Exelon leaving U.S. Chamber of Commerce over climate position

Chicago, September 28, 2009 – Exelon Corp. will not be renewing its membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce due to the organization’s opposition to climate legislation.

Exelon chairman and CEO John W. Rowe urged utility industry leaders, regulators and policymakers at the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy’s national conference to continue pushing for sensible climate change legislation that puts a price on carbon.

“The carbon-based free lunch is over. But while we can’t fix our climate problems for free, the price signal sent through a cap-and-trade system will drive low-carbon investments in the most inexpensive and efficient way possible,” said Rowe. “Putting a price on carbon is essential, because it will force us to do the cheapest things, like energy efficiency, first.”

In his speech, Rowe recognized the need to balance our nation’s fragile economic recovery with the need to address climate change, and pointed to energy efficiency as a lower-cost way to meet those goals.

Rowe discussed how Exelon utilities ComEd and PECO plan to spend $290 million per year over the next five years on energy-efficiency and demand response programs. The plan aims to help customers reduce their energy use by more than 3.7 million megawatt hours and cut peak load by
388 MW.

To drive additional energy efficiency investment, Rowe said the nation’s response to climate also must incorporate competition and the power of markets.

“Inaction on climate is not an option,” said Rowe. “If Congress does not act, the EPA will, and the result will be more arbitrary, more expensive, and more uncertain for investors and the industry than a reasonable, market-based legislative solution.”

Exelon’s energy-efficiency programs are a key part of the company’s own effort to address climate change through Exelon 2020, an environmental and business strategy to reduce, offset or displace more than 15 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year by 2020. In April 2009, Exelon announced that it had reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by more than 35 percent from 2001 to 2008.

Rowe first testified before Congress on the potential effects of carbon emissions in 1992. He currently serves as co-chair of the bipartisan National Commission on Energy Policy, and previously chaired the Edison Electric Institute and the Nuclear Energy Institute.

Exelon Corp. is an electric utility with about $19 billion in annual revenues. Exelon distributes electricity to about 5.4 million customers in northern Illinois and southeastern Pennsylvania and natural gas to about 485,000 customers in the Philadelphia area.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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