ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore’s response to the Chicago Tribune’s investigation of ComEd’s charitable giving attempts to redirect attention away from the clear problem the investigation highlights: ComEd’s use of ratepayer money to make charitable contributions that advance ComEd’s political agenda.
It is particularly important to scrutinize this practice now, while ComEd’s parent company Exelon uses its considerable political clout to push legislation in Springfield that would force ratepayers to further subsidize Exelon’s nuclear power plants even though their Illinois nuclear fleet is profitable.
Shareholders, not ratepayers, should pay for ComEd’s charitable giving and Illinois law should change to ensure ComEd and Exelon can no longer use ratepayer money in service of a political agenda that runs counter to ratepayer interests.
State Director, Illinois PIRG; Energy and Utilities Program Director, PIRG
Abe Scarr is the director of Illinois PIRG and is the PIRG Energy and Utilities Program Director. He is a lead advocate in the Illinois Capitol and in the media for stronger consumer protections, utility accountability, and good government. In 2017, Abe led a coalition to pass legislation to implement automatic voter registration in Illinois, winning unanimous support in the Illinois General Assembly for the bill. He has co-authored multiple in-depth reports on Illinois utility policy and leads coalition campaigns to reform the Peoples Gas pipe replacement program. As PIRG's Energy and Utilities Program Director, Abe supports PIRG energy and utility campaigns across the country and leads the national Gas Stoves coalition. He also serves as a board member for the Consumer Federation of America. Abe lives in Chicago, where he enjoys biking, cooking and tending his garden.