Skip to comments.Environmental Group Launches Anti-Coal Plant Ads
Posted on 02/11/2007 7:53:42 AM PST by Froufrou
A TV advertisement opposing TXU Corp.'s plan to build 11 new coal plants in Texas begins airing Wednesday in the Waco market, and will air next week in Dallas.
The ad campaign, titled "Profits and Pollution," are being paid for by Environmental Defense, a nonprofit environmental group that is suing the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality over the permit applications process.
The ads are asking viewers to contact their state legislators and ask them to slow down TXU's fast-tracked coal plan. The fast-tracking plan could cut down the regulatory approval process for a new plant to six months. It previously could take 18 months or more to approve a permit.
"TXU's TV ads are full of fear and fiction," said Environmental Defense regional director Jim Marston, in a statement Wednesday. "Our ad sticks to the facts, and the fact of the matter is that TXU's dirty coal plants will make a ring of fire around McLennan County and spew new pollution up to Dallas and down to Austin."
Colin Rowan, a spokesman for Environmental Defense's Austin office, said the ads would run on several stations in Dallas, and the general buy in Dallas would be a little smaller because of the expense.
Rowan said the ads wouldn't exhaust the $400,000 Environmental Defense has budgeted for its various advertising efforts throughout the year.
"TXU's got a bottomless pit of PR money and they've been spending millions of dollars, even before this things became publicly contested," Rowan said. "Now they're just dumping a lot more money into ads that are specific to these power plants and it was time for us to just do what we can to compete. We can't compete with them dollar-for-dollar. But it's certainly a lot cheaper to sell the truth."
TXU spokesman Tom Kleckner called the ads a "misinformation campaign."
"The fact is, Texas has a pressing problem," Kleckner said. "We need reliable, affordable and cleaner power, and we will need it very soon. TXU has a balanced plan that provides needed power, $1.7 billion in lower wholesale prices and state-of-the-art power plants (that are ) 80 percent cleaner than the average U.S. coal plant."
Kleckner added that every delay in the permitting process keeps the older plants online, harming prices and air quality and bringing Texans closer to a power shortfall.
"Rather than offering solutions to address Texas' looming shortfall of reliable electricity supply, ED offers slick tv ads advocating continued delay and denial," Kleckner added. "By lobbying policymakers to postpone action, ED threatens Texas with higher prices, job loss and dirtier air."
Dallas-based TXU (NYSE: TXU) launched its own statewide advertising campaign in January, Kleckner said. The adds are running in Dallas, Houston, Austin and Waco. In some markets, the ads are running on both TV and in newspapers.
Kleckner did not disclose the cost of the ad campaign, but said it would continue for the next few months.
And yet your jumps to conclusions were wrong about the coal plants, wrong about what the former Harvard Dean Summers had said, and wrong about the TTC. Maybe trite rules of thumb aren't always right, and each issue should be examined separately by researching the facts. Just a thought.