Accepting money from Fort Worth-based natural gas driller Quicksilver Resources earned the local League of Women Voters a raspberry from a local environmentalist.
On April 5, the League is hosting Fools Rule, an event to raise money for nonpartisan voter education initiatives.
Don Young sent an email to League president Judy Wood and board members.
His subject line — “Fools indeed.”
His text was no less abrupt.
“By allowing Quicksilver Resources to sponsor your April Fools Rule fundraising event, your credibility and appearance of independence are now in question,” he wrote. “Your endorsement of Quicksilver has the effect of greenwashing this dirty industry and violates your own Mission Statement.
“I find it tragic that yet another, once respected local institution has fallen victim to a filthy industry that is systematically industrializing and endangering all of north Texas,” he continued. “What were you thinking?”
Wood denied that the League is endorsing Quicksilver, nor that accepting a donation from the company violates the group’s mission statement.
“They’re endorsing us, we’re not endorsing them,” she said.
Wood has been involved in numerous debates about the drilling industry and she said it is “very clear we have our own opinions.”
She praised Quicksilver’s water conservation efforts and lauded Devon Energy for its “significant initiatives” to recycle water at drilling sites. Protecting water sources is one of the League’s primary concerns, she said.
“They are to some degree wanting to do better with the water,” she said. “We want to encourage the rest of the industry to do this. Don Young’s camp is totally anti-drilling and that is not the position of the League of Women Voters.”
Just because Quicksilver made a $500 donation to help pay for Fools Rule doesn’t mean they’ve bought any favors, she said.
“We do not do their bidding,” she said. “It simply means they are helping to sponsor this event. Their sponsorship is not at the highest level by any means but we appreciate every penny we get because we are totally volunteer.”
The League wants to inform people, and that requires forums that cost money. They take contributions but remain politically neutral, she said.
“We welcome participation from all sides of an issue to enlighten the public,” she said.