Q    Jay, thanks.  The New York Times is reporting today that this administration has close ties to Exelon, which may have helped foster greater access to the upper reaches of this administration, may have been proven helpful in terms of securing some grants and loans.  Do you have a reaction to this report?  Is it a fair report?

MR. CARNEY:  Well, I would say a couple of things.  The truth is that Exelon has a long history of supporting politicians of both sides of the aisle.  And as you — most of your who have covered the rule-making process, you know that these decisions on grants are made on the merits.  And as Cass Sunstein said in the story, it would be a huge mistake to draw any link between the number of meetings that OIRA, the agency that he headed until recently, holds with outsiders and the outcome of any rule.  In fact, OIRA meets with any entity that asks for a meeting.  That is there policy.  And for the standards listed, OIRA also met four times with the Sierra Club, three times with the American Lung Association, and three times with the American Academy of Pediatrics.

So, again, it is standard policy at OIRA to meet with anyone who asks for a meeting who has an interest in any of these issues that come before OIRA. [Emphasis added]