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Public Utility Commissioner Wants PGW To Be Sold

(A PGW payment office in center city Philadelphia.  File photo by Andre Bennett)

(A PGW payment office in center city Philadelphia. File photo by Andre Bennett)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — A member of the state Public Utility Commission unleashed a scathing tirade against PGW as the PUC finalized a settlement with the city-owned gas utility stemming from a deadly 2011 gas explosion.

Public Utility Commissioner James Cawley ripped PGW as being essentially beyond regulation.

“I have publicly said before it doesn’t do any good to fine this company because the customers end up paying the fine, rather than penalizing management or shareholders,” Cawley says PGW cannot replace aging gas lines.

“How many more explosions are going to have to happen in the city of Philadelphia before this company is sold to someone who is going to accelerate that replacement?”

A PGW spokesman said it would be “inappropriate” to comment on Cawley’s remarks “at this juncture”. PGW is on the hook for a $400,000 civil settlement, a $100,000 contribution to a smoke alarm program, and PGW will have to to create a pilot program to test leak detection improvements.

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