Recently, the Houston Chronicle published an op-ed by Lance Brown titled "Time for the EPA to stop putting politics before facts." Readers should beware the author is the Executive Director of the Partnership for Affordable Clean Energy (PACE), a 501(c)(4) organization that parades itself as an environmentally-minded organization, but is really a front agency for Alabama Power Company, Southern Company and coal companies.
On its website, PACE states that it’s part of Working People for Fair Energy (WPFE), which is another front group with close ties to industry to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from reducing children’s exposure to toxic coal ash.
PACE would like us to believe that clean air is far too expensive and that the EPA is preventing any new wells from being drilled. In reality, Texas is issuing more permits than ever. In 2011, Texas issued 22,480 drilling permits, compared to 18,029 in 2010 and 12,012 in 2009.
PACE claims the Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) is an example of EPA’s attempts “to crucify energy producers in our state.” The truth is that the CSAPR will improve air quality and public health, increase protection for sensitive ecosystems and improve visibility in state parks. Up to 1,704 lives will be saved in Texas and the state’s total health benefits will be up to $14 billion annually. Many companies across the country, including Houston-based Dynegy, support the rule and are already in compliance.
PACE has a constitutional right to trot out the discredited argument that we must choose between health and our jobs. But they should at least be honest about who they represent.