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Letters to the Editor: All-electric homes sound great, but can poor Angelenos afford it?

A portion of the Southern California Gas Co. Aliso Canyon storage facility near Porter Ranch.
(Javier Mendoza / Associated Press)

To the editor: Your call for eliminating natural gas from homes and mandating the use of electricity instead raises some glaring and difficult questions.

How will low-income renters afford a significant increase in their utility bills? During an economic catastrophe in which communities of color have felt a disproportionate share of the harm, shouldn’t our government be working to reduce the cost of living for us?

It seems that the L.A. Times has bought the line that no matter what it costs, California should ban the use of natural gas. This may go over with the wealthiest among us in Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, but it doesn’t work for the rest of us. California is one of the most expensive states in which to raise a family, and we have among the highest average electricity rates in the country.

Why then are you advocating to further price out the vast majority of front-line workers who form the backbone of our communities?

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Andy Molina, Huntington Park

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To the editor: Recently I completed an auxiliary dwelling unit in Mar Vista. I had intended to make it all electric and had put in the necessary infrastructure to support this forward-looking and environmentally sound decision.

But the Los Angeles Building Department inspector delivered the enraging news: The building code required this newly reconstructed home to be hooked into the Southern California Gas Co.'s system.

It is clear that the Aliso Canyon disaster is part of a large, complex political reality, supported by a slew of policies that lock us into the status quo. We are looking at a Gordian knot.

Let the Aliso Canyon blowout five years ago be the sword for Gov. Gavin Newsom to cut through such stifling legacies. Gas must go. Shut it down.

Vern Taylor, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Mandating the electrification of new homes is a small step in what is needed to deal with climate change. It is even possible that piecemeal change can have unintended consequences, so a holistic approach is necessary.

For example, having all-electric homes can cause a demand for electricity when our weather is cold and cloudy, making solar panels much less effective. That means along with electric homes and cars, we will need more electric storage, better regional transmission lines and greater efficiency.

Without a comprehensive approach, we run the danger of having more blackouts. But in any case, the challenge of climate change must be aggressively addressed.

Karl Reitz, San Clemente


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