Constellation bonuses: Is the damage already done?
It's pretty clear from Constellation Energy Group CEO Mayo Shattuck's statements Friday that the company's decision to abandon a plan to dole out $32 million in bonuses to senior managers was a political one.
Shattuck pointed out that the money was coming from the French firm that's buying Constellation's nuclear business, EDF, and that the money would have no bearing on BGE rates. And unlike AIG, Constellation hasn't gotten any taxpayer money.
"Nonetheless, we have determined that this issue has become a significant distraction to the important long-term benefits for Maryland that our strategic partnership with EDF represents," Shattuck said, adding that the company wants to "remove this compensation issue from the critically important review of our transaction with EDF."
If you needed any proof that Constellation is legitimately worried about re-regulation or state oversight of the EDF deal, look no further. Preliminary votes on partial re-regulation could come as early as today. The question now is whether giving up the bonuses will be enough to stop the anti-Constellation momentum that had been building in recent weeks.
Is the fact that they gave up the bonuses proof of good faith, or is the fact that they were there in the first place evidence that the state needs to keep Constellation on a tighter leash?