Letters to the Editor

Time to stand up against oil industry

The sun sets behind pumpjacks operating at the Inglewood oil fields in the Baldwin Hills area of Los Angeles. Letter writers discuss the effects of oil companies fighting passage of state Senate Bill 350, the Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act.
The sun sets behind pumpjacks operating at the Inglewood oil fields in the Baldwin Hills area of Los Angeles. Letter writers discuss the effects of oil companies fighting passage of state Senate Bill 350, the Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act. Associated Press file

Time to stand up against oil industry

Re “Oil industry spending surged to fight climate bill” (Page 6A, Nov. 3): The oil industry’s last-minute splurge to kill petroleum usage provisions in California’s newly minted climate law is really no surprise. Nevertheless, the demonstrated lack of political courage in Sacramento is infuriating.

We know that to truly address the climate crisis, we must engage it from every possible angle – and that includes ending the production and consumption of fossil fuels. But in California, our lawmakers are giving the go-ahead to expand oil and gas development in areas already burdened by dirty air and water.

The oil industry’s long-held influence on our state’s politics is keeping us from finding important solutions to the greatest challenge we face today. It’s time for our state leaders to stand up to the industry.

Ella Teevan, Northern California organizer of Food & Water Watch, Oakland

Big oil companies are at a crossroads

Of course major oil companies spent millions of dollars to fight the provision of SB 350 that called for a 50 percent cut in petroleum usage. The oil companies are at a crossroads. Like Sacramento’s own Tower Records, they can fail to adapt to changes sweeping their industry or, like AT&T, they can adapt and thrive.

Companies like Exxon and Chevron are still profitable and have billions of dollars in cash on hand. They can continue to fight climate change mitigation efforts at every turn. Or they can transform themselves into energy companies and use their extraordinary resources to build the solar and wind farms of the future, conduct pioneering research into zero-carbon energy technologies and help build the recharging station infrastructure to support electric cars.

Thrive or go down fighting? Their choice.

Harold Ferber, Elk Grove

A foreseeable tragedy of deaths

Re “Economists find jarring surge in middle-aged whites’ death rate” (Insight, Nov. 3): Sad as it is, it’s no surprise to me. When the economic downturn happened, it was obvious people were hurting, especially low-income workers. With our weak social safety net and little support from anywhere else, this tragedy was so foreseeable. People without jobs quickly lost everything they had ever worked for, ending up homeless and without hope.

We have a lot to learn about how to make our society more fair and caring. Having been raised in Europe, I know the difference. We need programs that train our young people if they do not attend college. At least then they have a skill to fall back on.

Shame on us, and shame on the Republicans who caused this. This should be a concern for every American.

Berta Roseberry, Sacramento

Volkswagen continues to cheat

Re “Regulators find more VW violations” (Page 7A, Nov. 3): When, more than a month ago, the EPA discovered cheater software in VW’s “clean diesel” cars, the CEO said he didn’t know about it, apologized profusely and resigned. But it turns out the contrition was false.

VW must have known and chose to remain silent, hoping to get away with this unlawful state of affairs in the interest of keeping down the costs of a fix. Fortunately, we have a remedy for this. We can simply refuse to buy their cars, and this includes their luxury brands of Audi and Porsche.

Rick Sims, Sacramento

Take responsibility for bad choices

Re “Don’t blame victim of excessive force” (Letters to the Editor, Nov. 4): With all due respect, Ms. Wolfson, I believe that there are a few very pertinent facts that you neglected to mention in your letter.

The student had been told by the teacher to put her phone away. She refused to comply. The student had been told by the teacher to leave the classroom because she refused to put her phone away. She refused to comply. After that, she again refused to comply with the vice principal and the school resources officer.

I do agree with your assertion that this would not have happened in a “sane world.” In a sane world, parents would teach their children to comply with reasonable directions provided by people in positions of authority. Had the student complied, this event would not have escalated.

This really is a matter of accepting responsibility for one’s choices. Bad decisions typically have consequences associated with them. Good decisions typically bring positive outcomes.

Mike Harless, Citrus Heights

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