Tom “Smitty” Smith
Tom “Smitty” Smith has been director of Public Citizen’s Texas office since 1985. He has testified more than 1,000 times on energy and other issues before the Texas Legislature and Congress. His primary goal is to combat global warming.
His proudest accomplishments have been:
• The passage of the Texas Renewable Portfolio standards, which have led to more than 10,000 megawatts of wind power being installed in Texas;
• The creation of the Texas Emissions Reduction program, which has cleaned up dirty diesel engines in Texas;
• Passage of laws encouraging Texans to use energy more efficiently; and
• The blocking of 12 new coal plants in Texas.
He has won more than a dozen awards for his advocacy work, including the 2009 Heinz Award for “his work as one of the most effective renewable energy advocates in Texas.”
Before coming to Public Citizen, Smith served as the food bank development coordinator for Second Harvest Food, developing food banks across a 10-state region in the southern United States. He became addicted to Texas politics when served as a legislative aide to a state Rep. Al Price from 1982 to 1985. He was the first director of the Houston Food Bank, served as director of the southwest regional office of the Community Nutrition Institute, and was a legal assistant with Texas Rural Legal Aid and later with Prairie State Legal Services.
Smith received a Bachelor of Arts from Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Ind., in 1974. He became a Texan by choice shortly thereafter.