Why do we care?
Well, it's no secret that Texas is at odds with environmental extremists. Although the State's Clean Air Program successfully reduced ozone emissions by 22% and NOX emissions by a whopping 53%, last year the EPA refused to reauthorize the program. Al Almendariz, President Obama's EPA Czar for Texas, has been in the news for trying to ban bullets and fishing tackle, and attempting to halt oil and gas production for the sake of lizards. What Texans may not realize, however, is that Greenies are also working through local boards like the PEC to implement an 'environmental' agenda.
The PEC provides power to a 24-county area, including portions of Williamson County. It is governed by a 7-member Board of Directors, who are elected by all members of the service area via mail-in ballots, through the PEC website, or in person at the annual meeting.
Unfortunately, a small group of activists have been working to manipulate PEC elections via PEC4U, an organization with close ties to lefty environmentalist groups. PEC4U's influence has become so insidious, that State Senator Troy Fraser has called for reforms that would make the co-op more transparent and require single-member district elections. Last week Senator Fraser publicized a letter sent by PEC4U to 5 board members, in which PEC4U reminds them to dance with 'the one what brung ya' and calls for more aggressive and costly 'green' initiatives. (The sixth Board member, Ross Fischer, is not a PEC4U cabal candidate.) The letter also states:
"You are all directors whom we endorsed and helped get elected. We feel that our close relationship with the press, as well as with Clean Water Action and Public Citizen, played a key role in those elections. As you know, Clean Water Action used their canvassing crews to go door to door for the candidates we endorsed (they chose to endorse the same candidates but it was not a coincidence),"Although the intent in creating such a large electrical cooperative, (the largest in the nation,) was to keep consumer costs down, PEC rates are high compared to other providers and smaller cooperatives. PEC4U and friends want to force the co-op to adopt a 30% 'renewable energy' policy, which will only drive costs higher.
Currently, Williamson County is not represented on the Board, and we need members who will bring a balanced view to the PEC and not owe allegiance to lefty-environmental groups.
Stephen Thomas is former three-time Cedar Park City Council member and worked for the State for 25 years. He was also a Republican candidate for the Texas House recently. Read his press release and bio here.
Alan Yore owned an architectural and engineering firm for 27 years, and is now a Leander business owner. Read his press release here. He is committed to getting costs and member rates under control.
Also on the ballot will be the option to change the way the Board of Directors is elected. The three options are: (A) status quo (nominated by district, elected at-large); (B) single-member districts (elected on staggered 3-year terms); or (C) hybrid system (some directors elected by district, some at-large). Option B, single-member districts, will give members the best chance to stop any special interest monopolies from controlling the board.
If a resident of the PEC, be sure to either mail in your ballot or vote on-line by June 10. Otherwise, attend the annual meeting on June 18 in Johnson City to cast your ballot in person for Alan Yore and Stephen Thomas.