Letters to the Editor: We rationed during World War II. We can pay more for gas to support Ukraine

A gas station sign near Beverly Center
The Mobil station at the corner of La Cienega and Beverly advertise prices higher than the norm throughout the Los Angeles area on March 8.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Let’s try to put the increasing price of gasoline into perspective. (“At the gas pump, Americans want to fight Putin but worry about the pain,” March 8)

The U.S. has spent trillions of dollars over the last two decades waging wars in far-away countries. During this spending spree, the American public has never been expected to endure even the slightest personal sacrifice. This is in stark contrast to the rationing that we accepted (albeit, reluctantly) during World War II.

We watch the horrors of Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s attack on Ukraine and recognize that our most tenable weapon is one of economic strangulation. Unfortunately, this will inevitably cause economic distress both at home and abroad.


But I would like to suggest to the American populace that this is a temporary hardship that we must (reluctantly) bear in order to support a country that is desperately trying to hold on to its freedom. The Ukrainian people are fighting valiantly for their very survival, and the least we can do is to endure our discomfort and suppress our grumbling.

Ted McKinney, Riverside


To the editor: Yes, gas prices are going up, but why are the media mostly failing to highlight the big oil companies’ increasing profits?

Now they say they are divesting their Russian holdings. Here is an idea: Why don’t they lower gas prices in support of Ukraine? They can run ads explaining why they would be doing this, and I can only assume they would still make a profit.

Dan O’Mara, Agoura Hills


To the editor: Americans are willing to help Ukraine by paying more for gas, but Big Oil is still making huge profits. It’s only the little guy who’s hurting, as those who can afford it the least are effectively paying Big Oil investors.

Gov. Gavin Newson’s proposed gas tax “rebate” will probably be gamed by wealthy individuals. Just pause state taxes instead so those who actually pay them will get relief immediately.

Suzanne Brugman, La Habra Heights


To the editor: “When you ride alone, you ride with Hitler” — this was a memorable energy conservation slogan on a poster from World War II.

I suggest this message today, which should be on banners on our L.A. Metro buses (a better system than it’s given credit for by many): “When you ride on transit, you ride with Zelensky.”

Gregory Wright, Sherman Oaks


To the editor: I took a business trip by car to southern Arizona last week. Driving on our freeways, I got the impression that California motorists are not that bothered by higher gas prices. The roads were packed with primarily single drivers.

I get it. We all have to go places, and it’s inconvenient to coordinate with others about their destination plans.

The solution: Plan your trips. Shop smarter. But the realty is that until the car companies can come up with more affordable electric cars, we’re going to be paying more at the pump.

Chuck Heinz, West Hills