Tom “Smitty” Smith has served as Texas Director of Public Citizen since 1985 and serves on the boards of Clean Water Action, the Texas Wind Power Coalition, Texans for Public Justice, Campaigns for People, the Clean Energy Project of CEERT, a nature preserve, and a solar energy company. He has recently received the Thomas Paine award from Campaigns for People, 2001 Austin Chronicle’s critics choice award for “Best People’s Lobbyist” as well as an U.S. EPA “Environmental Excellence Award.”
Public Citizen is a consumer and environmental group active in issues concerning energy, environment, ethics and campaign finance reforms, trade agreements with Mexico and other countries, and urban sprawl. During his tenure at Public Citizen, Smitty has served on four commissions that looked at the future of the utility industry in Texas and has testified on more that 100 occasions on environmental and energy policy. His proudest accomplishments are: helping to pass laws requiring Texas to develop 2,000 MW of renewable energy; and creating the Texas Emissions Reductions Plan, which reduces emissions from Texas dirtiest diesels, gives incentives for purchasing the cleanest new cars and trucks, requires political subdivisions to reduce their energy use by 25% over the next 5 years and requires all new homes or commercial buildings to meet new tough energy use standards.
Smitty hails from Illinois. He graduated from Valparaiso University in northern Indiana and became a Texan by choice in 1974. Before joining Public Citizen, he worked as a legal aid, as a legislative aide, directed the Houston Foodbank and ran an anti-hunger advocacy program.