An examination of a utility with long ties to President Barack Obama shows that the company’s executives met frequently with top administration officials and the company received hundreds of millions in government grants and loans, The New York Times
Executives of the company, Exelon Corporation, were early supporters of Obama from his days in the Illinois State Senate. One of the company’s board members is a friend of Obama’s and a top fundraiser, Obama political strategist David Axelrod worked as a company consultant and now Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel helped create the company, the Times reported.
“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,” The New York Times wrote.
“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.”
White House officials and Exelon executives deny any favoritism and company spokesman Paul Elsberg told the Times, “If you look at the full track record, there are examples where the company got what it advocated for and examples where it hasn’t.”
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