OPC Focusing on Ensuring Tangible Benefits for DC Consumers as WGL Files Merger Application



Washington, DC -- People's Counsel for the District of Columbia Sandra Mattavous-Frye said the Office of the People's Counsel has received from WGL Holdings, the parent company of Washington Gas, a copy of the application WGL and AltaGas filed yesterday with the DC Public Service Commission (PSC), seeking permission to allow AltaGas to acquire WGL in an all-cash transaction worth approximately $4.5 billion.

"Right after the proposed merger was announced on January 25, 2017, OPC moved into action to put in place all the tools needed to assess and address what the merger might mean for Washington Gas ratepayers," said Mattavous-Frye. "OPC will closely scrutinize the application to ensure it meets the legal standard for mergers. Specifically, OPC will focus on whether the proposed merger will provide District residents tangible benefits, not harm them, and otherwise will be in the public interest."

If the merger is approved, WGL and its subsidiaries would become part of AltaGas. In addition to the PSC, the merger must be approved by several federal and state regulatory agencies, including those in Maryland and Virginia, where Washington Gas also has customers.

Mattavous-Frye said OPC's mandate to be the voice for consumers will remain constant. OPC will aggressively advocate for the best outcome for natural gas consumers, the People's Counsel added.

Once the Public Service Commission establishes a procedural schedule including public hearings, OPC will make consumers aware of every step and strongly encourage public input.