D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser says she can no longer support a proposed $6.8 billion merger of Pepco and Exelon.
The Washington Post reports Bowser's administration negotiated for the companies to pay the District $78 million for support for the merger from D.C., Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and federal regulators. That would have cushioned District residents from rate increases for four years.
But District regulators rejected the plan, saying it wasn't in the public interest and would exacerbate an imbalance in which federal taxpayers and businesses subsidize residential rates.
"Unfortunately, the Public Service Commission... gutted the consumer protections that would be necessary to win my support," Bowser told News4's Mark Segraves.
The D.C. Public Service Commission said it would reconsider the deal under new terms that removed any guarantee to hold down residential rates.
News4's Tom Sherwood reports one of the conditions of the commission was to eliminate a three-year freeze on electricity rates for residential customers.
The lawyer who officially represents the rate payers, People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye, says she won't sign off on the merger unless the rate freeze is restored.
The opposition by Frye could delay and possibly kill the merger, Sherwood reports. The People's Counsel is one of nine groups that must unanimously agree to the merger before it can go into effect.
Pepco and Exelon have about 10 more days to officially inform the Public Service Commission that all parties agree. D.C. officials say negotiations are underway to resolve any differences.