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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: California’s decline has accelerated under Democratic leadership

PG&E
Pacific Gas & Electric employees work on power lines.
(Casey Christi / Bakersfield Californian / Associated Press)

To the editor: Columnist Steve Lopez blames climate change, corporate profit mongering, and (of course) President Trump for California’s woes, which include power blackouts, a staggering rich-poor gap, rampant wildfires and a homelessness disaster.

California, specifically Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento, have been under the ham-fisted control of Democrats for years while these woes expanded dramatically, and in the face of stifling taxes and burdensome regulations at every level of government.

Perhaps Lopez and other progressives should actually look at the reflection in the mirror instead of preening before it.

Kip Dellinger, Santa Monica

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To the editor: As Lopez points out, we should have started hardening our electrical infrastructure years ago. We didn’t. Instead, a “fix it if it’s broke” attitude prevailed.

We can’t go back in time, but the next best choice is to start now.

It is very likely that studies have already been conducted to identify the most vulnerable locations along power lines that could spark wildfires. If we start making the necessary upgrades now, maybe in 10 or 20 years the job will be done.

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If we don’t start now, prepare for the worst.

Phillip Gold, Westlake Village

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To the editor: Clearly, cutting off the electricity is not a solution, nor is cutting down all the trees. To sequester carbon and produce oxygen, we need as many trees as we can get.

The money paid by Pacific Gas & Electric in penalties should go toward creating locally distributed solar electricity and battery backups in fire-prone communities. Power companies may then be owned by various towns or counties and become accountable to the citizens.

Sarah Starr, Los Angeles

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To the editor: The sense of entitlement that is pervasive today is galling. There were probably many people who prepared for a power outage, but there were many more who just stuck their heads in the ashes.

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One could weather a 24-hour outage easily with an uninterruptible power source for phone charging, a camping stove and a lantern, all of which cost less than $200. Know what’s in your refrigerator so you can keep it closed as much as possible.

A minimal solar system with a battery backup can provide more comfort during an outage, and for about $15,000. An adequate battery backup system costs about $7,000.

Gregg Ferry, Carlsbad


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