I have been in the water business for more than 28 years. “ The Last Drop” is the best article I have ever read about the state of water supplies, planning, and history of supply development in Texas [February 2008]. This article should be considered a great public service. However, most people don’t think (or read) about water as long as it keeps coming out of the faucet.
You’re remiss in dismissing desalination as an option for meeting the long-term water needs of the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex. The costs of desalinating water have dramatically declined as the technology has advanced, and this applies whether the source is the brackish Gulf Coast Aquifer or a river high in chlorides, such as the Red River.
Located virtually in the backyard of the Metroplex, the Red River is practically unused for municipal and industrial needs because of its high salt content. Building a desalination plant to transform that water into drinkable supplies could be a more economical, efficient, and politically acceptable alternative to costly and contentious reservoirs in East Texas or groundwater mining of the Ogallala. This is an option well worth pursuing as Region C attempts to meet its water needs for the future.
So you say the Okies are playing hardball with the water. A simple solution for us Texans: Trade our football players for water. I bet those Okies will pitch in a pipeline for free.
Editors’ Note: In “The Last Drop” we incorrectly stated Jim Oliver’s title. He is the general manager of the Tarrant Regional Water District. We regret the error.
Banker Matthew Simmons’s “gospel” is anti-Texas and dead wrong [“ The Gospel According to Matthew,” February 2008]. In order to have proven oil reserves, a well must be drilled. It is that simple.
In 1956 M. King Hubbert guessed that the U.S. had an estimated 200 billion barrels of oil reserves. After that, our dependence on foreign oil was a bipartisan effort. First, President Nixon’s price controls on oil caused the 1970 “peak,” which was followed by decline. Next, President Carter seized upon the 1970 peak as proof that the U.S. had run out of oil, gave the U.S. oil market to OPEC on January 23, 1980, and pushed through the disastrous domestic crude oil windfall profit tax a few months later. Thus, the U.S. became dependent upon foreign oil.
What Simmons and liberals cannot explain is the increasing U.S. oil production from 1976 to 1985, which came after the peak. Also, they cannot explain why our neighbor Canada now has increasing oil production while the U.S. is unable to do the same.
Seldon B. Graham Jr.
Kicking the Bucket
“El Gobernador” contained a quickie review of political history, particularly about Chicanos [February 2008]. So fast was the pace that Paul Burka avoided substantive analysis by repeating an old racist joke about Mexican crabs to explain my resignation as county judge for Zavala County in 1981. The reality was that beginning in 1970 the Raza Unida Party was a real challenge to the Democrats’ one-party dictatorship in the state. My resignation as county judge was specifically tied to a cut in pay to half the salary by the Democratic and Republican county commissioners. We lost more election results in court cases at the gavel of Democratic district judges than in ballot boxes. All our elected officials in the three-county Winter Garden area and other areas during that decade were under a state of harassment and surveillance by state authorities, including Attorney General John Hill, who set up shop in Zavala County for a year looking to indict us all.
Governor Dolph Briscoe and President Jimmy Carter made sure few federal dollars flowed to governmental entities headed by RUPers. The elected city officials in San Juan succumbed to that political extortion and switched allegiance to the Democratic party. Others became independents to deflect retaliation. The rest of us eventually became born-again Democrats in the late eighties.
Let’s hope Rafael Anchía does become our gobernador and ends use of the Mexican crab story once and for all.
José Angel Gutiérrez
I am an African American from Tyler. I was well educated in the honors program at Baylor University and will attend graduate school at Princeton after I return from a one-year mission in South Africa working with HIV/AIDS patients. I am only 27. After I receive my master’s degree, I will move back to Texas to give back to a state that has given so much to me. But am I the future of Texas? Apparently not. My story is not unique. There are countless ambitious young lawyers, doctors, and businesspeople of color who will contribute greatly to the future welfare of our state. However, the only representation your magazine could find for our race in your “35 People Who Will Shape Our Future” article was a clownish minstrel rapper from Houston [ The List, February 2008]. How hurtful. While other ethnic demographics were represented by dynamic lawmakers, groundbreaking scientists, successful businessmen, and trailblazing educators discussing important issues, the African American ambassador got to address such vital matters as the perception of the Houston rap scene. As a loyal subscriber, I always expect great things from your magazine. I wish you would expect the same from me.
So Texas Monthly thinks the future of Texas music will be shaped by a rapper and a Christian singer. I can’t tell you how depressing I find this.
Sarah Bird’s “ Geezer Nation” is one of the most vile and sleazy articles I have seen in a long time [February 2008]. To write such a disgusting piece of trash about a generation of Americans who have contributed and paid their way to make this the wonderful country it has become is a travesty. With this kind of trash, no wonder the printed page