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LETTERS: Vilsack doesn't belong, and lawmakers need to hear from us on winter preparedness

LETTERS: Vilsack doesn't belong, and lawmakers need to hear from us on winter preparedness

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Vilsack bad choice

Tom Vilsack’s nomination as secretary of agriculture does not belong within Joe Biden’s progressive agenda.

Vilsack has served as governor of Iowa, secretary of agriculture under President Obama, and chief lobbyist for the dairy industry. His candidacy is opposed by a vast coalition of small and minority farmers, as well as consumer, labor and environmental advocates. Here’s why:

He presided over consolidation of Big Ag to take unfair advantage of small farmers.

He failed to protect minority farmers and farm workers from exploitation by Big Ag.

He supported locating highly polluting factory farms in minority communities.

He promoted approval of numerous genetically modified food products.

He allowed meatpacking employees to replace government food safety inspectors.

He serves as a highly paid lobbyist for the dairy industry, a significant factor in the climate crisis.

He failed to lead our nation’s transition from a meat- and fat-laden diet to a healthy, eco-friendly diet of vegetables, fruits and grains.

Even in crass political terms, he failed to deliver the Iowa caucuses to the Biden candidacy and the rural vote to the Biden presidency.

Our senators must oppose Tom Vilsack’s nomination as secretary of agriculture.

Woody Brey, Waco

Editor’s note: Vilsack was confirmed Tuesday by a vote of 92-7.

We made it

Congratulations to everyone who made through this difficult past week. It has been inspiring to read stories of how people showed grit, determination and ingenuity to get through this. It was also heartwarming to read how people helped each other in large and small ways. Texas spirit and God’s hand showed through for us all.

Barbara Hair, McGregor

Time to act

When will our state elected officials act to prevent another power outage? I ask because of February 2011, when 3.1 million Texans were without power. Ten years later, 4.1 million Texans were without power.

In August 2011, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation released a report with findings and recommendations. One very interesting finding: “Consideration should be given to designing all new generating plants and designing modifications to existing plants (unless committed solely for summer peaking purposes) to be able to perform at the lowest recorded ambient temperature for the nearest city for which historical weather data is available, factoring in accelerated heat loss due to wind speed.”

Gov. Abbott has spoken of the need to winterize our power plants. Is it talk or will the state actually require winterization?

Every state official who has held office since 2011 bears a level of responsibility for the lack of action by the Texas Legislature.

Basically, nothing has changed since 2011. If we want things to change, we need to write our state officials and demand that they take action.

More than 60 people have died due to extreme cold weather. We cannot live with the status quo.

Please write your state elected officials and inform them that doing nothing is not an option. Ask them to, at a minimum, read the findings and recommendations of the FERC. We cannot have another power outage due to lack of preparedness.

Roger Goldsmith,

Washington, Texas

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