D.C. Public Service Commission Unanimously Rejects Funding for Washington Gas's Project Pipes 3

CCAN Action Fund applauds PSC’s denial of $672 million for gas pipe replacement program that would raise rates, put public health at risk, and undercut climate goals

The PSC’s decision means that, for now, ratepayers will NOT be on the hook for $672 million for unnecessary pipe replacements that threaten the integrity of D.C.’s climate goals. The PSC said as much in its order on the issue, citing the concerns raised by residents, civic organizations, local political bodies, and especially D.C. Councilmembers. On the same day, the PSC also approved a request from the Office of the People’s Counsel (OPC) for an investigation into Washington Gas’s leak management practices, given the concerning rates of hazardous leaks in the District’s gas system. The PSC’s decision marks a pivotal moment for the agency and climate action in the District. The order recognizes that wholesale pipe replacement simply cannot align with D.C.’s progress towards electrification and the need to protect residents from exorbitant cost increases. Instead, the Commission is trying to turn towards a targeted replacement approach that focuses on the highest-risk segments of pipes.   However, PSC Commissioner Richard Beverly in his partial concurrence also cautions that a new PIPES application from Washington Gas could end up looking disappointingly similar to that which was just rejected if careful scrutiny is not maintained. He opined that the Commission should take further action to immediately and completely suspend the upfront surcharge for accelerated pipe replacements that is causing ratepayers to “hemorrhag[e] cash,” and to develop an integrated planning framework as suggested by ten D.C. Councilmembers in their letter to the PSC back in early February.   While CCAN Action Fund celebrates the victory in the recent PSC order, we also recognize that the fight is not over. It will take sustained pressure and attention to hold the PSC accountable to the new process they’ve outlined for Washington Gas and to insist it takes further action towards meaningful planning for the future of gas. We encourage D.C. residents to show their support and sign the petition.  


The Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) Action Fund is dedicated to driving change in public policies at the local, state, and national level to address the climate crisis. Through voter education, lobbying, and participation in the electoral process, we seek to advance our country’s leadership in the global movement toward clean energy solutions — focusing our efforts primarily in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC.