On December 4, 2017 AltaGas Ltd. and WGL Holdings, Inc. announced that it had reached a settlement agreement with the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA), Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, and the Laborers’ International Union of North America, its affiliated District Council, and local Unions serving or located in Washington D.C. (collectively LiUNA) on the terms for the merger of AltaGas and WGL currently before the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) for review and approval.
As a result of this positive development, the joint applicants filed a stipulation with the Commission on December 4, 2017 for the Commission to extend the deadline for issuing its order. The Commission approved this request moving the date for a decision by the PSC to on or before April 4, 2018. The Commission has deemed that additional testimony, evidentiary hearings and the opportunity for public comments are needed to fully evaluate the request, and have scheduled a conference on December 19, 2017, to establish a procedural schedule for review of the settlement agreement.
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, AltaGas and WGL have committed $103 million to expand natural gas infrastructure in Maryland. Washington Gas will invest $70 million of this amount over a 10-year period to further extend natural gas service to unserved and underserved areas by adding to regulated assets within Washington Gas’ service territory in Maryland. The remaining $33 million will be used to establish the Maryland Gas Expansion Fund, which will be administered by the MEA to promote economic development, job creation and the expansion of natural gas infrastructure to underserved parts of Maryland.
AltaGas and WGL are confident of the benefits of this proposed combination, as the benefits are based on the strong foundation of providing value for Washington Gas customers in the region. The combined company will be in an even stronger position to deliver exceptional service at affordable rates, more investment in the community and workforce training programs, more clean energy choices to customers, and good, secure jobs right here in the region.
In addition to the natural gas expansion, AltaGas and WGL have made the following commitments in Maryland:
- Customers will receive a one-time rate credit;
- Low-income customers will receive assistance with energy efficiency initiatives;
- More investment in workforce and educational development;
- Development of renewable energy initiatives to support clean energy goals, including 5 MWs of renewable or other distributed generation in Maryland;
- Increased commitment to supplier diversity to support local businesses;
- Increased charitable giving; and.
- The head office of the AltaGas U.S. power business will be relocated to Prince George’s County, Maryland.
The combination has received the following approvals
- Approval from WGL Holdings, Inc. shareholders on May 10, 2017.
- Approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), an independent agency that regulates the interstate transmission of natural gas, electricity and oil, on July 6, 2017.
- Expiration of the waiting period as of July 17, 2017, pursuant to the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 (HSR Act), when the merger was deemed approved by the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice.
- Approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) on July 28, 2017.
- Approval from the Virginia State Corporation Commission on October 20, 2017.
The regulatory review process continues in the District of Columbia. AltaGas and WGL continue to work constructively with the District of Columbia Public Service Commission (DC PSC) and other parties involved in the regulatory proceedings to make sure all customers benefit, existing jobs are protected, new jobs are added, and support for clean energy is advanced. A final decision from the DC PSC on the combination is expected in the first half of 2018.
For additional resources and background on the combination, visit http://www.wgldeliveringmore.com/
AltaGas (TSX:ALA) is an energy infrastructure company with a focus on natural gas, power and regulated utilities. AltaGas creates value by acquiring, growing and optimizing its energy infrastructure, including a focus on clean energy sources. For more information visit: www.altagas.ca
About Washington Gas
Washington Gas Light Company is a regulated natural gas utility providing safe, reliable natural gas service to more than 1.1 million customers in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. A subsidiary of WGL Holdings, Inc., the company has been providing energy to residential, commercial and industrial customers for 169 years.
WGL (NYSE: WGL), headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a leading source for clean, efficient and diverse energy solutions. With activities and assets across the U.S., WGL consists of Washington Gas, WGL Energy, WGL Midstream and Hampshire Gas. WGL provides options for natural gas, electricity, green power and energy services, including generation, storage, transportation, distribution, supply and efficiency. Our calling as a company is to make energy surprisingly easy for our employees, our community and all our customers. Whether you are a homeowner or renter, small business or multinational corporation, state and local or federal agency, WGL is here to provide Energy Answers. Ask Us. For more information, visit us at www.wgl.com.