oil in the ground
California oil should be underground, not run aground on its shores.
Governor gAVIN Newsom has credit for banning new fracking despite legislative failure (after vote against local Democratic State Senator Susan Eggman SB 467 in committee). But fracking is not enough. We need to stop all new drilling and start the process of plugging existing wells. We have ambitious carbon emissions targets, but if we continue with current oil production they will not be met.
The devastating oil spill on our south coast shows that offshore platforms should be the first to disappear. Profitable? California taxpayers are ultimately paying the bill for the droughts, wildfires and spills they create. And once decommissioned, platforms can be turned into artificial reefs that protect our coastline and fisheries, rather than covering them with oil.
With primaries on the horizon, let’s make sure our lawmakers write and pass laws to keep California’s oil in the ground and off its coasts.
Too much at stake in
Walnut Creek Proposal
I am one of the citizens of Walnut Creek who opposes Spieker’s proposal to develop the open space of Seven Hills Ranch. You can see that more than 2,500 people share my concern and signed the petition to save this open space.
My main objections:
• Impact on transport: Ygnacio Valley Road has enough traffic problems. Adding several hundred cars during and after 3-4 years of construction may result in the loss of a lane on Ygnacio Valley Road from BART and highways, as the left-hand turn pocket of Ygnacio Valley Road in Marchbanks will be overcrowded and will create an invisible traffic jam. even before the pandemic.
• Environmental impact: Loss of up to 400 trees (most are protected) with all the birds, deer and other species that depend on this open space. The majority of people in Walnut Creek and Contra Costa County are very sensitive to such losses.
PG&E is on the wrong track
for the safety of gas pipes
D. “Lafayette to hire outside experts to resolve dispute over PG&E trees“, Page B1, October 4:
There are mandatory codes that PG&E must adhere to for safe and reliable gas service. Cutting down trees is not one of them.
After the explosion of the San Bruno gas pipeline, the state imposed tests on all gas pipelines. The tests determine areas of weakness for repair. In Lafayette, more than half of our city’s 11 miles of gas pipeline are untested, including sections close to 70 years of operation. Testing should be the priority for the prevention of emergency incidents in Lafayette.
Regarding gas emergency response, PG&E could replace manual gas shut-off valves in hard-to-reach high-fire areas with automated shut-off valves to best assist first responders. We don’t have to be engineers to recognize that PG&E must prioritize legal and proven public safety measures in order to best protect lives and property.
Lafayette Municipal Council
Stop blaming Biden
for GOP messes
Usually I read a column by Victor Davis Hanson or Marc A. Thiessen and throw it in the trash in its place. Thiessen’s September 9 column (“Biden Shouldn’t Set Foot at Ground Zero,” page A7, September 9) made my blood boil.
How dare he say President Biden has nothing to do at Ground Zero on September 11th. First of all, Afghanistan had nothing to do with September 11. Neither the Taliban. Nor that of the Iraqis. It has been proven. But George W. Bush invaded both Iraq and Afghanistan as a knee-jerk response to show how decisive he was. So we end up with a 20 year war that cost $ 2.3 trillion and 6,294 American lives. In Iraq, approximately 4,505 American lives and who knows how many innocent Iraqis.
Biden received the results of these gross Republican mistakes. And yes, “we” respect Biden and the office. The GOP does not.
Mexico overtakes the United States
on the right to abortion
Last month, in a strongly Catholic Mexico, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the criminalization of abortion is unconstitutional (“Mexico decriminalizes abortion”, page A1, September 8).
I expect this will give more people in this country one more reason to leave the best health care system in the world for medical intervention elsewhere.
I now understand why Donald Trump and the Republicans wanted this big, beautiful wall. They wouldn’t want that kind of thinking to find its way here.
Suspension of intellectual property rights
would release the vaccine
Carol Mimura has written a lengthy article denouncing the IP interference proposed for COVID-19 vaccines (“Hollowing out IP rights will upset academic research, innovation”, page A6, September 9 ). Throughout her column, she lists patent achievements in non-COVID areas and suggests these would have been non-existent or threatened without intellectual property protection.
The multitude who face death and the long-term consequences of COVID on a daily basis without access to proven vaccines are conveniently ignored. The typical situation of international travelers carrying transfers around the world is not taken into account.
“Industry” expenses include promotions, executive compensation, travel, and a host of other expenses that have nothing to do with drug research. The exceptionally effective “seed capital” that comes from the federal government has been noted. To claim that companies would not “invest in the first place” is doubly wrong: “seed money” was not theirs, while profit is the driving force – not the common good.
This proposal deals only with the intellectual property surrounding this devastating pandemic. Save lives or save first world dollars. I guess we see what resonates with Mimura.