Recent media accounts regarding the Settlement Agreement and merger for Pepco and Exelon have mischaracterized GSA’s position and actions. In fact, GSA’s position is consistent and has been for years: GSA will advocate for fair and equitable treatment for the taxpayer in any proposed utility proceeding. As it relates to this proposed Settlement Agreement, we continue to object to the short-circuited process by which the agreement is being considered.
The Settlement Agreement remains unclear as to its impact on the federal government. By freezing rates for a broader base of residential customers, it opens the possibility of future rate increases that will disproportionately impact federal taxpayers. This is a consistent concern we have previously voiced and will continue to voice. Should the Public Service Commission (the Commission) be asked to consider a rate increase in the future, GSA would advocate for the taxpayer’s interest as we always have.
In October, GSA raised serious objections to the short-circuited and flawed process by which the Commission was proposing to reopen the issue of the merger. In that statement, GSA noted that “the proposed timeline would deprive the non-settling parties and community at large of a meaningful opportunity to vet the Settlement Agreement.” GSA proposed a longer timeframe for consideration to allow all parties to review the terms of the agreement. This request was also echoed by other parties in the process, but was not granted. (See the Commission’s response.) As a consequence, GSA did not have sufficient time to properly consider and submit testimony.
GSA will remain active in this process, and continue to advocate in the best interest of the taxpayers, specifically regarding the potential for disproportionate rates.