On Monday, March 23, CEO Council for Growth member and GPCC Chairman Denis O’Brien hosted Members of the Greater Philadelphia region’s Congressional delegation, CEO Council members and Regional College and University President’s Council members for an open dialogue about important regional issues at PECO headquarters. Elected officials in attendance included Senator Tom Carper, Senator Bob Casey, Senator Chris Coons, Congressman Ryan Costello, Congressman Charlie Dent, Congressman Chaka Fattah and Congressman Pat Meehan. Representatives from the offices of Senator Cory Booker, Senator Bob Menendez, Senator Pat Toomey, Congressman Brendan Boyle, Congressman Bob Brady, and Congressman Donald Norcross were also in attendance.
Mr. O’Brien, the Senior Executive Vice President of Exelon Corporation and Chief Executive Officer of Exelon Utilities, opened the meeting with brief comments on energy—one of the meeting’s hot topics. He highlighted Exelon Utilities’ capabilities as the leading competitive energy provider, doing business in 48 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. As the company completes two acquisitions and a merger, it will expand its services to 10 million customers. Exelon’s standing in the energy marketplace gives O’Brien a strong platform from which to speak about the region’s energy needs and energy future.
The meeting had several important discussion topics, including the need for a long-term transportation bill, Philadelphia’s future as an energy hub and ways to encourage more innovation in the region among other topics.
The CEO Council drove home its top short-term federal legislative priority – advocating for a long-term surface transportation funding bill that allows for state and regional agencies to plan into the future for larger infrastructure projects. CEO Council member Tom Caramanico spoke in depth about the need to adequately fund the measure, give state and local governments the tools to complete infrastructure projects and support Amtrak and regional transit authorities. He also invited everyone to the “Stand Up 4 Transportation” rally on April 9 at Dilworth Park to celebrate National Transportation Infrastructure Day.
This is the third annual meeting of the CEO Council for Growth, the Regional College and University Presidents’ Council and the region’s Congressional Delegation. It is a unique opportunity for the business and higher education communities to share their agenda and have an open dialogue with important federal leaders about their shared priorities to improve the economic vitality of the region.