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June 3rd, 2009
Letter to the Editor: Public Citizen not a 'special interest'

To the editor:

In response to Sunday’s 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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0 thoughts on “Letter to the Editor: Public Citizen not a 'special interest'

  1. So, if PEC could lower costs by 20-30 percent why doesn’t it do so? It always boils down to how much profit a company wants to make. Most have been and are greedy.

    In the past PEC just kept on ripping-off its coop members. While costs in cooperatives may be better than regular electric companies [at approx. 11 cents per kwh], why isn’t the PEC Board moving more quickly to help coop members afford their electricity and what makes each of the candidates believe he/she CAN change the PEC “platform”, a.k.a., cheaper monthly bills?

  2. All the independent candidates have a platform endorsing clean energy and energy efficiency. None of the special interest groups (and yes, Mr. Smith you are part of a special interest group because you focus on certain defined issues) have a corner on this market. Additionally, Mr. Smith, the clean energy website you refer everyone to is in bed with the pec4u special interest group. I asked clean energy director Mr. Foster about his endorsement of the pec4u candidates and he so much as admitted that he did not write the endorsement and didn’t have all the facts regarding PEC. It’s just another example of you good ole’ boys scratching each other’s backs in order to further your personal agendas. Stop trying to fool us with your own pie-in-sky shenanigans.

  3. Smitty, would mind sharing with the PEC members just HOW the rates could be lowered by 20-30%? And pay for all these rebates and home solar packages? AND keep the lights on. And maybe you should mention how one of the co-ops who tried to do some of this, went in debt. Just a quick reminder to members: PEC is a distribution, not for profit co-op. We have no revenue generation resources. And if the Fraser/Rose bills had passed, we would never be able to even consider such actions. I think it’s very unkind of you, Smitty, to dangle a carrot that can’t be had. Not anytime soon, anyway. Oh, and about those new jobs, what happens to the jobs at the current generation facilities?

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