Readers React

Taxpayer-subsidized solar energy helps the poor too

To the editor: I installed a solar panel on my roof about two years ago. It will take me about 10 years to recover the cost of the system after including the state rebate and federal tax credit. That's a pretty poor return on investment. ("Minority groups back energy companies in fight against solar power," Feb. 9)

The notion that rich people who can take advantage of taxpayer-funded subsidies are benefiting at the expense of the poor is a fallacy promoted by the utilities to slow down solar installations.

Everybody benefits from reduced fossil fuel burning — everybody except the power companies. Their faux populist campaign to enlist the NAACP in opposing incentives is cynically self-serving.

Bert Bigelow, Orange

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To the editor: Rooftop solar panels are ridiculous. Why not a well in every backyard to provide water? Why not a windmill on every roof that even works at night to provide energy?

There are plenty of open spaces for solar panels that would be cheaper to build, more efficient and provide energy for everyone. The NAACP is not the only group that should be upset.

Edward Gilbert, Studio City

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To the editor: I was saddened to see that some minority organizations are supporting the continued use of fossil fuels by major utilities because of the cost of solar subsidies.

This is another case of people voting against their best interests. The poor will suffer much more from global warming than the rich.

I believe that the most equitable solution is a carbon fee at the source of all fossil fuel production. This would require the fossil fuel industry to pay for the true cost of oil and coal production, including the havoc we are wreaking on our environment. The money collected would be distributed to all American households.

In this arrangement, the poor would not carry an undue burden.

Sharon A. Whittle, Pasadena

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