A new raft of coal plants proposed in Texas may damn the world to decades of increased climate warming, but they sure seem to be paying off for Texas Gov. Rick Perry:

AUSTIN — Since he signed an order to speed state approval for 16 coal-burning power plants, Gov. Rick Perry has received more than $100,000 in campaign contributions from interests associated with the projects.

None of the governor’s rivals in the campaign has received donations from the companies, according to finance reports.

The primary beneficiary of Mr. Perry’s order last fall to fast-track the permitting process was Dallas-based TXU, which wants to build 11 new coal-fired plants in Texas.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

The utility’s political action committees have given Mr. Perry $35,000 since the Oct. 27, 2005, executive order. Retired TXU chairman Erle Nye contributed $2,000 the date the order was signed and another $50,000 since then.

Representatives for TXU and the Perry campaign said the donations were unrelated to the governor’s decision.

Totally unrelated! Only a cynic would think otherwise.


Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.