by Chris Weiss, DC Environmental Network
DC Environmental Network:
Wow, the last few months have been a whirlwind of victories and disappointments.
Not that long ago, after very careful consideration by all, the DC Public Service Commission (PSC), wisely and courageously, rejected the proposed Exelon/Pepco merger. This was a victory in a fair process were all sides had an opportunity to make their case.
The people of the District, without the financial deep pockets of Exelon and Pepco, did a great job of making their case that the merger was not in the public interest.
We could all be proud. We rejected unnecessary and unfair rate increases and embraced a clean energy future. We, the District of Columbia, could proudly say that the public interest was being vigorously protected in our city.
Then the corporations, led by the Greater Washington Board of Trade and the Federal City Council, decided they did not want to support the Public Service Commission’s decision and that they would do whatever is necessary to change it.
With their support, Exelon and Pepco have again, after already spending millions of dollars to buy political support for the merger, engaged in “Pay to Play” politics, and opened their wallets, yet another time, to try and change the outcome.
The Public Service Commission process does allow Exelon to come back and ask for reconsideration. What is disappointing is thatMayor Bowser has given in to the pressure, and helped Exelon and Pepco, by agreeing to a settlement that is not in the public interest. What is puzzling is that fundamentally the new settlement continues to be a bad deal for ratepayers and a clean energy future.
Take a look at the POWERDC FACT SHEET that breaks down Mayor Bowser’s settlement agreement.
Exelon CONTINUES to get everything they want to make their shareholders happy. Exelon is NOT giving up anything that they cannot get back in the future with rate increases on the backs of District residents. And while their commitment to dirty, dangerous, and expensive nuclear energy continues, there is NOTHING visionary about the “chump change” this powerful corporation is throwing at the District for renewable energy programs.
As if we don’t have enough reasons. Here’s another: Exelon and its dangerous, expensive, nuclear portfolio represent the past. DCEN recently visited the abandoned communities near the Fukushima nuclear reactors in Japan, and learned first hand, that even developed countries, with the most modern nuclear power plants, pay extensive human and financial costs, when they commit to utilities reliant on nuclear energy. We cannot afford to be part of that costly and dangerous technology.
So here we are. What do we do about it?
The good news is we can win, again, with your help.
We don’t need to “Pay to Play” like Exelon, Pepco, and so many corporate business interests do so well. We are District residents that believe in the power to control our own destiny.
We have another opportunity to show the Public Service Commission that that the merger continues NOT to be in the public interest.
And check out POWERDC’s website to learn what else you can do.
by Chris Weiss, DC Environmental Network
DC Divest crew watch the DC Council Introduce the Fossil Fuel Divestment Act of 2015.
On Tuesday, November 3rd, DC Divest and the DC Environmental Network visited the DC Council to witness a critical action by local government to protect DC retirement funds and further DC climate protection sustainability goals.
Councilmember David Grosso introduced the Fossil Fuel Divestment Act of 2015. He was joined by Councilmember’s Charles Allen, Brianne Nadeau, Mary Cheh, Elissa Silverman, and LaRuby May with co-sponsorship by Councilmember Anita Bonds. These seven members constitute a majority of legislative branch representatives.
The bill directs the DC Retirement Board and the District’s Chief Financial Officer to remove all direct investments in the 200 publicly traded companies with the greatest reserves of coal, oil and gas from the DC Retirement Funds and the Health Annuity Trust within the next three years. Currently, the public funds hold $1.5 million worth of such direct investments, out of a total value of $7.6 billion (0.02 percent).
“When it comes to sustainability and renewable energy, it is important that the District of Columbia leads with integrity,” said Councilmember David Grosso. “The District of Columbia’s government has a moral and financial imperative to divest our funds from fossil fuels. On one hand, we are working hard to address climate change, while on the other hand we are contributing to the problem. It is the responsibility of our government to take real action to fight climate change by investing in environmentally sustainable funds.”
The DC Environmental Network is a strong supporter of the DC Divest movement and will do all we can to make sure this bill is passed by the Council and signed by the Mayor.
Go to DC Divest website!
The winds of change are blowing at the DC Department of Public Works.
The DC Environmental Network (DCEN) & Sierra Club, DC Chapter, invites you to a special opportunity to meet Christopher Shorter, the Acting (possibly permanent) Director of the District of Columbia Department of Public Works (DPW). The agency most responsible for recycling in the District.
Acting Director Shorter will outline his goals for running DPW and his approach to aligning the District’s commitment to Mayor Bowser’s Sustainable DC zero waste goals with the work of the agency. SEE BIO.
NOTE ADDRESS CHANGE: This DC Environmental Network special gathering is scheduled for November 5th at Noon. It will occur at the offices of the DC Environmental Network, 322 4th Street NE, 3 blocks from Union Station Metro.
This DCEN meeting is an important opportunity for everyone, who is interested in making the District of Columbia a zero waste city, to be part of the conversation.
All are welcome.