February 2012, Vol. 239 No. 2

Editor's Notebook

Editor's Notebook: The Public Question

There’s an intriguing story in Philadelphia that offers insight into whether cities should own utilities. An article in the Philadelphia Inquirer quotes members of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission as being increasingly frustrated with a lagging study about privatizing Philadelphia Gas Works. PGW is the largest municipally owned gas utility in the nation with more than 500,000 private and 19,000 industrial and commercial customers. The company has been in operation since 1836. Philly took control of the company from UGI in 1972 when newly elected Mayor Frank Rizzo flexed his powerful political muscle and ended the 75-year relationship. What concerns the PUC is

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