Lipstick on a Pig

August 8th, 2008

Today the New York Sun newspaper (“It shines for you!”) contains an op-ed, “Drill Like Texas,” by Myra Crownover, Republican state rep from Lake Dallas and chair of the Budget and Oversight for the Energy Resources Committee.

She had a thing or two to tell the New Yorkers about how we take care of the environment down here in the Lone Star State. We’ve got it all figured out, she’s determined. Because the government and industry work together here, as partners, as friends, the environment is just fine, no problems whatsoever.

Frankly, this must be news to the Texans who care about the environment, and indeed to the rest of the civilized world, who knew that Texas leads the pack in almost every criteria measurable about the quality of our environment. We have been trying to solve problems that don’t exist is what Rep. Crownover would no doubt say we’ve been doing.

You’ve got to read what she’s written. To whet your whistle, here’s a couple of samples:

“In Texas and the Gulf of Mexico, we have been producing millions of barrels of oil
for years with no environmental consequences.”

“Texas has chosen to work with the industry instead of against it, and as a result, the Texas coast is cleaner and more productive than ever.”

“When it comes to energy and the economy, we look at the industry as part of the solution, not part of the problem. So far the results have been good.”

Lord have mercy. Her sweeping assessments are based upon a limited view and a careful selection of edited “facts” spun within an inch of their lives.

She could have written another op-ed, this one accurate, focusing the areas where Texas solutions are making a difference for our environment, wind power being the primary example. But instead she just sprinked in a little wind power blurb after a remark about how the “rigs to reefs” program is saving the Gulf of Mexico all by itself.

She could have written how industry and the environmental community can become good partners in order to protect both Texas’ air, water and open space AND our strong business climate, and even cited some of the few relevant examples. She could have talked about how the growth industries delivering real economic advantages to their home states in the coming years will be ones that produce clean energy and new technology. But she didn’t.

She could have explained her own votes in the House of Representatives (last session the League gave her a grade of “F” for voting with the environmental community 34% of the time). For example, what was she thinking when she voted against school buses that pollute and waste tax dollars, against parks funding, against publishing the environmental compliance records of industry on the TCEQ website…

She instead put lipstick on a pig and tried to pass it off as Miss Texas.

Now Texans do enjoy a little bit of bragging, especially to New Yorkers. And what fisherman hasn’t tried to impress city folks with tales of catching a fish that gets bigger each time it is told? But with Rep. Crownover’s op-ed in the New York paper, the problem is not just the size of her fish tales, it’s the smell.