Beyond Nuclear joins PowerDC at DC city hall rally to urge "No Deal!" on Exelon Nuclear's takeover of Pepco
On Sept. 17th, Beyond Nuclear staff joined with allies in the PowerDC coalition at the Wilson Building -- housing the Executive Office of the Mayor of Washington, D.C., Muriel Bowser -- to urge her to not cave to lobbyists' pressure from Exelon Nuclear of Chicago. The Washington City Paper and the Washington Post (the latter with a Nuclear Energy Institute, NEI, ad in the center of the article) have reported on the rally. (Exelon Nuclear is the largest commercial nuclear power utility member of NEI; Christopher M. Crane, the President and CEO of Exelon Nuclear, is also the Chairman of NEI).
Last month, the DC Public Service Commission (PSC) unanimously rejected Exelon's takeover of Mid-Atlantic utility Pepco, a ruling Mayor Bowser said she supported at that time. DC was the only jurisdiction to reject the merger. DE, MD, NJ, and VA, as well as FERC and DOJ, have already approved it. However, a single jurisdictional rejection nixes the deal for all jurisdictions.
But, Exelon appears unwilling to take no for an answer.
Since the DC PSC rejection last month, Exelon (and Pepco, the shareholders of which would make a killing on the acquisition) lobbyists have taken to back room deal making, as well as a high-priced ad campaign. In addition, the two companies will formally appeal the DC PSC decision by the Sept. 28th deadline, and have also threatened a lawsuit.
It is clear that, once Exelon would take over Pepco, renewable energy and energy efficiency advances, built over years at Pepco, would be reversed as unwanted competition to Exelon's atomic reactors. Rates would be raised, to funnel the money back to IL, to prop up five dirty, dangerous, and uncompetitive reactors there. And DC would lose yet more local control -- something District residents and decision makers already suffer, given DC's non-voting status in Congress, as well as federal oversight on basic policies.
Beyond Nuclear staff handed out action cards, urging folks contact Mayor Bowser, and also providing a link to exposés by Nuclear Energy Information Service of Chicago, a 34 year watchdog, on Exelon's nuclear misdeeds in IL and beyond.
PowerDC has a webform where you can take action, urging Mayor Bowser and DC City Council Members to stand firm, and not buckle under Exelon Nuclear's lobbying pressure or threats of a lawsuit. Not only DC residents and taxpayers should weigh in with DC political leaders, but also the many millions of people who visit the nation's capital each year -- all of whom will pay, monetarily and with their health and safety, if Exelon's dirty, dangerous, and expensive atomic reactor fleet become the driver for Mid-Atlantic electric power decision making!
Speakers at the rally -- attended by a couple hundred people -- included:
- Judi Jones, ANC 4B
- Councilmember Mary Cheh (Ward 3)
- Councilmember Charles Allen (Ward 6)
- Councilmember Elissa Silverman (At-Large)
- Delvone Michael, DC Working Families
- Pastor Earl D. Trent, Florida Ave Baptist Church
- Andy Shallal, DC business leader & Owner, Busboys & Poets
- Anthony Lorenzo Green, Chair, ANC 8B
- Jim McGrath, Tenants Association of DC
- Akili West, DC SUN & Ward 8 Solar Co-Op
- John Capozzi, Pepco Shareholder
- Mike Tidwell, Chesapeake Climate Action Network
- Hudson Brown & Katie Bryden, American University
- John Chelan, Ward 3 Democrats & DC Public Power
- Keshini Ladduwahetty, DC for Democracy
- Rob Robinson, Grid 2.0 / DC CUB
- Dana Sleeper, MDVSEIA
- Randy Speck, Chair, ANC 3G