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Committing to 100% renewables proves what we already know: It's pointless to invest in fossil fuels

Committing to 100% renewables proves what we already know: It's pointless to invest in fossil fuels
California lawmakers and others celebrate after Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 100 in Sacramento on Monday, committing the state to 100% clean energy by 2045. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

To the editor: Kudos to Gov. Jerry Brown for protecting our health and climate by raising the state’s clean energy goals.

Anyone who says we can’t meet the new goal of 60% renewable electricity by 2030 isn’t paying attention; California's large utilities expect to hit the previous goal (50% by 2030) 10 years ahead of schedule. SB 100’s target of 100% carbon-free electricity by 2045 just reinforces the fact that investing in fossil-fueled power is no longer wise.

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So, Los Angeles, the ball’s in our court. Let’s stop building new fossil-fueled power plants, stop requiring natural gas connections to homes and make it easier to install electric vehicle chargers. Our health depends on it.

Dan Kegel, Los Angeles

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To the editor: SB 100 is another feel-good law seemingly implemented without much concrete planning and forecasting.

California’s electricity costs are already among the highest in the nation. To reach the all-renewable nirvana, huge investments will be required in new power sources, back-up battery systems, a totally new grid and technological improvements throughout. There will also be the added costs associated with shutting down the current fossil-fuel power plants.

It’s easy to imagine a scenario where costs spiral, bullet-train style, and we consumers suffer with significantly higher rates. It’s also easy to imagine the possibility that low-income households without, say, solar power systems will be penalized with punitive rate surcharges.

But those are just the negative possibilities. We will, after all, be demonstrating California’s global leadership on environmental initiatives, so let’s just wing it.

Glynn Morris, Playa del Rey

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To the editor: I would suggest the governor rethink rampant development before leaping to 100% clean energy. If you build it, they will come, and “Mother Nature didn't intend for 40 million people to live here,” as renowned California historian Kevin Starr observed.

Meanwhile, politicians throughout the state are salivating for a near future of endless population growth as a way to keep tax revenues up. Is this hypocrisy or just tortured logic?

California politicians and city planners tout the need for faster development but also consider themselves forward-thinking crusaders against climate change.

Mary Kay Gordon, Santa Monica

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To the editor: I couldn't be prouder of the leadership our state is showing at a time when our national government continues to ignore the climate crisis.

The secretary general of the United Nations warned on Monday that climate change poses an “existential threat” to life on this planet and that a sharp reduction in carbon emissions worldwide is necessary to avoid “runaway” global warming. The failure of the Trump administration to recognize the threat is dangerous not only for this country, but for the future of this planet.

Voters should take note. Our elected representatives can and should show their commitment to our children and grandchildren by pushing for strong legislation to cut carbon emissions rather than pandering to an administration that continues to ignore the problem.

Betty Guthrie, Irvine

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