As a property owner in Cooke County, I pay taxes to both Era and Muenster ISDs. Like most of my ranching neighbors near Rosston, I’m against wind farms and tax abatements. I see wind farms as a complex racket, tailor-made for government waste. What’s even worse are the ugly divisions created amongst neighbors, friends, and even kinfolk. And in the middle of this turmoil sits EDP Renewables, a one-fifth Communist China-owned company. So when asked if I, my kids or grandkids could use the extra money in exchange for a long term lease, I had no problem answering no. End of discussion.

Last week I read three separate letters from “big guns” hailing from Oregon, Houston and  Abilene. These men work in management positions for EDP. In an obvious attempt to win favor with landowners and taxpayers their focus was aimed directly at the folks in Cooke County. Tax abatement chatter aside, their real prize seems to be prime unleased acreage coveted for wind turbines. A bit of goodwill within the community wouldn’t hurt their cause but it seems hard to come by, as most locals, like me, have let their ISDs and other taxing entities know their feelings on wind farms.

Mr. Gary Webb, associate regional director, Abilene, and a fellow military veteran wrote a letter that struck a nerve. It seems Mr. Webb was personally offended and wishes to dispel the myth that EDPR is controlled by China. I don’t blame him for distancing himself from the Chinese Communists but last I heard they owned upwards of 20% of EDPR, his employer! The fact that the Chinese own a big chunk of any company operating in the USA should scare and embarrass us all. And I hear that the Chinese would like to buy even more of EDPR.

Growing up on a farm near Muenster, I attended local schools, worked the hay fields with neighbors and friends, played football on Friday nights and took Mr. Dyer’s advice in FFA class. As a green country bumpkin, I was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1966, trained and deployed to South Vietnam as a combat infantryman along with fellow GIs. The horrors and carnage of war was learned early in battles with North Vietnamese soldiers. We viewed it as part of a duty we were chosen for and obligated to do. With my mother’s and others’ prayers I made it home alive. Some of my hometown buddies paid the ultimate price. 

Some people may not realize that Communist China allied with North Vietnam in their war effort against South Vietnam and their American allies, including U.S. GIs. The Chinese provided artillery shells, guns/bullets to kill U.S. soldiers, provided weaponry to shoot down our helicopters and planes, provided the materials for land mines that hideously maimed and killed. No doubt the Chinese are responsible for the deaths of many, many U.S. troops in South Vietnam.

A company or business linked to The People’s Republic of China should never be allowed to do business in the USA, even if they promise to employ U.S. military veterans.

I’m much obliged to readers and to The Gainesville Daily Register for printing my views.

Weldon Vogel, Dallas, U.S. Army sergeant, 1st Cavalry Division (airmobile), deployed to Republic of South Vietnam 1966-67, lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars

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