A Tale of Two Governors: Massive Cronyism and Other Terrible Policy
Let's Finally Break the Cycle
One of the heights of lowness that government cronyism has reached is a company managing to so master the favoritism processes, they get multiple states to simultaneously fill its trough.
One such lord of the crony universe - is Exelon: “(A) Chicago-based Fortune 100 company with annual revenues of over $34 billion.” Yet again demonstrating one of the ugliest aspects of cronyism: The only beneficiaries are companies so big they can afford to sufficiently bribe government - and thus don’t need the cronyism in the first place.
Who is Exelon?: “(P)ower company Exelon…describes themselves thus: ‘Exelon does business in 48 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. Wherever we are, we work with local employees, customers, government officials and the public to design strategies that leave each community better than we found it.’ A more accurate self-assessment would be ‘we work with…government officials…to design strategies that (allow us to) leave each community better (off our own selves) than when we found it.’”
Two states are currently vying to outdo one another to massively benefit Exelon.
In Illinois, allegedly-Republican Governor Bruce Rauner just signed a law - that gets Exelon a $5.3 billion state government check. How any Republican could have just witnessed the “Drain the Swamp” election of President-elect Donald Trump - and immediately thereafter think this is a good idea - is light years beyond me.
Not to be outdone, New York Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo bypassed his state’s legislature and announced via unilateral fiat an $8 billion Exelon state payout. The huge cronyism portion of a pie-in-the-sky, ridiculously absurd declaration of “green energy” fantasy as new state policy:
“‘The state’s Public Service Commission (PSC)…passed a new set of standards that by 2030 is supposed to ensure that half of New York’s energy needs are met by renewable methods, ranging from solar and wind, as well as hydro and nuclear power.’
“That is a very lofty goal. In fact, nigh unreachable: ‘As of 2015, New York only generated 11% of its energy via renewables. A tally it has taken them decades – and tens of billions of subsidy dollars – to attain. And now they have mandated a nearly 500% increase – in only fifteen years. Predicated, again, upon energy sources that require massive, ongoing government cash infusions – and in most instances take more energy to produce than they provide.’”
After months of dwelling in Dreamland darkness, this week we learned that some rays of Reality sunshine are actually finding their way in: “The state Public Service Commission has quietly reduced the amount of renewable energy that utilities will have to purchase next year by 94 percent, according to PSC documents….(I)n an ‘Order Providing Clarification’…the 2017 amount was slashed …after the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) determined few renewables would actually qualify to issue the credits.”
New York’s government found the untenable “green energy” goals to be…untenable. And has started to all-but-erase them from the books.
Well, the $8 billion crony Exelon bailout is just as untenable. And now that we’ve seen New York’s government is indeed receptive of Reality - Governor Cuomo and Company should also erase Exelon from its ledger.
The New York notion in its entirety was a colossal mistake. There is no shame in acknowledging that fact - and rescinding entirely the inanity.
Let Illinois and Governor Rauner win this particular ridiculous crony race - uncontested.
This first appeared in Red State.