Ties to Obama Aided in Access for Big Utility via The New York Times

In the weeks before the draft rule was issued, Exelon lobbyists attended two other White House meetings, records show, giving it greater White House access than any other company or environmental group trying to influence the outcome. The Exelon meetings included Mr. Sunstein, who supervised the process, while utilities arguing against the regulations also made their case, but to lower-level staff members, the records show.

At the same time, Exelon was working with other power companies to block or weaken a provision of proposed clean water regulations that were also under review. The E.P.A., aiming to prevent water intakes at power plants from killing fish and other aquatic life, was proposing regulations that the companies feared would require extensive renovations.

Exelon lobbyists and their allies, over the last year, have again secured unusual access to White House meetings, pressing for dozens of changes, even proposing how to redraft entire sections of the regulation, according to its written presentations to the E.P.A.

Days after a March 2011 meeting with Exelon executives, a White House official instructed the E.P.A. official in charge of drafting the water intake rule to rewrite major portions, according to White House e-mail records.

Exelon has joined with other companies to try to prevent the Nuclear Regulatory Commission from requiring new filters on vents at boiling water reactors to prevent discharges of radioactive steam during an accident, as happened in Japan. Company officials predicted in June that they would prevail and avoid costly retrofits by offering an equally effective alternative.

In its effort to block construction of power plants in areas of Maryland and New Jersey it serves — plants it argues are unfairly being subsidized by the states — Exelon has already won a ruling from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, an independent agency whose members are appointed by the president.

Read more at Ties to Obama Aided in Access for Big Utility

This entry was posted in *English and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply