This report was published in July 2000. It should be considered outdated and is kept online for historical purposes only.

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Pioneer Profiles: George W. Bush's $100,000 Club
Name: Erle A. Nye
Occupation: Chair & CEO, Texas Utilities (TXU)
Industry: Energy & Natural Resources
Home: Dallas, TX


Political Contributions:
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TXU is the leading source of so-called “grandfathered” air pollution in Texas. The ‘71 state Clean Air Act exempted existing industrial plants from new pollution rules. Rather than investing in clean air, dirty companies have lobbied to protect their loophole. Bush responded by inviting polluters to voluntarily cut their emissions—even though they have had three decades to do this. Bush’s industry volunteers need not say how much pollution they plan to reduce—or by when. Today, every major city in Texas either flunks federal air standards or is on the verge of doing so. When state environmental officials complied with federal orders to devise a plan to clean up the Dallas Metroplex’s filthy air this year, TXU and other area polluters filed suit to try to dodge compliance. For other urban areas about to flunk the test, Bush urged the EPA in 2000 to let Texas cheat by pretending that there is insufficient data to classify their air quality. TXU and Reliant Energy (see Pioneers Don Jordan and R. Steve Letbetter) blocked plans to deregulate state electricity markets until ’99. The ’99 deregulation legislation granted their demand that consumers bail them out of their investments in nuclear power plants that cannot compete in a free market. Bush appointed Nye as a Texas A&M Regent.

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