Hydrogen is very expensive

Gov. Jerry Brown has announced a proposed plan to establish a system of service stations in California to provide hydrogen gas to vehicles that can burn hydrogen.

Stations could be built with hydrogen storage tanks, but the big question is, what would be the source of the hydrogen?

Very little hydrogen is now produced, and it is used in experimental vehicles. Hydrogen could be made using electrolysis to break up water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. This process is very expensive because it uses large quantities of energy.

When hydrogen is used to power a vehicle, the process is reversed. It unites hydrogen and oxygen to form only water in the exhaust -- no pollutants.

The downside is that the price of hydrogen in the service stations would be very high for two reasons: Hydrogen is very expensive to make, and special service stations would have to be built. The cost to the consumer would be many times higher than gasoline.

John Ingamells

Pleasanton Ingamells is a retired research engineer.

The spin from the right is stunning

Wow! The stuff people make up because they don't like President Barack Obama always amazes.

In his recent letter, Mike Vukelich wrote there was barbed wire stopping visitors to the World War II Memorial -- because mean Obama wants to show us who's boss. While it's true the national parks were closed as a result of the GOP-induced shutdown, there was no "barbed wire" and veterans were allowed to visit the memorial if they wished to.

The memorial, however, was a busy photo-op setting for tea party darlings, Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz. Vukelich conveniently fails to mention the tea party's role in shutting down the government because they don't like Obama or Obamacare.

Vukelich also complained Obama took a "vacation" in Africa at the cost of $100 million. The official trip was actually about $60 million.

President George W. Bush went to Africa twice, dancing with natives, while our service members were fighting and dying in Iraq.

The spin from the right is stunning: Bush toured but Obama vacationed; Bush rested but lazy Obama lounged; and Bush was tough and Obama is angry. Their words speak volumes.

Sam Van Zandt

Walnut Creek

The Albany Bulb celebrates art

I propose that the Albany Bulb be declared that most unusual of parks -- one that fosters great urban walking, with and without dogs.

I propose it be a place that celebrates, as it does, some of the best sculpture art in the Bay Area and a place where a set number of people can live and camp in peace, as long as they adhere to the rules of peaceful coexistence.

There is no other place like it that I know of, and I believe some of the folks living there contribute to its upkeep and character and to the pleasure for the rest of us visiting there.

Sara DeWitt

Berkeley

The buck has to stop somewhere

The Times has done an excellent job of covering the public employee pension crisis and the financial unsustainability of the current system.

Simply put, without some changes, the current system will ultimately fail because it will simply go broke. The same can be said of our health care system.

As a former small-business owner, our company incurred an average of 15 to 25 percent annual premium increases to cover our employee health care costs. Having recently retired, my wife and I now have individual health care policies.

Thanks to President Barack Obama's "Affordable" Care Act, we were just informed our health insurance premiums will be going up 46 percent effective Jan. 1. And that's not the end of it. You can rest assured that we will all be receiving substantial annual premium increases in the years to come.

Without changes, just like the public employee pension system, our health care system will ultimately fail because it will become unaffordable at any level.

Government's good intentions always come with unintended consequences. Fortunately, financial reality always sets in. Let's hope we don't all go broke first.

John Hill

Danville