Letters to the editor: Aug. 8, 2018

Re: Aug. 5 commentary, “Myth, not renewable energy, generates Georgetown’s buzz.

This piece is poorly researched with broad unsubstantiated conclusions and worn-out ultraconservative arguments.

If Texas Public Policy Foundation is going to present a rational case, it needs to be well-researched and reflect a firm understanding of the industry and its issues. Cutter W. González is an amateur.


Re: Aug. 5 commentary, “Myth, not renewable energy, generates Georgetown’s buzz.

In his discussion of Georgetown’s 100 percent renewable energy purchase, the writer makes much of the subsidies provided to renewable energy but fails to note that fossil fuels get their own whopping tax subsidies.

Fossil fuel subsidies totaled $4.7 billion in 2015, according to the U.S. Treasury Department. He also did not mention the costs we all shoulder as climate change brings more fires, flooding, drought and blazing temperatures. In 2017, the U.S had 16 billion-dollar climate disaster events — not exactly cheap.

Our Texas is grid is not ready for 100 percent renewables, but the cost of wind and solar is dropping so fast that it is driving the market and the grid that way. The cost of storage, which will make renewables dispatchable, is dropping as well. We all can’t go 100 percent renewable quite yet, but we’ll get there — and, overall, it will cost less than continuing to burn fossil fuels.


Re: Aug. 5 commentary, “Myth, not renewable energy, generates Georgetown’s buzz.

Cutter W. Gonzalez’s piece overlooked the government support for fossil fuels that annually amounts to $20 billion (https://bit.ly/2g8DXWW) in the U.S. alone.

Government props to these producers include special tax deductions, low-cost access to government land and subsidies for exploration. While these supports are built into the permanent tax codes, subsides for renewables come and go — an uncertainty that hampers their growth.

Gonzalez is correct that renewable energy production entails some environmental damages, but these pale in comparison to the current and future environmental devastations of climate change caused by burning fossil fuels. On a level playing field with neither fossil fuels nor renewables receiving subsidizes, and with the cost of energy from every source being taxed according to their tonnages of greenhouse gas emissions, renewables would easily be the lower cost alternative.

Let’s quit subsidizing fossil fuels. Let’s price carbon, so that polluters must pay to dump wastes into our atmosphere.


Now that the pope has “fully” rejected the death penalty, perhaps it is time for Gov. Greg Abbott to re-evaluate its application in Texas.

With a sentence of life without parole as an alternative to protect the public, there is no need for a death sentence. I know Abbott doesn’t always follow his faith, which is shown by his rejection of Syrian refugees into Texas. But being a practicing Roman Catholic, I hope in this case, he reads and follows the Gospel as the pope does. To do otherwise would be morally hypocritical.


I heard on the news today that the administration is considering cutting the Transportation Security Administration budget.

I guess that’s because nothing has happened. That “nothing” is a huge success story that people don’t recognize.

As a retired IBMer, I remember the Y2K problem. Remember that? The public perception was also that it was a big nothing. Nothing happened: Y2K came and went without a problem. But I know that my company spent a huge amount of time, resources, money and people to fix it before it happened. That nothing was also a huge success. The public’s perception of Y2K is like a grain of sand on top of the Great Pyramid at Giza.

I fear that the possible TSA cuts are a result of the same ignorance. The fact that nothing happened is the huge success we all want. We need to continue our efforts and always increase them.


Re: Aug. 3 commentary, “Trump’s political interests coincide with foreign forces.”

There are serious allegations that Donald Trump slid into the White House on fake news that the Russians spread like margarine preceding the 2016 election, but that’s not really a problem for Trump.

He has Putin’s assurances of a nyet issue here. So, Americans have a zero response about that from a U.S. president who has a petty tweet for every personal issue that surfaces about his sordid life.

Well, Putin does not have a birth certificate from here. That used to be a big deal to Trump, but observe our current president; he is a tweeter, not a fighter. He defends himself with monotonous regularity, but he failed to defend our country. What a guy. What a phony. What a fake.


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