Politico: Nuclear industry lobbyists’ clout felt on Hill

Written by admin on March 25th, 2011

In view of the disaster in Japan, note the actions of firms representing the interests of the nuclear power industry here in the United States

Politico

During the past election cycle alone, the Nuclear Energy Institute and more than a dozen companies with big nuclear portfolios have spent tens of millions of dollars on lobbying and campaign contributions to lawmakers in key leadership slots and across influential state delegations

NEI, the industry’s biggest voice in Washington, for example, spent $3.76 million to lobby the federal government and an additional $323,000 through its political action committee on a bipartisan congressional slate, including 134 House and 30 Senate candidates, according to data compiled by the CRP.

Alex Flint, NEI’s senior vice president for government affairs, said the spending is a byproduct of record high demand for his industry.

“The fact that the day after the election, both the president and [House Speaker John Boehner] said nuclear was an area where it’s something they can agree, it’s made us that much more in demand,” Flint said. “Our lobbying expenses have gone up more in large part because we have more people talking to more members of Congress.”

Nearly all of the investor-owned power companies that operate U.S. nuclear reactors play in the donation game.

Exelon, the owner of the nation’s largest nuclear fleet, gave nearly $515,000 during the 2009-10 election cycle. The company contributed to more Democrats than Republicans (58 percent to 40 percent), though it made sure to cover all of the key bases. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) got the $10,000 limit from Exelon for primary and general election fights, while California Rep. Henry Waxman’s campaign account received $5,000.

 

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