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Why Californians should support increased oil production in the state

To the editor: There's no denying that in a state as large as California, where our cars drive more than 300 billion miles each year, petroleum is a necessity — even with the growing popularity and affordability of hybrid vehicles. ("Bill McKibben: How to drive a stake through the heart of zombie fossil fuel," Opinion, Jan. 19)

Bill McKibben's call to eliminate oil production shows he is out of touch with American families, who rely on petroleum to affordably get through their day. Granting McKibben's wish would decimate our standard of living.

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Nearly 40% of the oil used in California is produced here, under the strictest environmental regulations in the country. Every gallon of oil that isn't produced locally must be imported by rail or by ship, mostly from foreign countries.

Californians should support more local oil production. Not only is it better for our economy to create jobs and generate revenue locally, but we also reduce our carbon footprint by reducing oil imports.

Stuart Waldman, Van Nuys

The writer is president of the Valley Industry and Commerce Assn.

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To the editor: For at least three decades, the birth of the renewable energy revolution has been aborted by legislators paid for by the oil and gas industry. The latest iteration: In Nevada, the Public Utilities Commission there has done the bidding of a privately owned utility company beholden to shareholders by implementing net-metering rules that effectively penalize solar energy users.

Here in California, private utility Southern California Edison is poised to increase customer energy bills for those who join the solar revolution. This is corporate activism on crack.

At the same time, mass civil disobedience protests have been the only thing stopping new oil and gas infrastructure from moving forward, as listed by climate warrior McKibben. But the amount of human resource wasted in this epic battle between the forces of progress and the forces of entrenched incumbency is the biggest failure here.

This is American innovation held hostage.

Pam Brennan, Newport Beach 

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