Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas


What Is Public Citizen?


Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy project founded in 1971 to champion citizen interests before Congress, the executive branch agencies and the courts. Public Citizen challenges what it considers to be abusive practices by the pharmaceutical, nuclear and automobile industries. With offices in Washington, D.C. and Austin, Texas, the project has five different policy groups—Congress Watch Division, Energy Program, Global Trade Watch, the Health Research Group, and the Litigation Group.

Public Citizen’s climate and energy program promotes clean, sustainable and cheap energy. Program goals include pushing for strong regulation of energy markets, educating the public on the dangers of continued reliance on dirty energy sources, helping to solve climate change by promoting localized clean energy alternatives and holding large energy corporations accountable by exposing wrongdoing.

Public Citizen has partnered with multiple environmental and legislature groups in Texas to create and expand energy efficiency measures throughout the state. The organization helped fund Clean Energy for Austin, a group that links nonprofits, businesses and individuals interested in promoting clean energy in the state’s capitol.

In 2001, Public Citizen helped to pass the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan, which strives to ensure clean air in the state. The Reduction Plan has received criticism for including businesses that were awarded grants but failed to meet the plan’s air quality requirements and/or had inaccurate or incomplete information in the plan’s databases.

Most recently, the energy division of Public Citizen teamed up with the Sierra Club to fight against the proposed building of White Stallion, a coal plant slated for Bay City, Texas. Both groups oppose the use of coal, nuclear energy and diesel, citing their harmful effects on the environment.


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With Profits Like These, Does Valero Need a Tax Break?

Yesterday we reported on Valero Energy Corporation’s attempts to get a tax exemption from the state of Texas for upgrades it made to its refineries. The money comes in the form of a property tax exemption from local appraisal districts, which could mean money lost from already-short school and city budgets. Looking at the arguments for and […]

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