Letters to the Editor: Gas-powered transport is dying. Accelerate that with government action

Idle oil well in Arvin, Calif.
A pump station sits idle near homes in the San Joaquin Valley town of Arvin, Calif.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: American Petroleum Institute President Mike Sommers says that if we stop drilling on public lands in the United States, the oil will just come from Russia and Saudi Arabia since Americans “will still demand energy from oil and gas.” No, they won’t. (“Oil and gas companies say they support climate action. Are they serious?” Jan. 28)

Millions of people all over the world are turning to cleaner options like electric vehicles, and based on recent investments in battery factories, the floodgates are about to open for mass adoption of this superior technology.

It was recently reported that several leases proposed for oil drilling on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska didn’t attract a single bid. Why? Because the oil industry sees the writing on the wall spelling out a future with a 100% electric vehicle fleet. By the time they would have spent billions developing the field, demand for oil will have fallen due to the increase in EVs versus gas cars.


Therefore, it’s pointless to develop this new field.

Paul Scott, Santa Monica

The writer is co-founder of the electric vehicle advocacy group Plug In America.


To the editor: The obvious answer to the question of whether fossil fuel companies truly support climate action is no. Self preservation, rather, is a strong motivator.

If we wait for the fossil fuel industry to take action, humans will go the way of the dinosaurs. It will take long-term action on the part of the federal government to end our insatiable dependence on fossil fuels.

Stopping subsidies for the oil and gas industry is one major step. The other is to put a price on carbon to, as your paper stated, “encourage” innovation. A price on carbon might even help to make carbon capture economical, which would benefit the fossil fuel industry.

Larry Kramer, San Juan Capistrano