Exelon: Guilty of Cronyism Across State Lines
Death-by-Government If there is government - there is nigh always cronyism. The more government spends and does - the more room for cronyism there is. The Feds spend $4 trillion per year, and regulate to the tune of another $2 trillion per annum - which is a LOT of space for cronyism to thrive. But the Feds absolutely do not hold a monopoly on it. And just as at the federal level - state and local government size matters. The bigger the government - the more likely more cronyism is going to occur. On the main, the Democrat Party is much fonder than the Republican Party of bigger government. As you examine the nation’s state governments - this is largely borne out. States under Democrat thrall have their governments spending and regulating much more than do Republican-led states. And with that - comes greater cronyism. A serial state-level beneficiary of that cronyism - is power company Exelon. Who 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.” They are about to do just that in oh-so-Democrat New York: “The unelected (New York Public Service Commission) PSC will unilaterally raise taxes by $8 billion…(The tax) money will go to plant owner Exelon, a Chicago-based Fortune 100 company with annual revenues of over $34 billion.” Well isn’t that special. That’s certainly a great deal for Exelon - pretty sure it’s not great for the “local customers” Exelon in their autobiography claims to herald and help. But that’s it, right? A crony one-off? Of course not. In government, bad ideas replicate like rabbits. Let us now turn to very-very-Democrat New Jersey: New Jersey Energy Leaders Look to New York's Nuclear Subsidy: “Ralph Izzo, the chairman and CEO of PSEG, New Jersey's largest utility which owns much of the nuclear generation in the state, laid out his vision in June for zero emission credits (ZECs) for nuclear power….Shortly after, New York announced it would give upstate reactors $1 billion in ZEC's over two years to keep struggling upstate plants afloat.” Get that? Zero emission credits - are government checks cut to the nuclear plants. Democrat New York is poised to cut them - and Democrat New Jersey wants to too. Here’s hoping New Jersey’s Republican governor, Chris Christie, kicks this cronyism to the curb. But that’s it, right? Two’s the charm? Of course not. Let us now head to so-very-Democrat Illinois. Where we again encounter our old crony Exelon. Major Illinois Energy Bill Advances with Two Days Left in Session: “Illinois’ sweeping energy bill may become law this week after an amended version was passed by a state House energy committee Tuesday. The bill keeps intact the…subsidy for Exelon’s two financially troubled nuclear plants, which is expected to cost ratepayers up to $235 million a year….The energy bill originated almost two years ago with Exelon’s demand for a subsidy for its plants….” Crony Exelon asks - and the Democrat Illinois House delivers. And just like in New York, Exelon’s government-money largesse - comes out of the hides of everyday Illinoisans: “The BEST Coalition, a 501(c)(4) organization of companies and others that oppose the nuclear subsidy, released an analysis Monday estimating that the bill would cost Illinois ratepayers a total of $16.4 billion, including $5.3 billion for the nuclear subsidy….” Get that? The massive Exelon cronyism tally? $8 billion from the Empire State - and another $5.3 billion from the Land of Lincoln (who, I am sure, would be embarrassed by the very notion). Here’s hoping the Illinois Democrat Senate shows the sense the Democrat House clearly lacks - and doesn’t act on this nonsense. But, thankfully, Illinois has an ultimate out. A backstop similar to New Jersey’s - a Republican Governor. Behold Bruce Rauner. Should this House-passed nonsense pass the Senate - it will arrive on Governor Rauner’s desk. Here’s hoping the good Governor takes a stand for his constituents, their wallets, and fiscal sanity - and vetoes this mess should it come before him. Governors Rauner and Christie probably noticed that the national election of fellow-Republican-President-elect Donald Trump was - amongst many other things - a nigh total rejection of business-as-usual cronyism. They should take that mandate to heart - and act accordingly. In Illinois, the Democrat Senate has a chance to do so - but as we have seen for decades, you can nigh never count on Democrats for anything of this sort. So it may very well end up being up to Trump’s Party-mate - Governor Rauner. To stand up - and knock down cronyism-as-usual in Illinois. Let the less cronyism, less government revolution in Illinois begin here and now. With you, Governor. Your long-beleaguered constituents deserve it - and will thank you for it. This first appeared in Red State.