California Forum

The fight with Big Oil

California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León’s legislation, Senate Bill 350, would require Californians to cut gasoline consumption by up to 50 percent by 2030.
California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León’s legislation, Senate Bill 350, would require Californians to cut gasoline consumption by up to 50 percent by 2030. The Associated Press

Last Sunday’s Conversation on the battle of oil and Senate Bill 350 drew a huge response. We asked: Do you think it’s a good idea for California to cut gasoline consumption by up to 50 percent by 2030? Why or why not?

LETTERS TOTHE EDITOR

One way to fight Big Oil

Re “An oil fight unlike any other” (Forum, Dan Morain, Aug. 23): I have a suggestion about Senate Bill 350. The state of California could lead by example. By 2020 have all gasoline-powered state vehicles, including those provided to elected officials and the CHP, removed and replaced with electric vehicles or any other eco-friendly powered mode of transportation. Counties and cities could follow suit with the same plan. By doing so we might reduce oil dependency by 20 to 25 percent (just an estimate).

Try this first, see how it works and then take the next 10 years to sell the idea to the voters.

Billy Barnes, Carmichael

Get real on cutting gas use

Cut oil use by 50 percent in 15 years? Oh, were it only that simple. It’s not the idea; it’s the reality. It’s not about oil; it’s about your lifestyle. It’s not your choice; it’s a bureaucrat’s. Senate Bill 350; read it for yourself. Salvation or subjugation?

Bill Jurkovich, Citrus Heights

Gasoline use can be reduced

Why is rationing so bad? My parents experienced rationing in World War II and survived just fine. Even without rationing, if we reduce our gasoline consumption by just 3 percent per year until 2030, we would reach the goal of 50 percent gasoline reduction.

This can be done through conservation, design and sustainable energy.

Evan Jones, Sacramento

Oil companies must transition to renewable energy

Senate Bill 350 is an attempt to essentially put oil companies out of business, said Tupper Hull, spokesman for the Western States Petroleum Association. SB 350 is not about putting oil companies out of business. SB 350 is about:

▪  Decreasing our CO2 emissions by increasing from 33 percent to 50 percent the procurement of our electricity from renewable sources;

▪  Reducing petroleum use in cars and trucks by up to 50 percent; and

▪  Doubling the efficiency of existing buildings.

It is time for the Western States Petroleum Association to redefine themselves as an Association of Energy Suppliers currently providing energy in the form of petroleum products. To decrease our CO2 emissions, the Association of Energy Suppliers needs to move from petroleum products to renewable energy sources.

Bruce Burdick, Carmichael

One necessary step for survival

In its ongoing battle to keep the fossil fuel age alive, the oil industry continues to roll out the economic boogie man of price spikes to argue against Senate Bill 350. However, the economic theory of supply and demand forecasts that lower prices – not higher – will be the result of lower demand for oil.

In the meantime, the real reason for reducing dependence on fossil fuels is being lost: increased temperatures, droughts and more sporadic rain. The natural world we depend on for food, the web of life, will not be able to move fast enough or far enough to escape the consequences of a warming planet. As species fail, and our environment begins to look more like the Mojave Desert, ask yourself: How many people can the planet support when temperatures soar and crops fail? Which is better: a world without petroleum vehicles, or a world without food?

Chris Brown, Sacramento

Big Oil forces climate change on us

State Sen. Kevin de León’s plan is right on. It prevents the worst impacts of climate change, prioritizes disadvantaged communities that are hardest hit by these impacts, and brings quality clean energy jobs and economic growth to California.

The only opposition comes from the oil companies, whose greed causes them to stand in the way of all progress on climate change even though a great majority of Californians want to see action now.

Don’t let the oil companies force more air pollution and an irreversibly altered planet on us and our kids and grandkids.

Masada Disenhouse, La Mesa

Vote yes on SB 350

So according to this column, global automakers argue that Senate Bill 350 fails to provide the “automobile industry with the flexibility needed” to reduce petroleum use by half by 2030.

That’s the exact argument the oil industry has been using for years.

I hope that Assemblyman Kevin McCarty votes yes on SB 350.

Mark Rodriguez, Sacramento

Oil and the undocumented

How can state Sen. Kevin de León in good faith push for Senate Bill 350 to cut gas consumption by 50 percent by 2030? He just finished pushing through a bill to allow driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants and a half-million have already applied for these in order to burn gas.

Gerald P. Holmquist, Roseville

Cindy Pecoraro – And California cutting consumption has little to no affect on the global issues. China alone does more damage than all of us can fix.

Tony Bowles – Not an excuse. We should lead the way.

Tiffany Bullman – So, we should all just say screw it and burn oil as much as we can? That’s ridiculous.

Chris Smith – Policy enacted in California tends to propagate worldwide when it is shown to be a good idea. That is something Californians can be proud of. Regardless, even without California, countries in Europe such as Germany (a reasonably fiscally conservative country as European countries go) have already demonstrated the real-world feasibility of going green.

Kimmi Tyler – Also, California has a huge economy – as in 8th-10th largest in the world. It is silly to think it doesn’t matter.

Brad Marable – This is how Republicans think. Well other countries are polluted more than us so we might as well just pollute, too.

Christina Weiland – What a defeatist attitude. Go to China and try to breathe the air, then come home and realize that environmental policies are doing something for you. Added benefit: skies that are blue as they should be.

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