Business Digest

Business Digest: Exelon Quits U.S. Chamber of Commerce Over Climate-Change Position

Joseph Hirko, the former chief executive of Enron's Internet business pictured here in 2005, was sentenced Monday to 16 months in prison.
Joseph Hirko, the former chief executive of Enron's Internet business pictured here in 2005, was sentenced Monday to 16 months in prison. (By David J. Phillip -- Associated Press)
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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

ENERGY

Exelon Quits Chamber Over Climate Change

Power generator Exelon became the latest utility to drop its membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce because of the group's opposition to legislation that would limit emissions of greenhouse gases.

"Inaction on climate is not an option," John Rowe, Exelon's chairman and chief executive, said in a speech at an energy-efficiency conference. "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, the nation's largest generator of nuclear power, joined the Public Service Company of New Mexico, the state's largest utility, and California's largest utility, Pacific Gas and Electric, in quitting the chamber.

A chamber spokesman, Eric Wohlschlegel, said that the chamber's message has become muddled and that it does not question the science behind climate change, but rather the science that the Environmental Protection Agency is using to regulate emissions.

-- Associated Press

TELECOM

Senators Back FCC's Internet Proposal

Key lawmakers said Monday that they may help the Federal Communications Commission's effort to set new regulations governing Internet service providers by introducing legislation aimed at smoothing the rule-making process.

Last week, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski proposed rules that would prevent telecommunications, cable and wireless companies from blocking or slowing Internet traffic related to specific applications or services. Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.) said in an interview Monday that he and Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) are considering a bill that would set a timetable or deadline for the agency's proposal to clear the rule-making process. Dorgan and Snowe, both members of the Senate Commerce Committee, have been vocal proponents of such rules. Dorgan said he plans to discuss such options with Snowe later this week.

"I personally believe the FCC has the authority to do what the [FCC] chairman intends to do, but others might disagree with that," Dorgan said. "I think the question is if there is a way for us to be helpful as the chairman moves forward. I think we would want to introduce legislation to help the goal."


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