For Immediate Release
More than 100 District of Columbia residents and community
groups turned out at a hearing today to tell the Public Service Commission of
the District of Columbia (PSC) that they support the merger of Pepco Holdings
Inc. (NYSE: POM) and Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC) for the significant
benefits it will bring to the region.
The PSC called the hearing as a
forum for individuals and organizations in the District to comment on the
merger settlement the companies reached with the Government of the District of
Columbia and others on Oct. 6, 2015. The Commission on Oct. 28 reopened the
record to consider the settlement with the District Government and others, and
set a schedule for the reconsideration of the merger application that would
allow it to issue a decision in the first quarter of 2016.
The merger settlement includes
numerous commitments to the District, including providing $72.8 million in
direct customer benefits, including bill credits, assistance for low-income
customers, fewer and shorter power outages, and investment in a cleaner and
"Efficiency, reliability and
sustainability - those are the things that drove me to be here today," said
Ellen Jefferson, a District resident who attended the hearing to voice her
support. "As a business owner, I know what it means when you don't have power -
it means thousands of dollars of lost revenue. I understand that it takes lots
and lots of resources to ensure continuity of power, but I think that the
Pepco-Exelon merger will create some synergies that were not there before."
Among its many commitments, the
merger settlement includes investments in local jobs and workforce development.
Pepco has committed to hire more than 100 union workers in the District, and
Exelon has offered $5.2 million for workforce development programs.
"We're encouraged the merger will
bolster support for local jobs and help develop the District's future
workforce," said Carmen Robles-Inman, program director, Workforce Development,
Edgewood/Brookland Family Support Collaborative. "As the District's economy
continues to grow, we will need these skilled workers to fill the jobs of
Citizens from all eight wards
attended the hearing and presented testimony to demonstrate their support for
the merger. They represented a broad range of interests, including faith groups,
nonprofits and other community organizations. Many wore T-shirts and buttons
and carried signs showing their support.
"I'm here because I want to give a
chance to new opportunities. I do think this will benefit the community," said
Rev. Robert Childs, Pastor, Berean Baptist Church. The merger is "going to
bring benefits to residents."
In addition to the parties that
signed the settlement, the merger has the support of a majority of the D.C.
Council and more than 30,000 District residents who have signed a petition or
submitted letters to the PSC in recent weeks.
"The testimony we heard today is
another clear sign the merger has widespread public support following our
settlement with Mayor Bowser, the Department of Energy and Environment, the Attorney General for the District of Columbia, the Office of the People's
Counsel and others," said Donna Cooper, president. Pepco Region. "We are eager
to bring the merger's many benefits to the District's citizens, and they are equally
eager to receive them."
"District residents value the
merger because it includes commitments - such as bill credits, enhanced
reliability goals and funds for renewables and energy efficiency - that will
make electricity more affordable and more reliable and will advance the
District's long-term sustainability goals," said Melissa Sherrod, vice
president, corporate affairs, Exelon. "The package of benefits we've proposed
responds directly to what the District has said it wants and can only be
secured if the merger is approved."