarke said.

“I think it’s important for us to look at all of the proposals to insure that this particular proposal was the best one,” he said. “If we find that to be the case, then we’ll vet that particular proposal. But I’m not sure — not being in the position of being involved in the process — that this is the best selection for what is the most significant transaction in the history of the city of Philadelphia.”

Clarke would not say how long council will need to evaluate the proposed sale. The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission will also have to bless the deal for it to become final.

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