February 22, 2024
East Bay Times Letters to the Editor for Aug. 27, 2023

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Federal act has
electrification incentives

There are fantastic home electrification incentives available through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

These incentives can save consumers thousands of dollars in tax credits for residential electrification upgrades and will soon provide billions in rebates for low- and moderate-income (LMI) households.

Getting fossil gas out of homes delivers tremendous health benefits and is a key part of our national strategy to reduce emissions.

It’s an exciting opportunity and we need to get the word out. Rewiring America has a simple tool (https://www.rewiringamerica.org/app/ira-calculator) to help citizens understand how much money they’re eligible to receive for these upgrades.

Matt Carona
Oakland

A utility tax for
inconsistent service

Re: “PG&E’s wildfire strategy needs careful scrutiny” (Page A6, August 9).

The Aug. 9 editorial discusses PG&E’s wildfire prevention strategy: cutting back on its troubled tree-trimming program and switching to devices that cut power when a fault is detected, causing disruptive customer outages. They’ll save billions and still charge Californians the highest rates in the nation.

But wait, there’s more. In mid-2022, the California Legislature passed AB 205, a “budget trailer bill” with a provision for a new monthly utility tax. The California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) will vote on the new tax around June 2024, and it could pass.

Our Legislature has time to make amends. Contact your representatives today to author a new bill to recap the utility tax. Or direct the CPUC to do the same before this bill goes into effect.

Rene Wise
Fremont

Both parties need
change at the top

Change may not be inevitable but would certainly be welcomed. Both the Democrats and the Republicans seem so entrenched in their ideologies and dogma that they can’t entertain varying ideas and possible compromise, nor can they acknowledge diversity and accommodation.

Longevity and age may be contributing to the current political mutiny now plaguing the United States. The de facto leaders of both political parties have reached Social Security age, and they have little, if any, patience with opinions and behavior different from their own. It is usually “my way or the highway.”

America’s reputation throughout the world has diminished significantly; several competitors and even smaller nations tend to view the United States as vulnerable or not trustworthy. A change in the leadership of both political parties is needed, and a return to American greatness under a modern leadership concept is necessary to save “America the beautiful.”

Franklin Burroughs
Walnut Creek

Nation has no need
of wannabe king

“When somebody is president of the United States, the authority is total,” former President Trump said at a news conference on April 13, 2020. “I have an Article 2, where I have the right to do whatever I want as president,” he boasted to supporters on July 23, 2019.

In 1776, those with total authority and who could do anything they wanted were called kings. Also in 1776, the colonies got together and declared their independence from England. A Revolutionary War was fought and won by patriots, fighting the redcoats, for our freedom from the tyranny of King George III.

Now we have people wearing red hats supporting a wannabe king, and ironically calling themselves patriots. I hope they have an opportunity to watch at least one very partisan trial with Republican after Republican after Republican patriot testifying against this wannabe king and then decide if they want another king.

Bob Wheeler
Walnut Creek

Article taints science
with base politics

Re: “‘Oppenheimer’ misses the mark with sacred Hindu text” (Page A6, Aug. 11).

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Vamsee Juluri displays the same flaw he criticizes. He is ignorant of science as much as his target is ignorant of Hinduism.

To say, “As a scientist, he would want to use his knowledge to destroy his enemy” is to corrupt science with politics. Real science is about data. Politics is about belief, which may ignore the natural world. He should have replaced “scientist” with “citizen.”

To be sure, too many scientists have become politicized, endangering their natural role as honest brokers. But that is a problem bioethicists like me have to address.

Howard Winet
Berkeley

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