To the editor: It's good that I don't own a car, with gas prices in Los Angeles County averaging about $6.50 per gallon. ("Record gas prices, electricity woes show California's worsening energy vulnerabilities," Oct. 4)
Setting aside maintenance-related refinery shutdowns and the state's legally mandated unique fuel blend, perhaps the switch to electric cars and investments in public transit are among the reasons we are being punished at the pump.
At the moment more people in California are turning away from fossil fuels, the oil industry is gouging us. We are striking a blow against Big Oil by accepting renewable energy. We have a long way to go to setting up a better electric infrastructure in California, but we mustn't give into the oil industry's evil ways.
Instead, let's lean into clean energy by using public transit and electric cars. Doing these things can redirect the pain at the pump from us to them.
Laura Fisk, Los Angeles
To the editor: Many are complaining (again) about Californians paying much more than others for gasoline. Most of the blame is placed on the oil companies for gouging while some of the anger is targeted at our higher fuel taxes.
Why not focus on the fact that California's reformulated gas program (which is responsible for much of the increase) was implemented more than 30 years ago, while in the meantime automobiles have become much, much cleaner? Isn’t it time to reconsider the necessity of this program in light of where we are today?
The Legislature removing that requirement so we could use the same gasoline as folks in other states would be a good starting point.
Chuck Thompson, Huntington Beach
To the editor: You report that average gas prices in California have risen $1.10 in the last month to $6.38, and the national average is $3.79, or about $2.59 lower than California.
In discussing the oil refiners' woes, you neglected to reprise what was reported months ago — that while the volume of oil being refined in California has dropped quite a bit, the refiners have been receiving higher profits compared to normal years.
This reminds me of someone who hoards bottled water in a disaster. A word for it might be "greedflation."
Chris Soltow, Thousand Oaks
To the editor: Maybe I've missed it, but where is the explanation that whatever our gas prices are, almost all Americans pay less than what they do in Europe, where people have long ago stopped buying houses 50 miles away from where they work and instead buy them near public transportation?
Mickey Oskey, Big Bear Lake, Calif.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.