Letters to the Editor: What's better than suing oil companies? Passing a carbon tax

Huntington Beach, CA - February 16: A motorist fills up their Toyota Prius at a Mobile gas station on Beach Blvd. in Huntington Beach Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
A motorist fills up a Toyota Prius as a gas station in Huntington Beach. Exxon Mobil is one of five oil companies being sued by California. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: There is an easier way than suing fossil fuel companies.

The announcement that the state is taking five oil companies to court will be followed by far more dramatic news. As California Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta said, the suit will demand a "very, very large number."

The five giants will fight like hell. We won’t have a just result for decades. Dramatic news. Continued pain.

But it doesn't have to be this way. You and I pay daily to clean up our trash and sewage. Federal and state leaders merely need to set up a similar system to cover the costs of fossil fuel emissions as we go. The five giants hate it.

Fee and dividend is an established system. Charge a fee for carbon-emitting products, including imports. Redistribute the income to all payers.

Then, consumers can continue to buy the more expensive carbon products, or they can seek new competitive choices from the growing range of low-emission products.

Little drama. Future hope.

Buzz McCord, Huntington Beach


To the editor: Would it have made any difference if, years ago, Big Oil was forthcoming about global warming?

Climate change from fossil fuels is now well known, but most people still drive gas-powered cars. Until we change, we have mostly ourselves, not the oil companies, to blame.

Michael Pollak, Los Angeles


To the editor: While I approve of — and applaud — the legal community going after Big Oil for hiding scientific facts that it has been aware of for decades, I can't help but wonder what the effect of successful litigation would be.

It's not like we can convert to alternative energy sources overnight. And, if all the nations on all the continents don't follow suit, I don't know if we have enough time to make a difference.

We know what we need to do; the problem is it needed to be started at the time we should have known, which was a half-century ago.

Ron Garber, Duarte

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.