Re “Cost of fuel standard too high” (Letters, March 12): The American Lung Association in California is invested in the success of California’s clean fuels standard as a part of our mission to save lives and improve lung health. Californians face some of the harshest air pollution in America, largely because we are still hooked on oil.
Our kids, seniors and other vulnerable populations deal with ongoing challenges of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other chronic illnesses made worse by dirty air. Air pollution costs people healthy days, takes kids out of school and sports, and costs our state billions in health care and lost productivity costs.
At least twenty-two of the 29 state renewables standards have been attacked by legislators or regulators in the last year or are now under attack.
Known as a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) or a Renewable Energy Standard (RES), these mandates require utilities to obtain a portion of their power from renewable sources by a certain date. Research shows they add less than 5 percent, on average, to the cost of electricity bills and are an effective driver of renewables growth.
Chevron Corp, after years of living in the shadow of Exxon Mobil Corp, has grown accustomed to having to punch above its weight, and it has now landed a notable blow against another big oil company.
Though it ranks fourth in oil and gas reserves among the world’s non-government-controlled producers, the California major recently seized the number two spot from Royal Dutch Shell Plc in terms of stock market valuation.
We will need fossil fuels like oil and gas for the foreseeable future. So there’s really little choice (sigh). We have to press ahead with fracking for natural gas. We must approve the Keystone XL pipeline to get Canadian oil.
This mantra, repeated on TV ads and in political debates, is punctuated with a tinge of inevitability and regret. But, increasingly, scientific research and the experience of other countries should prompt us to ask: To what extent will we really “need” fossil fuel in the years to come? To what extent is it a choice?