Save DC Solar: Oppose the Exelon Merger

2014-07-23 17.03.45

Save DC solar: Sign our petition to oppose the merger.

Good news! The D.C. Public Service Commission unanimously rejected Exelon’s attempt to take over Pepco. The fight isn’t quite over. Ask Mayor Bowser and the D.C. Council not to settle for a deal with Exelon.

DC SUN has been working since 2009 to level the playing field for solar and renewables. This requires the local utility is willing to engage with the public as a true civic partner.

Sadly, we strongly believe that Exelon will destroy DC’s solar market and this merger must be stopped.

Check out our open letter, Washington Post op-ed, the PowerDC coalition of citizens opposing the Exelon merger, and resources below to learn more about why we oppose the merger.


Key Documents

Exelon’s proposed merger was  considered by the D.C. Public Service Commission (PSC) in Formal Case 1119. Here are some key documents and resources related to the case.


Resources

Why do we oppose this merger? Exelon has an extensive history of opposing renewables. They will continue to fight to make sure we never achieve our goals of a sustainable, renewable District.

The following is a compilation of articles and resources demonstrating their hostility towards renewable energy. We will continue to add more information, so check back often!

Exelon Takeover of Pepco in DC

PowerDC: The Exelon-Pepco merger is a bad deal for DC

PowerDC is a coalition of DC citizens, business leaders and community advocates opposed to the purchase of Pepco by Exelon. Its members represent electricity customers from across the District of Columbia concerned about electricity prices, reliability, renewable and efficient energy and local control over our energy supply.

Electric Boogaloo: Pepco Sale Opponents Face the Company’s Connections in District Government

The District has a chance to stop Pepco, the local unreliable power company, from being bought by Exelon, the one power company in the nation that could make the homegrown outfit look good. So where’s the D.C. Council?

Why D.C. should oppose the Exelon-Pepco merger

Washington Post Op-Ed by DC SUN President Anya Schoolman that lays out why the merger will negatively impact DC residents.

Panel Sets Hearings on Exelon, Pepco Merger

Examines the impact of the Exelon-Pepco merger on Delmarva Power.  Consolidation will negatively impact ratepayers and hearings will be held in each county in early September to discuss these impacts.

Exelon and Pepco File for Merger

The company line is explained here. They argue there will be no job losses for two years and that they will create a fund to buy off civic groups.

Past Mergers

New Jersey

Exelon merger in New Jersey blocked

In NJ a similar merger was rejected! The reason: “The largest single concern is that the proposed merger would result in a company that is so large, and controls such a significant segment of the gas and electric generation markets, that it could exert market power to drive up energy prices for all New Jersey ratepayers. “

Maryland

Exelon Tops Maryland Lobbying Spending

Exelon bought BG&G power in Maryland in 2012 as a part of the merger with its parent company Constellation Energy. In Maryland, the company spent more than $400,000 on lobbyinh between November 2012 and April 2013. The company tried to modify the bill of wind power and new safety standards on gas pipelines. It also opposed making wood and biomass eligible for inclusion in the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard.

Utility Exelon Trying to Kill Wind and Solar Subsidies While Keeping Nukes

Exelon believes renewable energy is threatening nuclear power and they therefore fought to kill wind’s production tax credit.

Illinois

How Exelon Nuclear Shut Down One State’s Energy Policy

Energy policy is on hold in Illinois because of Exelon’s statement earlier this year that it may have to shut down several nuclear power plants. At issue is not just a proposed update of the Illinois Renewable Portfolio Standard, which stalled this spring after Exelon’s statement, but all energy policy. At a recent hearing before the Illinois Commerce Commission, Exelon finally revealed the bribe it wants the state to approve in order to keep Exelon’s unprofitable reactors running: a rate increase that would add $580 million per year to Exelon’s coffers. That amounts to a stunning 8% rate increase for northern Illinois ratepayers just to keep five currently unprofitable reactors operating. For southern Illinois ratepayers, whose rates are lower than those upstate, the percentage increase would be even higher.

Exelon Threats Kill Clean Energy Bill

Efforts to reform Illinois RPS were killed largely due to lobbying and threats to close nuclear plants from Exelon. Exelon operates six nuclear plants in Illinois (11 nationwide, employing 5,300 people nationally) and they argue that wind subsidies dampen power prices and make nuclear unprofitable. Exelon threatened to close two or three nuclear plants in Illinois in order to offset impact of any RPS changes.

As Exelon threatens to shut nuclear plants, Illinois town fears fallout

 A Chicago Tribune analyst argued that Exelon’s six nuclear power plants in Illinois have failed to be profitable over the past five years and a 27-year-old plant in Clinton, IL is most vulnerable.

Exelon in Lobbying Push to Save Ill. Nukes

In Illinois, Exelon warned the state lawmakers that the government should do something about the energy prices and renewable energy subsidies, otherwise, some of their plants had to be shut down due to the economic loss. They believe that the government should subsidize nuclear power because of its carbon-free output or unrivaled reliability; otherwise the country would lose nuclear power.

Other anti-renewables efforts by Exelon

We’ve collected some examples of Exelon’s involvement promoting fossil fuels, lobbying against renewables, providing campaign contributions to prevent renewables, and creating front groups

The nuclear industry’s game plan: kill the competition and fleece the ratepayers

The nuclear industry, especially the nation’s largest nuclear utility Exelon, is laying down the gauntlet and acknowledging its game plan–which is following just about exactly the scenario a NIRS paper published last week described.

Killing the Competition: The Nuclear Power Agenda to Block Climate Action, Stop Renewable Energy, and Subsidize Old Reactors

The electric utility industry has begun an aggressive push to change energy policy in the United States to favor nuclear power. Led by the country’s largest nuclear generators, Exelon and Entergy, this campaign represents what would be the single largest change in energy policy in twenty years. While their intent is to make nuclear the preferred energy source, the changes they seek necessarily go far beyond that. They would also support coal and natural gas-fired electricity generation, and block the growth of renewable energy and attempts to address climate change.

Exelon Buys Texas LNG Project That Will Export Shale Gas

In July 2014 Exelon bought a 96 percent stake in Annova LNG, a startup building a $1.3 billion LNG export terminal in Brownsville. Exelon is looking at “new opportunities” to get in the fracking gas export business.

Nuclear Giant Exelon Launches Front Group to Cover Its Assets

To try to stanch the bleeding, Exelon recently launched a front group, Nuclear Matters, to sell the public on the need to keep the remaining U.S. fleet of some 100 reactors running.  The website also lists some of the commonly cited reasons for the industry’s current plight, but, echoing Exelon, also blames federal and state policies that support wind and solar power, which it claims “distorts” electricity markets.

Exelon Lobbying and Campaign Contributions

The following website lists all the lobbyists Exelon Corp has hired from 1998 to 2014.

Wind and the Myth of Widespread Negative Pricing

Adding more wind energy to the grid displaces more expensive sources of generation and reduces the total use of fuel. But and economist Jonathan Lesser, a researcher for the nuclear and fossil industries, recently testified to a Congressional subcommittee. He exaggerated the significance of the maintenance fee of gas-fired generators. Exelon supports these types of attacks against the wind and solar industries.

Report: Nuclear Received 4 Times More Subsidies Than Solar in CA

The 56-year-old Price-Anderson Act’s liability protection for nuclear plant operators and tax breaks for the decommissioning trust fund earnings together account for an estimated $164.1 million in annual federal support.

 

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