Letters to the editor: Jan. 22, 2018

Re: Jan. 18 article, “Expo Center trimmed from PSV’s list of Austin MLS stadium sites.

The possibility of Butler Shores being decimated for a soccer stadium worries me. I am absolutely against such a move. These negotiations appear to be similar to the bullying of Austin that Uber and Lyft attempted.

Butler Shores, at the confluence of Barton Creek and Lady Bird Lake, needs to remain parkland. There are many locations where the stadium could be located without ruining this very unique part of Austin. Not to mention the terrible effect on traffic and parking in the Toomey Road and South Lamar Boulevard area.

What would be next, a parking lot on the Rock Island area of Zilker Park?


On Jan. 11, 106 members of Congress wrote to President Donald Trump urging him to reconsider ignoring climate change as a threat to the security of the United States in the fiscal year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act. They wrote, “As global temperatures become more volatile, sea levels rise and landscapes change, our military installations and our communities are increasingly at risk of devastation.”

Given the unprecedented destruction of Hurricane Harvey, fueled by seawater temperatures 4 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than normal, I’m dismayed that only one of the 36 Texas representatives charged with protecting our welfare signed this letter.

We’ve already experienced the catastrophic effects of climate change here in Texas. But our strong wind and solar industries, our understanding of carbon sequestration and economic policies like carbon fee and dividend also put us in the unique position to limit its harm. What we lack is the political spine.


Re: Jan. 15 article, “White House: Trump misquoted on Kim.”

Did President Trump say “I” or “I’d” have a great relationship with Kim Jong Un? White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Trump claim it was “I’d.”

Sanders routinely lies and accuses the press of fake news. I have listened many times to both the White House and press recordings of Trump; it is clear Trump said “I.” Yet, with a straight face, they both claim it is “I’d.”

But of course, they live in the alternate-facts universe. I would love to have recordings of all Sanders and Trump meetings to hear how they concoct their alternate facts. “I” or “I’d” isn’t really a significant difference — other than it confirms the consistent lack of truth from the Trump administration.


Re: Jan. 17 commentary, “How Austin is proving its dedication to clean energy.”

I disagree that Luke Metzger’s recommendations, such as urging the University of Texas to voluntarily cut methane emissions from its drilling operations, are the local solutions to climate change. We must instead demand our lawmakers create market incentives that shift our society off fossil fuels.

The most elegant and feasible policy proposal is the carbon fee and dividend, advocated by the conservative Climate Leadership Council and the nonpartisan Citizens’ Climate Lobby. Under this scheme, the Treasury Department places a fee on carbon dioxide emissions and keeps that money in a trust. Gas prices increase — that’s the point, because we’re incentivized to switch to low-emissions technologies. To offset the increased costs to households, the trust fund money is distributed by the IRS to each taxpayer as a dividend.

What can we do locally to achieve this policy? We can and should call our representatives and tell them to enact the carbon fee and dividend.


I love the president’s idea of trickle-down. Surely everyone is getting a raise and even bonus money. The stock market is booming, so stocks are up, and the companies are making even more money so it can trickle down to you.

Oh, you did not get a raise? The money went to the boss and a few others? Surely you will get one real soon, but, just in case, maybe you better not count on it.

At least the teachers should finally get a raise because everyone’s property taxes went up. So, you are a teacher and you did not get a raise? Surely the schools do not expect someone with all that student loan debt you have getting that degree to not receive a raise. Everyone knows a manager at McDonald’s makes more than teachers do, but managers must teach kids how to make the burgers. Love trickle-down!


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