PERC was contacted by New York Times reporter Hiroko Tabuchi, who had questions about PERC’s spending on marketing and communications. We answered all her questions, including follow-ups. Her article was published on Wednesday, Jan. 11. Below is a timeline of PERC’s involvement and response to the finished story:

Wednesday, Jan. 4: PERC is contacted by New York Times reporter Hiroko Tabuchi.

Thursday, Jan. 5: PERC sends responses to 15 specific questions.

Friday, Jan. 6: PERC sends responses to six follow-up questions.

Wednesday, Jan. 11: New York Times publishes the article.

Wednesday, Jan. 11: PERC swiftly responds to the article with an email to the reporter and a letter to the editor requesting correction of false statements.

Here is an excerpt from the email PERC sent to the Times reporter:

“PERC is committed to being part of the solution to climate change through technological advances in propane itself including the development of renewable propane, and through advances in the equipment powered by propane. We are realists who understand both the urgency of acting now and the need to pursue a wider path that includes electricity, renewables like solar, wind, and renewable propane, as well as low carbon alternative energies. This is not anti-electrification.  It is pro-decarbonization.

Despite your suggestion that PERC is subject to lax oversight, on three occasions, the GAO made inquiries about the propane industry. In every instance, Congress reviewed them and made no limitations on PERC’s activities. In fact, Congress expanded PERC’s mission in 2014.  Your article asserts PERC has misused and diverted funds.  This is false and deserves correction.

You continue to insist otherwise, but PERC did not fund the $900k campaign as you stated in your article.  This is false and deserves correction.  PERC strives to ensure all funds subject to PERA are spent in compliance with the statute. All PERA-restricted funds for this campaign were spent to educate homeowners about the benefits of using propane to heat their homes and power their appliances in a state where the electric grid is particularly dirty.  

While you characterized PERC very differently, the truth is PERC is committed to supporting a wide path to a low carbon future.  It may be hard to reconcile in a narrative that sees electricity as the only solution, but while the lofty claims and inflammatory headlines polarize opinions, we continue to fight the real battle that should unite us all: climate change.”