Lawsuit challenges Pepco-Exelon merger

WASHINGTON — Even though Pepco and Exelon completed their $6.8 billion merger last March, legal challenges continue nearly a year after the D.C. Public Service Commission approved the deal.

A lawsuit filed in the Court of Appeals argues that the PSC should not have approved the merger the way that it did.

Among those who object to the deal, and joined the lawsuit, is the nonprofit advocacy group Public Citizen.

“The agency’s decision was unlawful, we think, in several respects, and I think we have a good change of overturning it,” said David Arkush, managing director of Public Citizen’s climate program. “The decision was not in the public interest, and it didn’t make the required finding that it was in the public interest.”

Arkush points to the PSC having given 12 days’ notice of a hearing, instead of the required 45 days.

“I think the law couldn’t be clearer in terms of what the commission’s obligations are in terms of giving adequate notice,” Arkush said.

The lawsuit is joined by D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine who wants the merger approved, but on terms they say promote the public interest.

“We believe the Public Service Commission exceeded its authority, failed to follow their own procedural rules, and denied the District due process when it approved merger terms acceptable to Pepco and Exelon but opposed by the overwhelming majority of the other parties involved,” Racine said in a statement last year.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect that the Office of the People’s Counsel did not approve the merger.

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Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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