Letters to the Editor

DWR and water, UC and gender, Trump and Ohman, carbon fee

What the average-thinking Californian wants to know is: When doesn’t the Department of Water Resources represent the State Water Project’s total effort to export water to its clients?
What the average-thinking Californian wants to know is: When doesn’t the Department of Water Resources represent the State Water Project’s total effort to export water to its clients? Sacramento Bee file photo

Where do DWR’s interests lie?

Re “Hard realities of limited water supplies” (Forum, Dan Morain, Sept. 11): The column by Dan Morain is right on target. Morain states that Mark Cowin, Department of Water Resources director, says this limited water supply affects everybody. Over the years, DWR has pushed for greater water exports from the Delta, with the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers and Delta resources taking a heavy hit.

What the average-thinking Californian wants to know is: When doesn’t DWR represent the State Water Project’s total effort to export water to its favored clients? And how much general taxpayer money goes to help DWR plan, develop, manage and advocate for the State Water Project?

Felix Smith, Carmichael

Divert tunnel funds to desal plants

Water is an essential part of any human endeavor. If our water supplies here in Northern California are limited, why are we going to be forced to send our limited water supply to Southern California via the proposed twin tunnel project?

Significant economic and environmental concerns still swirl around this proposed controversial project. Could or should the twin tunnel funds be diverted instead to build desalinization plants in Southern California? Desalinization is Israel’s solution to providing reliable potable water to people in an arid land. The technology is available.

Robert Hobza, Sacramento

UC should focus on the best leaders

Re “UC regents need to seek gender parity” (Forum, Sept. 11): Kate Karpilow laments the fact that Linda Katehi’s resignation reduced the number of UC campuses led by women to only one. In fact, Katehi’s tenure at UC Davis served to prove that even really educated, intelligent and competent women can be as arrogant, misguided and self-aggrandizing as any man.

And what’s the surprise? Women are people, too, and we’re all subject to those faults. Please, let’s concentrate on getting the best people for the job, whatever their gender, sex, race, religion, country of origin, etc.

Scarlet La Rue,


Reagan’s class vs. Trump’s no-class

Re “Comparing Trump to Reagan is laughable” (Forum, Sept. 11): I’m no fan of Ronald Reagan, but Jack Ohman is 100 percent correct in his comparison of Reagan and Donald Trump. Reagan was a gentleman who conducted himself with class, while Trump is a thin-skinned, no-class narcissist. It’s not even close, folks.

Stephen Farr, Folsom

Definitely not a Reagan person

In yet another tired attempt to trash the Republican candidate, Jack Ohman states that comparing Donald Trump to President Ronald Reagan is “laughable.”

Before making the case for Reagan’s superiority, he assures his Democratic choir that “I was not a Reagan person.” Jack, have no fear; no one would ever accuse you of that. It would be like a Lilliputian denying he was a Gulliver person.

James McCandless,


Equal distribution would be fair

Re “Carbon fee a redistribution plan” (Letters, Sept 12): Giving equal amounts to each person as part of a dividend is not redistribution of income but simple distribution. A carbon fee with 100 percent dividend will put money back into the economy instead of building government programs of dubious value. Everyone benefits from a thriving economy.

Those with low incomes are often forced to spend a large portion of their budget on heating/AC and transportation. A monthly check will significantly offset increases in those unavoidable expenses. Overall, only 28 percent of households, mostly higher income, will see costs rise more than their distribution check. With their higher spending levels, this 28 percent will also have greater influence. Their choices will encourage business and industry to invest in clean energy, with its prospects for a more sustainable future.

As for the “substantial bureaucracy” to administer the program, the IRS already collects taxes and cuts refund checks. Added costs would be minimal.

Elisabeth Robbins,


Manage markets to reflect real costs

Scott Thompson writes to say proposed, rebated carbon fees are a “massive income redistribution program” requiring a “substantial bureaucracy” to administer, and they are therefore “dubious and misleading.” Why we couldn’t credit a percentage of everyone’s Social Security tax to rebate the fees? That would be impossibly bureaucratic, I tell you.

Thompson has not written protesting capital gains taxes are lower than ordinary income tax – another redistribution requiring a bureaucracy of CPAs – never mind that capital gains do not warm the oceans. The IMF estimates current carbon subsidies at more than $5 trillion a year worldwide, but those subsidies apparently do not redistribute income.

What’s not OK with Thompson is for us to manage our markets so prices reflect real costs, and not just those of the extractive industries who enjoy tax breaks like the “depletion allowance” of changing climate.

And this passes for conservative?

Mark Dempsey, Orangevale

Carbon dividend is equitable, efficient

The letter arguing against a national revenue-neutral carbon fee opens a great discussion about the topic of putting a price on carbon. Our society is not paying an honest price for coal, oil and gas because there are external costs in the form of health effects and climate-related disasters that stress the stability of society.

With a carbon fee and dividend, we minimize bureaucracy and administrative costs by using an existing government entity to collect a fee from fossil fuel producers and return that money directly to households. By returning the money equally, the costs of low- and middle-income households are covered or exceeded by the dividend; if they cut energy use, they keep more of that money for other uses. Wealthier households can make investments that keep their costs down.

Conservative and liberal economists support this and similar proposals.

Jennifer Wood, Sacramento


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