Philly Council President accepts petitions against PGW sale

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 Philadelphia City Council President Darrell Clarke accepts petitions against the sale of the Philadelphia Gas Works. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Philadelphia City Council President Darrell Clarke accepts petitions against the sale of the Philadelphia Gas Works. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Protesters opposing the sale of the Philadelphia Gas Works delivered petitions to the City Council President and were granted an audience. 

The protesters say they have several thousand signatures calling for Philadelphia to abandon the plan to sell PGW, the city owned utility.

Madeline Shikomba of South Philly says she and many others can’t afford to pay more for natural gas. 

“Between the real estate taxes and Philadelphia Gas Works being sold I’m going to be pushed out of my house,” said Shikomba. “I have never seen anything go down under privatization I’ve always seen it go up and therefore that is a given that the prices will go up and people will not be able to heat their houses.”

Council President Darrell Clarke accepted the petitions personally and assured the protesters he will give a PGW sale a careful review.

“The one thing I asked you all to do is give us time to go through all the documents,” he said. “We haven’t introduced any legislation yet and we want to make sure that any decision we make is an intelligent decision based on reviewing all of the documents.”

Mayor Nutter’s office says the purchase agreement continues low-income and senior discounts even under private ownership. A spokesman says there actually could be rates cuts if the new owner produces a more efficient operation.

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