Letters to the Editor

Prop. 39, Wells, Oil, Climate change, Airlines

Tom Steyer, the chief financier behind the Proposition 39 campaign, discusses a bill to fund energy efficiency projects at schools in California’s poorest communities, during a 2012 news conference at Mark Twain Elementary School in Sacramento.
Tom Steyer, the chief financier behind the Proposition 39 campaign, discusses a bill to fund energy efficiency projects at schools in California’s poorest communities, during a 2012 news conference at Mark Twain Elementary School in Sacramento. Associated Press file

Larger government is not solution

Re “Trust is in short supply as promises of Prop. 39 fall flat” (Editorials, Aug. 18): Proposition 39 promised to “generate income” to raise money to combat climate change. Money went to bureaucrats instead of jobs – 11,000 jobs promised, 1,700 created. Yes, it is a good thing that the state becomes more energy-efficient, but this was not the way to get there.

Ever try to deal with the DMV? The post office? Social Security office?

A new government program, financed with a tax increase underdelivers. Not exactly news, and anyone with critical-thinking skills would have easily predicted this.

This is the problem with liberalism. Act first. Feel good about the action. Act surprised when things don’t go as expected.

Once our society realizes that a larger government is not the solution to every issue, we will all be much better off.

Jeff Randall, Antelope

Wells affect Sacramento River

It is upsetting that many stories about California’s water do not mention what is happening north of the Delta, especially given the prominence of Lake Shasta and Lake Oroville in providing water throughout the state.

But what needs even more coverage is the strong connection between groundwater and surface water, and how that plays out in the north. The huge amount of pumping of groundwater has led to the drying of many creeks, rivers and wells. The dry earth, in turn, provides new locations for river water to become absorbed into the ground. Thus, the Sacramento River, the principal conveyance of water for the entire state, no longer is a gaining river; it has become a losing river.

Grace M. Marvin, Chico

Oil export only helps bottom line

Re “U.S. allows limited export of crude oil to Mexico” (Page 7A, Aug. 15): Politicians’ principles follow the money. President Barack Obama is pandering to the oil industry by overriding a longtime ban on exporting U.S. oil, allowing oil to be exported to countries with little or no pollution controls, although he earlier blocked an oil industry pipeline construction as it could encourage exports, use and pollution.

The American Petroleum Institute says there is an oil “glut” in the United States, and it is in everyone’s interest to export. With oil prices at a new low, exporting will lessen the quantity available, raising the price.

Any glut is a result of overproduction. Cut production and the glut goes away.

Bill Jurkovich,

Citrus Heights

Invest in climate change

Re “We need miracle on climate change” (Viewpoints, Aug. 14). Bill Gates analogizes the current state of our efforts to combat climate change to trying to reach the moon by stacking ladders on top of one another.

No matter what we do with wind, solar, hydropower and other existing low-carbon forms of energy, we can’t achieve the reductions on carbon dioxide emissions in the time frames necessary to avoid catastrophic weather disruptions.

That is why he has lobbied Congress to increase the budget for basic research on climate change from $5 billion a year to $16 billion a year.

If Gates is correct and new technologies must be developed, demonstrated, brought to scale and diffused globally, we don’t have a second to waste in ramping up our climate-change solution research efforts.

Harold Ferber, Elk Grove

More airline competition?

Re “Airlines need competition” (Letters, Aug. 15): Ever since Jimmy Carter’s ill-conceived quest to engender more competition, airlines have been in a desperate struggle for survival, with several being absorbed by larger, stronger competitors or fading from the scene entirely.

The claim that foreign airlines “provide a fantastic flying experience at reasonable fares,” doesn’t acknowledge that most foreign airlines are money-losers, subsidized by their respective governments.

More open-sky and free-market competition? President George H.W. Bush wanted to try that with a proposed one-way “open skies” agreement that only benefited European airlines. It would have destroyed the U.S. airline industry.

You want a better flying experience – more like it was in the old days? You might want to consider re-regulation.

Michael Miro,

El Dorado Hills

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