The President’s Utility’ — Chicago Energy Behemoth Exelon Corporation Scored $200 Million in Stimulus Funds, and Holder’s Justice Dept. Approved Exelon’s $7.9 Billion Utility Merger With Constellation Energy of Maryland
I’m surprised this piece is even running at the New York Times. It’s falling way outside of the approved narrative. See, “Ties to Obama Aided in Access for Big
WASHINGTON — Early in the Obama administration, a lobbyist for the Illinois-based energy producer Exelon Corporation proudly called it “the president’s utility.” And it was not just because it delivers power to Barack Obama’s Hyde Park neighborhood in Chicago.
Exelon’s top executives were early and frequent supporters of Mr. Obama as he rose from the Illinois State Senate to the White House. John W. Rogers Jr., a friend of the president’s and one of his top fund-raisers, is an Exelon board member. David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s longtime political strategist, once worked as an Exelon consultant, and Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago mayor and Mr. Obama’s former chief of staff, helped create the company through a corporate merger in 2000 while working as an investment banker.
With energy an increasingly pivotal issue for the Obama White House, a review of Exelon’s relationship with the administration shows how familiarity has helped foster access at the upper reaches of government and how, in some cases, the outcome has been favorable for Exelon.
White House records show that Exelon executives were able to secure an unusually large number of meetings with top administration officials at key moments in the consideration of environmental regulations that have been drafted in a way that hurt Exelon’s competitors, but curb the high cost of compliance for Exelon and its industry allies.
In addition, Exelon, which provides power to more than 6.6 million customers in at least 16 states and the District of Columbia, was chosen as one of only six electric utilities nationwide for the maximum $200 million stimulus grant from the Energy Department. And when the Treasury Department granted loans for renewable energy projects, Exelon landed a commitment for up to $646 million allowing it, on extremely generous financial terms, to finance one of the world’s largest photovoltaic solar projects.
Exelon’s seemingly easy access to top administration officials has hardly gone unnoticed among competitors.
“I would like to get some treatment in Washington like that,” said Ken Anderson, general manager at Tri-State G&T, a Colorado-based power supplier that has been at odds with Exelon over environmental regulations. “But Exelon seems to get deference that I can’t get.”
via American Power: ‘The President’s Utility’ — Chicago Energy Behemoth Exelon Corporation Scored $200 Million in Stimulus Funds, and Holder’s Justice Dept. Approved Exelon’s $7.9 Billion Utility Merger With Constellation Energy of Maryland.