Selling the Philadelphia Gas Works: Consequences for the City and the Consumer
At the turn of the century, a debate raged over the ownership and regulation of public utilities. Eventually, advocates of private-sector ownership and public-sector regulation prevailed. Among large cities, the City of Philadelphia has been a single significant exception to this rule. The City has owned the Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) since 1841, and this long history of municipal ownership seems to be the primary justification for its continuance. This is now being challenged.
This report attempts to answer these questions and draws a conclusion regarding the sale of the utility to the private sector.