Week in Review

It’s a bitter sweet day here at Public Citizen. We’ve had another successful week despite the gulf catastrophe. But, we’re all a little sad because Andrew Sauls just finished the last day of his internship. Melissa “Mami” Sanchez is both proud of her fledgling for flying off and also dismayed to see the intern nest grow a little emptier. But that means she’s on the lookout for new eager interns if you’re interested in energy advocacy work shoot her an email at [email protected].

Andrew extends his sincere thanks to all of our staff for the knowledge, training, and expertise everyone has imparted. He left today’s staff meeting to warm cheers and handshakes. Andy’s off to Houston for the weekend to celebrate Mothers’ Day.

Now, the week in review…

Matt Johnson introduced himself to the staffers of a few legislators on the Sunset Advisory Commission. Matt talked to them about improvements that can be made at the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC), the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the Office of Public Utility Counsel (OPUC), and the Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs (TDHCA). The Sunset Advisory Commission released its staff report on the PUC, ERCOT, and OPUC last month. The full report can be viewed here.

Ryan Rittenhouse‘s organizing efforts paid off as he and the No Coal Coalition enjoyed an engaging and informational town hall event in Bay City Monday evening. The meeting was organized to educate the community on the proposed White Stallion coal plant and its environmental and economic impact.

Tom “Smitty” Smith spoke to the Bay City crowd of nearly 200 people about the proposed plant’s water consumption and the pollution from coal combustion wastes. The event was covered by the Matagorda Advocate.

Intern Mona Avalos has been contacting Texas activists, asking that they attend the upcoming hearings concerning the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline which would bring tar sand oil all the way from Canada to the Texas coast. The U.S. Department of State is hosting hearings from May 17-20 in Beaumont, Liberty, Livingston, and Tyler, Texas.

Public Citizen is asking that all available and concerned citizens attend the hearings and voice their opinions. You can learn more here.

Intern Patrick Reck and the Public Citizen staff had a lovely picnic on the capitol lawn Thursday afternoon to celebrate a semester of hard work. Patrick also interviewed Matt Johnson and Smitty for the Get to Know an Activist series.

Intern Andrew Sauls has flown the coop. He finished his last week with more additions to his Green Cities report. Andrew leaves Public Citizen a wiser and older man (Happy Belated Birthday!), more prepared to enter a graduate program in Urban Planning this fall. In the meantime, he will be recording an album with the St. Edwards jazz band.* “Holla.”


By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We are Public Citizen Texas.

*Andrew is a drummer, so I couldn’t help myself.

Q: What did the drummer get on his GRE?

A: Drool