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Letters to the Editor: Oil companies profit while they destroy the planet. That must end

An oil refinery is seen near Wilmington in 2016.
An oil refinery is seen near Wilmington in 2016.
(Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)
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To the editor: For too long, oil giants have been externalizing the human health and environmental costs of their products while raking in record products. Until government exacts these costs from polluters, our health bills will rise and environmental devastation will continue.

The Times’ editorial board makes a clear, compelling argument for the California Legislature to pass the Polluters Pay Climate Cost Recovery Act, a “climate Superfund” bill.

Until such a measure passes, Exxon Mobil will continue to raise Chief Executive Darren Woods’ compensation above the $36.9 million he received in 2023. Declining profits from forcing Big Oil to cover its externalized societal costs might lower CEO salaries while stopping civilization’s death spiral.

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Economics and common sense agree: Make the climate polluters pay.

Tom Osborne, Laguna Beach

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To the editor: The proposed new tax on energy companies to address climate change reflects a basic misunderstanding of capitalism.

As the saying goes, “Corporations don’t pay taxes, they collect them.” In other words, energy companies will just pass the tax to customers in the form of higher prices.

California already has the highest gas prices in the nation. A new tax will make the situation worse. It will make legislators feel good but further squeeze the working class.

It’s a bad idea.

David Cohen, Irvine

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