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Letters to the Editor: You know what will make Californians get rid of gas stoves? A carbon tax

A chef demonstrates an induction cooktop in Van Nuys on Dec. 3.
A chef demonstrates an induction cooktop in Van Nuys on Dec. 3. Removing gas appliances from homes and businesses is considered a crucial step in California’s fight against climate change.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: When it comes to cooking, gas is great. But if we are to save the planet from the catastrophic effects of climate change, we must transition away from carbon fuels, including gas appliances in our homes. (“Clash of the kitchens: California leads the way in a new climate battleground,” Dec. 16)

The way to do that is not with government rules, regulations and bans on natural gas plumbing. The way to do it is to put a price on carbon fuels to reflect the cost to society and the environment of burning them. Putting a price on carbon fuels would make electric appliances more attractive financially.

For many households, an induction stove is cost prohibitive. Putting a price on carbon would create demand, spurring competition and bringing prices down. It would also lead to new technologies and options.

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A price on carbon would bring the changes we need. Rules, bans and regulations just get people mad at the government.

Murray Zichlinsky, Long Beach

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To the editor: I did not see anywhere in the article the issue of increased costs of energy for the consumer if natural gas is phased out in favor of electricity.

My small house has a gas furnace, gas water heater, gas dryer and gas stove. I do not have air conditioning, so the electricity powers lights and other appliances. My monthly gas bill averages one-half of my monthly electric bill.

Then, of course, there is the increased cost of the new spiffy appliances that will go into new construction and remodeled homes, thereby increasing the cost of building, leading to climbing sale and rental prices. At the same time, rooftop solar incentives are being reduced, and utilities will soon charge their solar customers more.

Air quality will benefit of course, but electric companies should anticipate a bonanza.

Alexa Smith Maxwell, Los Angeles

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To the editor: In earthquake territory, it’s really not a good idea to have just one source of energy.

After the 1994 earthquake, we had no electricity on my block in Reseda for five days. The lifesaver was the gas stove and oven; at least we could prepare something to eat while candles illuminated the dining table.

Brigitte Rose, Reseda


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