Finalize new EPA standards quickly

Our vehicles remain a top source of smog-forming pollutants. But thanks to new standards proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency for cleaner gasoline and reduced pollution from our tailpipes, we can clean up the air.

My husband and I drive hybrids and look forward to fully electric cars to plug into our clean solar home.

According to the EPA, the proposed standards would prevent up to 2,400 premature deaths and 22,000 asthma attacks each year by 2030, resulting in up to $23 billion in annual health care savings.

The oil industry's fighting these standards with misleading, discredited claims about their cost. Economists and engineers have shown that meeting Tier 3 standards is feasible and would cost refiners about a penny a gallon of gasoline; a small price for the world's most profitable companies to pay to help prevent thousands of asthma attacks, hospital admissions and premature deaths every year.

With smart policies like the Tier 3 standards, we'll all be able to breathe easier knowing cleaner air is on the way. The White House and EPA should quickly finalize these health and air quality standards.

Marsha Jarvis

Pinole

Let the A's move on to San Jose

Giants management and fans are whiners, and I would hate it if we were just a one-team area because of it.

The problem is they are preventing the A's from moving to San Jose. They are hanging on a promise made 40 years ago when San Jose was a crossroads at the south end of the Bay.

Let the A's move down there. There is plenty of money and corporate sponsorships to go around. As a result, we could have two great teams and venues in the Bay Area.

Is the Giants management chicken? Are they afraid the A's will expose them as losers?

Paul Knauff

Concord

The mayor should stick to local issues

Recent letters in the Times regarding Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin certainly span the spectrum of opinion.

Writer Jude Levine, a self-described sage, defends the mayor's green credentials and lauds her defense of those "abused by corporate America ... " and writer Steve Evans offers facts about the spurious Ecuadorean lawsuit, which makes McLaughlin look like a naif, at best, and totally clueless at worst.

It seems to me that Richmond's mayor should be most concerned with solving local issues, such as high unemployment, poverty and crime.

Finding a way to work with her largest taxpayer should be paramount. Instead McLaughlin seems to delight in playing Moe to Chevron's Curly.

Harold Mantle

Lafayette

Strenuous fight to avoid funding tax

Regarding the recent opinion piece by Sally Pipes about the medical device tax, readers should know that Pipes isn't a medical researcher but an anti-government commentator who has opposed programs like Obamacare long before its passage in 2010.

The medical device industry continues to fight the tax, which will help fund the Affordable Care Act, and Pipes has been strenuous in that fight.

She wrote, "Firms are responding to the tax not by swallowing it but by raising prices for patients." What a surprise! That being the case, why would manufacturers cut back research and reduce employment, as she claims they would do?

She also states, correctly, that the tax is on sales, not on corporate profits. Therefore, the only incentive to move production overseas is to reduce manufacturing costs, which has nothing to do with the 2.3 percent tax on the sale of the finished product.

Any industry opposes any tax on its product and quickly passes it along to the consumer. It is, after all, just another deductible business expense.

The arguments of such a measure leading to industry destruction, loss of innovation and being "a job killer" are lobbyist-speak and typically spurious.

James Felde

Concord

Political parties don't work for us

We do not need political parties because they do not help anyone besides themselves.

We need politicians who represent us, the people, and not a political party. The sooner we get rid of political parties, the sooner we will get things done in favor of the people.

Al Legault

Pleasant Hill