Letters to the editor — Immigration laws, electric cars, carbon-free energy

State leaders absent on immigration

Re: “Shift rulings spark unease – Texas police ask for advice on how to enforce action amid whiplash court rulings,” Thursday news report.

The back-and-forth over Texas immigration law certainly leaves local law enforcement in a no-win situation. One sheriff said he needed at least 58 more deputies to enforce the law. Other law enforcement agencies hinted that they might not enforce the law. I guess they don’t have the resources for that either.

Of course, House Speaker Dade Phelan said it is mandatory for law enforcement agencies to enforce state laws and they are abdicating their sworn duty to uphold the rule of law. He has no solution for the lack of resources. Governor Greg Abbott’s office also has no answer.

Dallas Police Chief Eddie García said that in his 32 years as a police officer, he is not going to the academy to become a federal immigration officer. Again, as I have asked in letters before, where are our state leaders, senators and attorneys general? We choose these people to answer the tough questions. Where are they?

Jodi Slabaugh, Denton

What can you trust?

There are things that need a lot more attention than a photoshopped photo. Which institutions can I trust today? The legal system? I don’t trust it, not when the Texas Attorney General can delay a fair trial indefinitely.

I don’t trust a politicized Supreme Court. Congress? Has complaints about the border, but blocks border legislation to give one candidate an issue that inflames voters.

The medical system? The same system where it takes weeks before you can see someone even if you have insurance that doesn’t require a referral, or the system where a patient is discharged without any discharge instructions or warning about something like benign paroxysmal positional vertigo? Insurance? You should have it, but don’t file a claim unless you have an attorney fighting for you.

The school system? Too few teachers for too many students. Insufficient security. The imposition of the beliefs of some over those of others. Book ban. No, don’t trust the school system.

A photoshopped photo is the least of my worries.

Cynthia Stock, Garland

Get information about vehicle fuel options

Re: “US relaxes plans for stricter emissions rules – Changes take into account retailers’ complaints that electric car sales have slowed,” Wednesday news report.

The recent decline in electric vehicle sales is likely due to the public not being informed about the different options they have. I’ve had a Volt since 2013 and haven’t paid for gas since. It is a plug-in hybrid. For those of you who feel like your battery is losing power on a longer trip, this may be the best option, although the newer electric cars generally have enough range for most trips.

A plug-in hybrid has a small motor that kicks in when the battery runs low and charges the battery while you drive. So you can travel as far as you want, just like a normal petrol car.

However, when we are in the city where many of us spend most of our time, it can travel 50 miles on battery power alone. This means you rarely fill the eight-gallon tank that powers the small engine.

The average family spends $5,000 a year on gas or more, so it’s like receiving a check for $5,000 at the end of each year.

William Fears, DeSoto

Focus on energy reliability

Re: “Carbon-free can clearly work for Texas – Renewable energy will transform our future if only lawmakers don’t get involved,” March 9 editorial.

Renewables are great for energy savings, but bad for grid control and stability. There must be sufficient turbine-driven generators on the system for control and stability. Nowadays this is fossil-fired steam or gas turbine technology. Natural gas engines like the one in Greenville can also be used.

The Public Utility Commission’s plan for improved grid reliability does not rule out building more solar and wind energy. But sufficient generation is needed to build control and stability.

The legislature does not need to block more renewable energy sources, but rather ensure that sufficient reliable generation can be achieved in the future. This can be done through legislative support of the PUC plan with ERCOT for grid reliability.

Thomas L. Darte, Greenville

There is no mention of nuclear energy

This editorial reports that as of February 25, carbon-free energy reached 82.8%, of which 71.2% came from renewable energy sources. This was a record, “indicating that renewable energy sources can produce enormous amounts of energy cheaply.”

Yes, high yields from renewable energy sometimes occur. But not necessarily when necessary. Wind and solar energy are not reliable. Historically, renewable energy tends to be at its lowest during times of extreme temperatures – when demand is greatest.

For public safety and economic security, an electrical grid’s demand must be met at all times. Conventional energy from natural gas, coal and nuclear energy is reliable.

Industrial-scale wind and solar energy would not be able to compete without the significant government subsidies and mandates they receive. When actual full costs are included, renewables are the most expensive energy source.

The only source of reliable and cost-effective energy that is carbon-free is nuclear energy. Strangely enough, the editors did not mention this fact.

Robert P. Smith, Dallas/Preston Hollow

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