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Bob King

Bob King has worked in the sustainable energy field for many years, with 1970s-era stints in Texas at the Governor’s Energy Advisory Council, the Railroad Commission, the Texas Energy Development Fund, and with a volunteer effort to help start the Texas Solar Energy Society. He later held paid positions out-of-state, including ones in Tennessee with the TVA’s Residential Solar Applications Branch, and in California with the Solar Energy Assurance Labeling Program, Local Government Commission, and the Public Utilities Commission Advisory Committee. He returned to Texas in 1983 to lead the Office of Natural Resources during Jim Hightower’s term as Agriculture Commissioner, and meanwhile helped start the Texas Renewable Energy Industry Association. After leaving TDA, from 1991 through 1993, Mr. King coordinated the LOAN STAR revolving loan fund in Texas, which supported energy audits and efficiency retrofits for governmental clients. During the 1993-96 period, he worked for Kenetech, helping build and connect the first commercial-scale wind farm in Texas, and in 1996-97, helped design the ERCOT wholesale electricity market for efficiency and renewable energy customers. In recent years, he has operated out of the Good Company Associates consulting firm, and has been focusing on a smart meter program to allow customers to share energy data.

Karen Hadden

Ms Hadden has served as the executive director of the SEED [Sustainable Energy and Economic Development] Coalition since 2000. Her work has focused on the intersection of energy and environmental concerns, and has included efforts to block coal plants, to reduce mercury emissions from power facilities, to warn the public about mercury-laden fish consumption, to organize opposition to the re-licensing of the Comanche Peak and South Texas nuclear power plants, to support construction of solar panel arrays, to improve energy efficiency and conservation in affordable housing, and to fight misguided proposals to transport and dispose radioactive waste. From 1980 to 1999, before beginning her work as an advocate at the SEED Coalition, she taught science to middle and high school students, leading courses in physics, biology, astronomy, anatomy, physiology and chemistry, sponsoring science clubs and fairs, and organizing field trips.

Steve Frishman

In 1969, Mr. Frishman received his Master’s in Geology while studying at the Marine Science Institute, a branch of the University of Texas sited on Mustang Island. Living on the Gulf, he developed a strong interest in Texas coastal issues. His concern for the coast played out in his work as a publisher of a paper, The South Jetty, as a volunteer with the Texas Environmental Coalition, as a member of the Texas Coastal and Marine Council, as a panelist with the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, and as a consultant with a firm, Coastal Resources Management. Topics at the time included hurricane preparedness, port development, channel dredging, fishery management and wetland protection. During the 1980s, his work grew more involved with nuclear waste, dealing with disposal proposals for East Texas salt domes or Panhandle salt beds through positions at the Bureau of Economic Geology, Texas Energy and Natural Resources Advisory Council, and the Governor’s General Counsel. As the Texas high-level waste disposal sites were rejected, Mr. Frishman’s efforts took him in 1987 to Nevada, where he has worked since in analyzing and critiquing Yucca Mountain disposal applications.

Shannon Davies

Dr. Davies holds a PhD in American Civilization from the University of Texas at Austin, and has had a career in editing and publishing books and journals, many of them about natural resource and conservation topics. She served as the Director of Texas A&M University Press, where she earlier worked as Editor-in-Chief and as the Merrick Editor for the Natural Environment. Prior to working at Texas A&M, she served as Founding Editor and Publisher of Texas Birds, a publication of the Texas Ornithological Society, as well as the Science Editor and Editorial Fellow for the University of Texas Press. In those capacities, she has worked with a number of funders and dozens of authors to bring scores of books and articles about the natural world to the public. The works have touched on a variety of conservation subjects, including water, wildlife, energy, public lands, forests, agriculture, and environmental history. She has also helped support writers through her service on the boards of two residencies for artists: the Madrono Ranch: A Center for Writing, Art, and the Environment, and the Thinking like a Mountain Foundation.

Bill Carr

Mr. Carr is a noted field botanist who has worked on plant inventories, surveys and protection efforts for Texas Parks and Wildlife (Natural Heritage Program), the Nature Conservancy of Texas, and his own firm, Acme Botanical Services. He has collected more than 37,000 plant specimens, with more than 15,000 catalogued at the herbarium at the University of Texas at Austin, to improve the understanding of plant distributions across the Southwest. As well, he was a co-author, with Jackie Poole, Jason Singhurst, and Dana Price on the reference volume, Rare Plants of Texas (Texas A&M University Press 2007), and has made contributions to a number of journals, including Lundelia, Sida, and the Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas.

Roy Matthiesen

Bishop Matthiesen was ordained to the priesthood in 1946. Following ordination, Matthiesen became an editor and columnist for the West Texas Register in 1948, and from the 1940s through 1980, served as pastor to the St. Mary’s, St. Laurence and St. Francis congregations in Amarillo as well as rector to St. Lucien’s Minor Seminary and principal of Alamo Catholic High School. In 1980, he was named Bishop of the Diocese of Amarillo, a 26-county area of the Texas Panhandle, where he continued until his retirement in 1997. Bishop Matthiesen was outspoken in his ministry for peace and in his public opposition to nuclear arms for their threat to humans and all God’s Creation. He offered counseling to workers at Pantex, the final assembly point for nuclear weapons in the US, and promised financial support to those willing to leave their jobs. As a member of the Catholic Press Association and columnist for the West Texas Register, he challenged our own complicity in the arms race.

Tonya Kleuskens

Ms. Kleuskens is a farmer based in Dawn, Texas who was part of a successful citizens’ effort involving a coalition of the Nuclear Waste Task Force, Serious Texans Against Nuclear Dumping, the Texas Energy Alliance, Texas Corn Growers, Texas Wheat Growers, Texas Sugar Beet Growers, and a number of food processors such as Frito-Lay, Holly Sugar and Arrowhead Mills, that managed to dissuade the Department of Energy from siting the nation’s first high-level civilian radioactive waste disposal facility in the Panhandle. Mrs. Kleuskens and other opponents to the disposal plan pointed out the poor characterization and understanding of the local geology and aquifers, the questionable design of the waste shaft and storage bins, the risks of transport to the site, the heavy regional reliance on groundwater reservoirs, and the national importance of the agriculture based in the Panhandle. In 2002, Mrs. Kleuskens again became involved in waste issues, this time concerning a proposed unlined 103-acre municipal landfill facility for the City of Hereford. She and other critics of the plan were successful in persuading the City to withdraw their permit application by showing that the proposed site had flowing springs and possible aquifer recharge routes within it.

Rob Lee

Trained as a biologist, Rob Lee was a Special Agent with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Law Enforcement, based in Lubbock, Texas. A winner of the 1998 Guy Bradley award, which recognizes outstanding law enforcement contributions to conservation, Mr. Lee is best known for his ten-year effort to eliminate waste oil hazards to migratory birds in west Texas, which had contributed to the deaths of millions of songbirds, waterfowl, shorebirds and raptors caught in the sludge of over 1200 un-netted open oil pits, a loss that exceeded the Valdez spill impacts. Mr. Lee also participated in the prosecution of defendants involved in pronghorn antelope killings, rare insect smuggling, burrowing owl poisoning, and gamebird poaching. Outside of work, he has served on the board of the South Plains Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, which provides care to orphaned, ill, injured and displaced wildlife, as well as offering environmental education to the community.

Donnie Dendy

Donnie Dendy is a wheat and soybean farmer in the north Panhandle town of Perryton, Texas, who has helped organize and operate the non-profit group, ACCORD (Active Citizens Concerned Over Resource Development). ACCORD has been seeking to improve operations among the region’s confined feeding operations (CAFOs), chiefly hog facilities. Dendy and ACCORD are concerned about wastewater runoff, aquifer contamination, nuisance-level odors, increased flies, and airborne diseases emanating from these facilities. Also, given their large size (handling as many as 250,000 hogs), efficiencies of scale, vertical integration, and remote ownership, these new facilities threaten many family-run, locally-based businesses. Finally, Dendy and others within ACCORD are concerned about the erosion of due process rights to protect their communities’ health, the local ecosystems, and their land values from the effects of these facilities under recently streamlined administrative procedures, which largely eliminated CAFO permit hearings.

Beverly Gattis

Ms. Gattis has been a key member of STAND (Serious Texans Against Nuclear Dumping) of Amarillo, a citizens’ organization that was originally created to oppose plans to build a high-level nuclear waste repository in the Panhandle of Texas, and later evolved to provide oversight of the nuclear weapons work at the Pantex facility, 16 miles northeast of Amarillo. In more recent years, Ms. Gattis has become interested and active in sustainable architecture, helping bring designers, builders, and owners together for straw-bale construction workshops and seminars.