Don’t blame lobbyists
Re “Nearly a quarter-billion spent by lobbyists in ’15” (Page 3B, Nov. 7): Lobbyists make sense. They are representatives of big groups such as unions, environmentalists, business, farming, petroleum, liquor and others.
It would be ridiculous to think that thousands of members from any group could meet with their representatives and efficiently plead their cases one by one. The media often criticize the influence of business represented by lobbyists, the major criticism being the money and gifts that come through the lobbyists to the politicians.
If there is blame in this type of relationship, who are the questionable individuals? Is it the large entities and their lobbyists who offer money and gifts or the politicians who accept money and gifts? An offer is meaningless until there is an acceptance.
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Janis Hightower, Orangevale
McConnell is wrong on Keystone
Re “Obama rejects Keystone pipeline project” (sacbee.com, Nov. 6): Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell decries President Barack Obama for nixing the Keystone XL pipeline by saying Obama is beholden to deep-pocked special interests. Tell us, Sen. McConnell, who’s a more deep-pocketed special interest than the oil companies that want to ship their filthy oil 1,179 miles through our country to a port in Texas to some deeper pockets?
Even if there were tens of thousands of jobs are being lost, as McConnell says, they would be offset by good railroad jobs because the oil companies will ship their tar sands by rail.
Richard Nano, Roseville
Carbon tax will solve climate change
Headline-grabbing issues like rejection of the Keystone pipeline or the United Nations climate summit in Paris are not going to solve the global warming problem.
It’s going to take an internationally effective price on carbon to make any real headway. The increase in CO2 emissions during the last 20 years has come from China, India, and other developing nations. Almost all economists and scientists agree that a price on carbon is the only effective solution.
A revenue-neutral program with international trade equalization is something that even conservative economists and most oil companies support. Then the money would go back to American citizens instead of to growing government.
Robert Beggs, Woodland
Brown should end fracking
Re: “Brown had state workers research oil on ranch” (sacbee.com, Nov. 5) We are concerned that Gov. Jerry Brown used public funds for state oil and gas regulators to research, map and report on any mining and oil drilling potential and history on his family’s land near Williams.
Extreme extraction causes water, soil and air pollution to the point where children are prevented from playing outside safely.
A July 2015 report by the California Council on Science and Technology indicated that California oil and gas regulators do not collect sufficient data to determine the adverse effects of extreme extraction chemicals.
Our tax dollars should be used to stop fracking in California until an independent study can be conducted to determine its adverse health effects. We need this study much more than one to determine if the governor’s private land can produce more dirty fossil fuels.
Donna Pieper, Roseville, and Sylvia Wikerson, Sacramento
Finally, CalSTRS gets it right
Re “CalSTRS moves to cut its investment risk” (Page 10A, Nov. 6): In 1999, the California State Teacher Retirement System was taking hits in the media for its conservative investment strategy, compared to the high-flying returns of California Public Employee Retirement System.
Bending to the pressure, CalSTRS restructured its investments to mimic CalPERS, just in time for the bursting of the dot-com bubble, causing huge losses. Now, CalSTRS has finally seen the error of its way and is returning to a more sane strategy. Too bad it didn’t reverse course earlier, before 2008.
Don Rudisill, Sacramento
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