G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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The New York Times has an actual piece highlighting the cronyism of the Obama administration. Weird. The piece details the relationship between Illinois-based electric power company Exelon and the Obama regime:
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.
Because Exelon is heavy into nuclear energy (rather than dirty, dirty oil) they are mostly given a free pass by those who otherwise oppose cronyism. “Better than Halliburton” is a common refrain in the comments to the NYT piece.
This tepid attempt to deny cronyism charges was pretty amusing:
Paul Elsberg, an Exelon spokesman, said the company’s record with the administration was more mixed than it might initially appear.
“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,” Mr. Elsberg said. For example, company executives noted that the administration’s decision to abandon the planned Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site left them without a permanent place to dispose spent nuclear spent fuel.
You’ll remember that it was Harry Reid who shut down the plans for Yucca Mountain. This typical NIMBY liberal pats himself on the back for it whenever he gets the chance. So it’s not as if the Obama administration was playing tough on Exelon; they were just capitulating to another political ally.
Exelon execs exerted influence with Obama officials by, among other things, pushing the regime to enforce regulations against competitors:
Exelon’s competitors were seeking extra time to comply with the rule, which the administration was under a court order to issue. Exelon and its industry allies argued against any extension.
But the company seems hypocritical, both in its advocating quick regulatory measures and in its supposed mission to promote environmental health:
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.
This is an interesting piece. Haven’t seen anyone, even the conservative pundits on Twitter, address it though.