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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: How is a protest without social distancing different from showing up with guns?

Gas power plant
San Luis Obispo had been considering a proposal to encourage all-electric buildings and move away from gas-fired energy like the power plant above in Los Angeles.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Last July, the union representing Los Angeles Department of Water and Power workers attacked Mayor Eric Garcetti over the closure of gas-fired power plants. Now, we have another instance of unions fighting the environmental rules Californians want.

Eric Hoffman, president of the union that represents thousands of Southern California Gas Co. workers, threatened the San Luis Obispo City Council with a protest crowd with “no social distancing in place.” The threat caused the council to postpone an action on amending building codes to move away from gas-powered appliances.

How is this any different from holding a gun to their heads? Threatening city leaders for doing what the majority of California citizens want them to do is not how democracies work.

Whatever happened to the “blue-green alliance,” where unions and environmentalists are on the same side?I have a lot of union-supporting friends who are also strong environmentalists, and I wonder what they think of this blatant thumb-in-the-eye from their union brothers.

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Paul Scott, Santa Monica

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To the editor: How could the union, representing thousands of Southern California Gas Co. employees, act any differently when not just the pandemic but also the San Luis Obispo City Council threatens its jobs?

On the other hand, what about the two-thirds of California central coast beaches that could be destroyed by the year 2100 if we continue burning fossil fuels?

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Fortunately there is a way out, supported by almost 300 American economists: H.R. 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, would reduce emissions nationally by at least 40% in the first 12 years and already has 80 cosponsors in the House.

I would be scared too if I had to switch to a renewable-energy job, but the economy, the air, the beaches and our children want us to wake up to the uncomfortable reality that we can’t afford the real cost of burning fossil fuels anymore.

Dublin Galyean, South Pasadena


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