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Jo Clifton is the Politics Editor for the Austin Monitor.
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No city funding for Pecan Street
Tuesday, December 13, 2016 by Jo Clifton
On Monday, the Austin Monitor noted that former Mayor Bruce Todd and former Mayor Pro Tem Brewster McCracken had penned an op-ed piece in the Austin American-Statesman defending City Council Member Sheri Gallo and accusing the group trying to stop the Austin Oaks planned unit development of cyberbullying. Members of the anti-PUD group posted a link to the Monitor story on their Facebook page. McCracken is CEO and president of the nonprofit Pecan Street Inc., which conducts research on innovative energy projects. But the anti-PUD folks still claim that Todd and McCracken are “lobbyists,” saying that Pecan Street receives money from the city of Austin. However, McCracken told the Monitor on Monday that his group does not receive city funding except as a subcontractor on a U.S. Department of Energy grant to Austin Energy. “It’s a multiteam project, and Pecan Street is managing residential energy storage integration and testing,” McCracken said. That project represents about 7 percent of Pecan Street’s budget, he noted. This project is the first the group has collaborated on with Austin Energy in years, he added, and the last one was facilitating a citizens task force on solar power in 2012. There is no direct financial link with the city of Austin.