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As long as California allows fracking, it can't call itself a leader on climate change

To the editor: Even as Gov. Jerry Brown applauds President Obama's new clean power plan, our governor is sabotaging the fight against global warming in California by supporting fracking and other extreme techniques for extracting dirty fossil fuels. ("California is ahead of the game as Obama releases Clean Power Plan," Aug. 4)

As the governor himself said in a recent speech at the Vatican, we must keep the majority of fossil fuels in the ground to prevent catastrophic climate change. But Brown's thoughtful words aren't matched by his actions.

Instead of halting fracking in California, the governor has supported its expansion. Oil companies now frack about half of all new wells drilled in the state, according to the California Council on Science and Technology. That sets a terrible example for the rest of the world.

Climate leaders don't frack. Brown should follow his own advice on the dangers of fossil fuels and immediately halt fracking and extreme oil extraction.

Ash Lauth, Oakland

The writer is the California anti-fracking campaigner at the Center for Biological Diversity.

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To the editor: Here's a message to Congress: Saying "no" to science-based climate change solutions is not a viable option if we want to preserve a livable world. As we approach the Paris climate conference in December, the world is looking to the U.S. to provide leadership on reducing greenhouse emissions.

If Republicans want to avoid regulations, they need to join the fight with market-based solutions and not just offer visions of economic doom.

Gerald Staack, Santa Clarita

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To the editor: As a result of the federal government's edict, American electricity ratepayers should expect a significant increase in their bills.

Natural gas, solar and wind have been mentioned most often as alternatives to coal and other dirtier fuels, but nuclear energy seldom gets discussed. A case in point is the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's Pine Tree Wind Farm, which was built for $425 million but on average provides only 0.43% of the energy required to power Los Angeles.

To provide the electrical energy for 4,000 households for one hour requires 193 barrels of oil, 16,000 pounds of natural gas, more than 100 wind turbines covering many acres of land, 20,000 solar panels during daylight or 2.2 pounds of processed uranium. Furthermore, nuclear generation produces zero carbon emissions and, unlike wind and solar, is not dependent on the whims of nature.

So why are many Southern California ratepayers expected to be charged more than $3 billion to decommission the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station and lose 2,115 megawatts of reliable power 24 hours a day that may be replaced by polluting gas turbines or acres of windmills and solar panels?

Gordon Osborne, Woodland Hills

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To the editor: The writer is a former power engineer with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

Where was the governor when the California Public Utilities Commission turned conservation policy upside down last month by in effect raising rates on the poor and the conservers of electricity and rewarding the wasters of higher usage with lower rates?

The only other beneficiaries of this action were the profit-making electric companies and their lobbyists, who are paid handsomely for their very effective work.

Where were the public servants who are entrusted with protecting the citizens and the environment? How can we say that California is at the forefront of conservation policy?

Barbara Borovsky, Rancho Mirage

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