PHILADELPHIA—The City Council on Monday eveningrejected the proposed $1.86-billion sale of thePhiladelphia Gas Works to ULIHoldings of New Haven, CT.

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Philadelphia City Council President Darrell L.Clarke said that after six months of due diligence, "Thesimple reality is that there is no appetite to sell PGW as proposedby that specific, very specific proposal."

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The council's decision was criticized by ULI and PhiladelphiaMayor Michael Nutter, who had supported the saleof the utility to help fund the city's pension system, according tothe Philadelphia Business Journal.

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Mayor Nutter called the Council's decision "opposite oftransparency and openness" and "quite possibly the biggest copoutthat we've seen in recent legislative history in Philadelphia."

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ULI spokesperson Michael West said, "We enteredinto this transaction in good faith and were hopeful for a fair andequitable process. We were prepared to be included in a processwith a high degree of transparency that we believed wasforthcoming. Ostensibly, that didn't happen and this appears to bean unprecedented decision regarding the disposition of a publicasset."

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A number of union and environmental groups opposed the sale ofthe utility. Gas Workers Local 686 in a preparedstatement, said, "The hard working members of UWUA Local 686 thankCouncil President Darrell Clarke and all of City Council for makingthe right decision for the city. This proposed sale was never inthe best interests of our citizens, especially the poor and elderlyon fixed incomes. PGW is a stable, profitable city asset and we aredelighted that it will remain so." See story in thePhiladelphia Business Journal.

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John Jordan

John Jordan is a veteran journalist with 36 years of print and digital media experience.