1/15 Letters to the editor

Senatorial candidate clarifies statements
I read with interest the review by Andy Jackson of the recent Republican senatorial candidate debate in Clovis. Unfortunately some statements attributed to me are false.

While “(Jeff) Bingaman’s stand on the war in Iraq is not consistent with the beliefs of state voters” is certainly a statement with which many New Mexicans would agree, I did not make it. The closest thing to it that I said in the debate was that if the incumbent had been there, he would not understand what we were talking about. That comment was made in the overall context of a whole bunch of issues I had raised, including the threat to America from open borders in a time of war and America being at risk from the attack on our Judeo-Christian core beliefs.

Another statement attributed to me leaves me truly baffled. Jackson wrote that “Pfeffer, a former architect who is Jewish, said he supports the war and believes it has spawned an anti-Christian sentiment in the nation that will hurt Bingaman’s campaign for re-election.” She then elicited comment from Bingaman’s representative, who defended him accordingly.

However, I never said what was reported.

There very definitely is a war on Christianity going on, but it comes from the American Civil Liberties Union and other such organs. Internationally, our self-declared enemy is radical Islam. Assuming that the incumbent would be hurt at the polls because he is Christian is nonsense and I never made any such statement.

What I did say was that President Bush’s religion has been used against him and that this is plain bigotry against Christianity.

Also for the record, I continue to practice architecture. My handout at the debate said so.

Many thanks to the people of Clovis and to the Curry County Republican Party for an excellent program.

David Pfeffer
Santa Fe
Candidate for United States Senate

Not all agencies’ motives shady
Your editorial on Environmental Protection Agency grants (“Environmental group should return tax dollars,” Jan. 5 CNJ) ignores important facts.

As an advocacy organization, our mission at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is to fight for cleaner air, safer water and a healthier world in which to raise our families.

Sometimes that means taking regulators to court when they fail to protect the public. Other times, we work closely with EPA and other federal enforcement officials to pursue polluters or develop stronger, more effective safeguards. Always, it’s the results that count.

It is true we have sued EPA dozens of times, and we will doubtless do so again. But that has not stopped us from teaming with the same agency to crack down on big utility companies flouting laws requiring them to clean up the country’s oldest and dirtiest power plants.

And even in these contentious times, there are still a few things that environmentalists, industry and the government can all agree make sense. NRDC’s EPA grants offer a good example.

Most of NRDC’s EPA grant funding — which totals less than 1 percent of our budget — went to develop energy efficiency performance specifications used by electric utilities, as well as EPA’s successful EnergyStar program to reduce energy waste and save consumers millions of dollars. Other grants went to help poorer countries create energy efficient building codes.

In contrast to NRDC, many other EPA grantees represent major industries that are under the agency’s direct legal oversight, and which have major financial stakes riding on agency policies. These organizations are often far less forthcoming about their motives and principles than NRDC — where we are never afraid to say what we stand for.

Frances G. Beinecke
NRDC president
New York