Maryland Backs Merger of Two Natural Gas Utilities

Baltimore, Maryland (Dec. 4, 2017) – Governor Larry Hogan today announced that the State of Maryland, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, and Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), have reached a $161.1 million settlement agreement in the proposed merger of Washington Gas and Light’s parent company, WGL Holdings with AltaGas, Ltd. This settlement requires final approval of the Maryland Public Service Commission, as well as the D.C. Public Service Commission.

“This $161 million settlement, reached after considerable negotiation among the stakeholders, will benefit our citizens and foster economic development and infrastructure expansion in Maryland,” said Hogan. “Natural gas provides environmental benefits, reduces energy costs for residents and businesses, and the expansion of this valuable resource is another example of how Maryland is open for business.”

The State of Maryland has taken the necessary steps to ensure that extensive protections for ratepayers, energy consumers, and local governments were included in the agreement, which was filed with the Maryland Public Service Commission Friday.  Information on the case can be found here. The State negotiated strongly to ensure the highest level of benefits for Marylanders including a Most Favored Nation clause, a residential rate credit ($50 per ratepayer), robust ring fencing, outreach and education programs, construction safety, and international arbitration protections. From the total settlement, the applicants have committed $103 million to kick-start a natural gas expansion in unserved areas throughout Maryland.

“WGL Holdings has a tradition of safety and reliability in delivering natural gas to their customers and we are confident that AltaGas Ltd. will continue the same quality level of service,” said Dr. Mary Beth Tung, Director of the Maryland Energy Administration.

“MEA would like to thank AltaGas, WGL, LiUNA, and the counties for their cooperation in this robust review of the merger.  MEA believes that the joint applicants have met their statutory burden and we have ensured very favorable benefits for Maryland energy consumers,” concluded Tung.

“Together, AltaGas and WGL will harness the strength of WGL’s natural gas distribution network. This settlement is a vote of confidence in Maryland as a good place to do business, and we look forward to empowering more Marylanders to choose natural gas as a clean, affordable and efficient source of energy” said David Harris, President and Chief Executive Officer of AltaGas.