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Philadelphia Gas Works

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NEWS
March 23, 2001
Philadelphia Gas Works is preparing to ask Philadelphians to invest $65 million, through rate increases. The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission is opposed to that increase, as I imagine, are most of PGW's customers. Philadelphians pay more than enough for their service already. In minority communities especially, every available resource already goes to the essentials of life, such as utilities. The cost of fuel has risen, true, but stewardship of resources already available must be examined.
NEWS
October 28, 2014 | By Andrew Maykuth and Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writers
City Council's leadership on Monday drove a spike into the proposed $1.86 billion sale of Philadelphia Gas Works without bringing the matter to a vote, apparently killing a signature effort by Mayor Nutter to reduce the city's pension-fund deficit. Council President Darrell L. Clarke said Council would not hold hearings on the proposal to sell PGW to UIL Holdings Corp. of New Haven, Conn. Nutter billed the sale as a way to divest the city of a burdensome asset and raise money for its underfunded pensions.
NEWS
July 30, 2010 | By Marcia Gelbart, Inquirer Staff Writer
There's a homecoming in the works for Doug Oliver. Mayor Nutter's spokesman since the 2008 inauguration, Oliver is expected soon to announce that he is leaving the administration for a senior-level job with the Philadelphia Gas Works - where he worked for more than three years before the mayor took office. Oliver would not comment Thursday except to say, "I'm serving as the mayor's press secretary. If there is something to say, there will be an announcement. " Oliver, who is paid about $114,000 a year, oversees a five-person staff.
NEWS
November 15, 1989 | By Idris M. Diaz, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Philadelphia Gas Commission yesterday approved several management changes that consultants say could save the Philadelphia Gas Works as much as $6.5 million in annual operating expenses when fully implemented. The changes include requirements that PGW reduce some of its insurance costs, improve its inventory management and reduce the time between meter reading and billing. The changes were approved unanimously in response to a detailed audit of the city-owned utility's operations that was performed by Schumaker & Co., a Michigan-based consulting firm.
NEWS
April 19, 1995
There's a radio ad on the air featuring a homeowner who's switching to oil heat - mainly because he can't even get his gas company on the telephone. It's obvious the man's supposed to be one of the half-million long- suffering customers of the city-owned Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW), even though the utility isn't named. PGW: a godsend to competitors. The utility is best known for dismal customer service and snafus. For months, it sent gas bills to homes that were destroyed in a gas explosion.
BUSINESS
May 7, 2012 | By Andrew Maykuth, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The city is moving forward to hire a team of advisers to help it sell Philadelphia Gas Works, but already City Hall turf battles are breaking out about who should pay the costs. A week after the city requested proposals from financial advisers to guide it through a sale of PGW, it issued a request for law firms last Monday to bid on a broad range of work related to the potential $1.85 billion divestiture. Later, the city will hire a broker to manage the sale process and review proposals.
BUSINESS
October 5, 1994 | By Andrew Maykuth, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Faced with a utility where a third of the bills are not paid on time, City Finance Director Ben Hayllar confirmed yesterday that he had initiated a "long overdue" review of the troubled Philadelphia Gas Works. Hayllar said that the team looking into the city-owned gas works included representatives of the city water department, which, like the gas utility, is strained financially because its customers are not paying on time - if they pay at all. PGW said that past-due bills amounted to $187 million at the end of July, about a third of annual revenue.
NEWS
December 5, 1995 | By Jerry W. Byrd, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
At 10 a.m. Thursday, city police and employees of Philadelphia Gas Works knocked down the door of a North Ninth Street rowhouse and shut off gas to the furnace, stove and hot-water heater. The tenant, virtually housebound with severe asthma and owing PGW more than $8,000, said she spent the weekend in an upstairs room, warming her seven children with an electric space heater. She asked that her name not be used. The specifics of the case are in conflict. The 28-year-old woman said one of the utility's employees, acting on a medical certification from her doctor, had restored the service a week earlier, around Thanksgiving Day. But PGW spokesman Kevin Boyle disagreed.
BUSINESS
January 26, 2005 | By Jeff Gelles INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
An arctic chill had enveloped Western Pennsylvania in January 1976 when Sophia Easer's body was found in her house in the Pittsburgh suburb of Munhall. She had huddled beneath a rug, trying vainly to escape the subzero temperatures. Easer, 82, froze to death in an unheated home. Two weeks earlier, the local utility had shut off her gas because of unpaid bills. Easer's death spurred the state Public Utility Commission to adopt strict limits on cold-weather shutoffs. But this winter, one key restriction - that the PUC itself approve any winter shutoff - became the latest casualty of the troubles at Philadelphia Gas Works.
BUSINESS
March 26, 1995 | By Andrew Maykuth, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
In early 1993, Phoenix Management Services, the turnaround company now running the city-owned Philadelphia Gas Works, undertook a similar rescue attempt of a Kensington manufacturer of sheet-metal products. Six months later, Phoenix abruptly quit, lawsuits were filed, and the Billy Penn Co. went into a tailspin beneath the mounting weight of its debt. It ceased operations in April, putting 100 out of work and leaving the founder's family financially ruined. Phoenix Management chief E. Talbot Briddell, whose firm was appointed three months ago to run the beleaguered gas works, said Phoenix made a valiant attempt to salvage Billy Penn.
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BUSINESS
May 17, 2015 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
UGI Energy Services is doubling its capacity to produce liquefied natural gas, aiming to capture a bigger share of an alternative-fuel market for which Philadelphia Gas Works also has ambitions. UGIES, a subsidiary of UGI Corp. of Valley Forge, announced Friday that it plans to build a $60 million plant in northeastern Pennsylvania to produce up to 120,000 gallons of LNG a day from 10 million cubic feet of Marcellus Shale natural gas. The Wyomissing, Pa., company currently operates an LNG plant in Berks County.
NEWS
April 23, 2015
Honoring a high flier Ever since I wrote a report about Benjamin Franklin in the fourth grade, he has been my favorite Founding Father ("Name airport for the well-traveled Ben Franklin," April 17). A Philadelphian by choice rather than birth, this renaissance man helped put Philadelphia on the map. Renaming the airport for him would be a great way to help visitors grasp the important role history plays in the city. |Suzanne Fluhr, Philadelphia, sfluhresq@gmail.com City Council changes City Council has time to vote on digital billboards but not on the budget.
NEWS
April 23, 2015 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission published a report Tuesday that suggests seven ways the city-owned Philadelphia Gas Works can speed replacement of its aging pipeline infrastructure. Most of the "opportunities" involve raising prices. The PUC's report recommends that PGW boost charges, cut costs, borrow money, and halt annual payments of $18 million to the city so the utility can direct more money to replacing its system's dangerous gas mains. PGW operates one of the oldest and leakiest gas-distribution systems in the nation.
NEWS
April 20, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
While the city's legislators have to work together, Philadelphia City Council is overpopulated by members who reflexively follow Council President Darrell Clarke. Emblematic of this was Council's refusal to hold a public hearing on a $1.87 billion offer for the Philadelphia Gas Works. Council needs an upheaval to return it to its mission of representing the public. Fortunately, the crowd of candidates seeking five Democratic at-large Council seats includes political newcomers with impressive civic experience and potential.
NEWS
April 18, 2015
ISSUE | FRAT CASE Getting it wrong hurts real victims Michael Smerconish was far too focused on the immediate and localized effect of the misreporting and misrepresentation in the now-discredited Rolling Stone account of a fraternity rape ("Red flags on piece were there," April 12). The larger tragedy here is the pall of doubt and disbelief the magazine cast over actual victims of campus rape. In fact, testosterone and alcohol-fueled fraternities occupied by man-child Neanderthals raised on Internet porn offer a perfect breeding ground for abusive behavior.
NEWS
April 8, 2015 | David Gambacorta, Daily News Staff Writer
LOOK, UNLESS something insane happens - like Sam Katz entering the mayor's race by riding a live T-Rex through town while he cheerfully throws Tastykakes to the masses - one of those Democrats you keep hearing about is going to be running this city come January. With the May 19 primary election creeping ever closer, now might be a good time to start giving the candidates a closer look. To that end, scores of people last night filled a cavernous gymnasium inside Bright Hope Baptist Church - the church once led by powerful Democratic U.S. Rep. William H. Gray III - for a forum aimed at offering a glimpse at how each of the Democratic mayoral candidates would improve the city's woeful education system.
BUSINESS
March 23, 2015 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
Despite Philadelphia City Council's "unqualified" rejection nine years ago of a terminal for liquefied natural gas, the city is once again flirting with the money-making allure of LNG. Several entrepreneurs are promoting plans to increase LNG production at the Philadelphia Gas Works plant in Port Richmond, hoping to capitalize on growing interest in creating an energy hub linked to the Marcellus Shale natural gas boom. The most ambitious plan floated publicly is a $2.1 billion proposal to expand the Port Richmond plant's capacity to export LNG to European markets.
NEWS
March 19, 2015
ISSUE | VETERANS Early sign-up rules should go national Two years ago, then-U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D., Pa.) introduced a bill that should have been a no-brainer, but it died anyway. It would have given veterans the ability to register for college classes early. Veterans have limited time to complete courses, and priority registration would have given them the same privilege that athletes and some others have received for a long time. Last year, Pennsylvania joined California, Florida, Tennessee, and Wisconsin as the only states to grant veterans the right to enroll early.
NEWS
March 19, 2015
RECENTLY, less than three months after UIL Holdings Corporation abandoned its bid to purchase Philadelphia Gas Works, an energy firm based in Spain - Iberdrola - announced that it was acquiring UIL in order to "help the company [diversify] away from Spain," according to the Financial Times . That's great for Iberdrola, which now has an expanded portfolio in the United States, a much more economically stable nation than Spain. That's also great for UIL, which was purchased for $4.6 billion, including assumption of its debt in the deal.
BUSINESS
March 15, 2015 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
With the rejected effort to sell the Philadelphia Gas Works behind it, City Council on Friday turned its attention to other private opportunities for the city-owned utility. During an all-day hearing, a parade of witnesses suggested a wide-ranging buffet of alternatives the city could consider for attracting outside investment into PGW. One group, Liberty Energy Trust, offered a novel arrangement where it could take control of PGW's infrastructure to replace aging cast-iron gas mains for a fee. That would liberate the utility from having to pay for the work up front.
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