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Exelon amends reports concerning contributions to trade groups

Nuclear giant says disclosure forms overstated payments to tune of $13 million

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Exelon Corp. gave half as much money to politically active nonprofits in 2012 than what it first disclosed, an error that knocks the nuclear energy giant down to second place among Fortune 300 companies that voluntarily report such information.

Earlier this month, the Center for Public Integrity identified $185 million in donations to secretive political nonprofits from some of the nation’s biggest firms, with $26 million coming from Exelon.

The company now says it gave $13.6 million, the second largest sum behind health insurer WellPoint Inc., which reported giving $19.2 million.

This change brings the overall amount of corporate contributions to politically active nonprofits identified by the Center down to $173 million.

Exelon officials realized the company’s disclosure forms contained inaccurate information after the publication of the Center for Public Integrity’s investigation. Company officials did not raise any concerns about the figures earlier this month when contacted for fact-checking purposes.

Corporations are not legally required to disclose their dues payments or contributions to politically active nonprofits, although an increasing number have voluntarily been doing so in recent years. Likewise, politically active nonprofit groups organized under sections 501(c)(4) or 501(c)(6) of the U.S. tax code have no obligation to publicly reveal their funders.

Exelon self-reports this information not once, but twice, a year.

In Exelon’s first report for 2012, it showed $13 million in “dues or payments made from January 1, 2012, to June 30, 2012.” The company’s second report listed $13 million in “dues or payments made from July 1, 2012, to December 31, 2012.”

The company now says the second report was actually a cumulative figure for the entire calendar year, not just the six-month period. And it has changed its political contribution disclosure form to make clear that “the figures presented represent total amounts for calendar year 2012.”

In all, Exelon collectively paid $13.3 million in 2012 to trade associations such as the Nuclear Energy Institute, the Edison Electric Institute and U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The company additionally contributed a combined $317,500 to politically active social welfare nonprofits, such as the American Energy Alliance, a pro-business think tank with ties to billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch.

Exelon also amended the language in their disclosures for calendar years 2011 and 2013.

Company spokesman Paul Adams said Exelon revised the disclosure forms as part of its “ongoing commitment to transparency and clarity.”