Shareholder Activists Applaud Retirement of Crony Capitalist
by Judy Kent
John Rowe of Exelon Played Key Role in Advancing President Obama's War on Coal
New Management Urged to Abandon Crony Capitalism
Washington, D.C. - At the Exelon annual shareholder meeting today, policy experts from the National Center for Public Policy Research plan to urge the new management team to abandon crony capitalism as a business strategy advanced by its former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Rowe.
Under Rowe, Exelon was a prime example of crony capitalism. Exelon played a key role in advancing President Obama's cap-and-trade energy policy by participating in the United States Climate Action Partnership - a lobbying coalition of corporations and radical environmental special interest groups that sought federal legislation to mandate reductions in carbon dioxide emissions.
Cap-and-trade would have given Exelon a major competitive advantage over utilities that rely on coal-based electricity generation. Exelon's large capacity of nuclear power, unlike coal, does not emit carbon dioxide emissions.
Cap-and trade passed the House of Representatives but the legislation died in the Senate.
The company also ended its membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce because the trade group was lobbying against federal regulation of carbon emissions.
Exelon financially benefited by supporting President Obama's war on coal and his promotion of renewable energy. PECO Energy Company, which is owned by Exelon, received a $200 million grant from President Obama's $787 billion economic stimulus plan. Exelon's Antelope Valley Solar Ranch One solar power facility is backed by a $646 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy.
"Rowe went all in with President Obama and his war on coal. He led the charge to have the government regulate coal-fired utilities in hopes of boosting profits for Exelon. Rowe's gamble to support Obama's energy agenda failed to deliver on its promise to shareholders. The new management team must learn from this example of Rowe's failed leadership and abandon crony capitalism," said said Tom Borelli, Ph.D., director of the National Center's Free Enterprise Project.
"A business plan based on government action is doomed to fail," added Tom Borelli.
Exelon stock is trading close to a five-year low.
"Rowe is a perfect example of a crony capitalist. He leveraged his connections with President Obama to advance legislation to boost the short-term financial interest of Exelon and the company also looted taxpayer money in the form of stimulus money and loan guarantees," said Deneen Borelli, fellow of the National Center sponsored African-American leadership group, Project 21.
"Rowe is featured in 'Green Liberal Lies,' a chapter in my recently released book, 'Blacklash,' in which I describe Rowe's role in promoting President Obama's cap-and-trade legislation and the close ties between the Obama administration and Exelon," said Deneen Borelli.
The Exelon shareholder meeting is being held today, April 2 at 9:30 AM CDT at the company's headquarters in Chicago, IL.
John Rowe retired at the completion of the merger between Exelon and Constellation Energy on March 12, 2012.
The National Center for Public Policy Research is an Exelon shareholder.
The National Center For Public Policy Research is a conservative, free-market, non-profit think-tank established in 1982. It is supported by the voluntary gifts of over 100,000 individual recent supporters, receiving approximately one percent of its revenue from corporate sources. Contributions to it are tax-deductible.