Clean energy laws will certainly raise taxes
The article on the effect of California's clean energy goals on gas and electric bills consumers will pay cited a Little Hoover Commission report discussing the possibility of higher rates.
It's not a possibility, it's a sure thing. Clean energy is more expensive. Otherwise, state mandates would not be needed to force utilities to buy it. PG&E passes those higher costs on to all of us.
I'm not comforted by the PUC's Energy Division projection that rates will go up only 2 percent to 3 percent a year.
Why? We already pay sky-high rates. Since late 2008, natural gas prices have fallen by about half while my gas and electric rates are both higher than they were four years ago.
Californians are already paying dearly for high cost wind and solar energy. It would be nice if the politicians and regulators gave us a complete and honest assessment of what state policies cost us.
Closing oyster farm is a major victory
I rejoiced to read that Ken Salazar decided to keep faith with Congress and close the Point Reyes oyster farm, allowing the marine sanctuary to proceed. It's wonderful news.
But, the salmon are still endangered by our willingness to destroy their habitat in order to pump water to dry and desert areas.
Farmers, industries and people who want to live in year-round sunshine keep up the pressure to get more and more fresh water from the Delta area. And there's pressure from all of us to keep in place, or even expand, the hydroelectric dam system, which produces most of our electricity. People vs. fish is a lot harder battle.
Similarly, mammals -- from tiny voles (smaller than a mouse) to magnificent wolves and grizzly bears -- are endangered by our desire to move into their habitat and use it for our purposes.
Thank you for keeping us informed about these life-and-death struggles in our waters and in our wilderness backyards. An informed people can find solutions where our current wisdom sees only impossibility and eventual catastrophe.
If we keep printing money, we will lose
Many in the financial media would have us believe the "fiscal cliff" is a set of spending programs and tax breaks that if left to expire, will cause unemployment to soar, growth to diminish, and the probability of a severe recession to rise -- among other bad things. With this understanding, the fix to the problem is relatively straightforward -- after congressional squabbles, extend the tax cuts and continue the spending programs. Surely kicking the can once more will work out just fine.
Or will it? The problem with this misunderstanding of the "fiscal cliff" is that printing more money to cover larger deficits and the interest on an increasing $16 trillion debt (the Fed "buys" almost all Treasury paper, not the Chinese), is that at some point, the can hits the proverbial wall with nasty results -- most likely hyperinflation and a debauched (worthless) currency.
Neither the Fed nor anyone else knows where that point is, but if it arrives, a mathematical certainty with continued money printing, we will all be very big losers.
Bring offshore jobs back here
I am referring to the tragic garment factory fire in Bangladesh that resulted in the death of more than 100 workers.
I can think of at least one very economy-boosting, patriotic solution to preventing deadly factory fires in offshore textile companies producing goods for U.S. companies: Bring the jobs back to the United States.
Stealing petroglyphs an insensitive crime
It is shameful that someone stole four American Indian petroglyphs from a sacred site near the Southern California city of Bishop.
The petroglyphs were created by American Indians more than 3,500 years ago. They carved pictures of hunters, deer and other animals, as well as geometric shapes, into a long escarpment. The petroglyphs were hacked from lava cliffs in the eastern Sierra.
Whoever did this showed no respect to the religious rights of American Indians who use the petroglyphs for both spiritual and historical connection.
Billy Trice Jr.