Given the importance to the city of the proposed sale of the Philadelphia Gas Works, it is disappointing to see the poor relationship between Mayor Nutter and City Council threaten to infect the process.

No Council member would introduce Nutter's bill calling for PGW to be sold to UIL Holdings Corp., even though introducing a bill doesn't guarantee passage. Council wouldn't have to vote until it gets an independent review of the proposal.

Council President Darrell L. Clarke said he was concerned that introducing the bill would trigger a state Public Utility Commission review. But the PUC says that process typically takes up to 10 months, and the sale still couldn't occur without Council approval.

No sale should occur absent a deliberative process. But no one knows how long the booming natural-gas market, which has made PGW attractive to suitors, will last. Political feuding risks revisiting the days when the city considered paying someone to take over the debt-ridden utility.