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U.S. Grid Operator Fires Back at Group Over Political Payments

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Photographer: Carla Gottgens/Bloomberg

The biggest power grid operator in the U.S. has come under fire for making contributions to political groups in Washington. Its response: Those were membership fees.

The consumer advocacy group Public Citizen filed a complaint on Tuesday with federal regulators about $456,500 worth of ratepayer money that, it said, grid manager PJM Interconnection LLC used to make campaign contributions to Republican and Democratic governors associations. PJM shot back, saying the payments were actually made to cover membership fees that allowed it to participate in energy-related policy summits.