San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

June 6th, 2009
Letter: Clean energy, transparency not a special interest


In response to the letter from “Independent PEC Board Candidates”:

The Pedernales Electric Coop could lower utility bills by 20-30 percent and create jobs by instituting energy efficiency and solar programs. PEC could help members weatherize their homes and businesses, install energy-efficient appliances, and help buildings in PEC territory meet better building standards. PEC could also create a small-scale solar program so members can put panels on their homes.

The future of electric power in America lies with energy efficiency and renewable energy. PEC set goals to source 30% of demand growth from renewable energy and reduce energy consumption by 20 percent by 2020. A laudable first step, and more advances should follow.

These aren’t pie in the sky objectives; other coops have programs to provide members with incentives for more efficient appliances, weatherization programs, solar panels on their roofs, and wind turbines on hilltops.

We find it laughable that Public Citizen would be referred to as a “special interest.” We were among the original voices that complained about the problems in the Pedernales Electric Coop and stood up for ratepayers who were subsidizing monkey business behind closed doors.

As a group with many members and several staffers who are coop members, our interest is having a cleaner, cheaper, cooler energy future for everyone in Texas. Public Citizen has been advocating that co-op members take advantage of the election to ensure PEC leadership represents their best interests. Members can learn more and decide for themselves whom to vote for by visiting

Tom “Smitty” Smith
Executive Director
Public Citizen Texas Office

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