Oil companies not conserving water

While we are discussing Gov. Jerry Brown's water conservation plans and worrying how reducing consumption affects us even further, our oil producers are going 90 mph opening up new fracking sites in California.

Were you aware that each well uses in excess of 1 million gallons of water? More gas is being sold offshore at higher prices than we are importing, so why is this fracking even necessary?

It just galls me that Brown is asking me to conserve, but Chevron, Shell and others get to use as much water as they need to make a profit. To add insult to injury, just inquire about the incidence of pollution to the surrounding water tables.

Is this good governance? I think not. Our California water policies need some new eyes, not new tunnels, pollution and most of the water restrictions aimed at Joe Citizen.

Christine Swenning

El Sobrante

Seeing different causes for shame

I agree with Mel Boss' letter that it's a shameful time in the nation's history -- but not for any of the reasons stated in his recent letter to the paper.

First, little or no constructive input or criticism was tolerated in the construction of the Affordable Care Act. It was conceived and implemented in almost a panic, with the apparent logic of Rep. Nancy Pelosi's words, "We have to pass the bill to find what's in it."


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The ACA was hastily rushed into law while President Barack Obama and his minions had control of both branches of the Legislature, thus no need for any input, good or bad, from the other half of the country.

Second, the real seditious behavior, it seems, is the alteration of existing laws by executive orders to make this ill-conceived and ineptly implemented law work.

What happened to the concept of democracy? What happened to the Constitution?

For the above reasons, I agree, this is a shameful time in American history, and I'm glad to speak out against it.

Floyd R. Colton

Pleasant Hill

Billboards touting the Chevron logo

You've seen them: Giant billboards with Chevron logos and flowing landscapes and Rosie the Riveter. Taking a page from Taco Bell hot sauce packets, the petrochemical giant has brought a cynical humor to Richmond.

Chevron Corp., most notable for the refinery fire that sent 15,000 residents to the hospital, probably polled and found that a civic pride campaign might affect likely voters' perceptions of the Chevron brand so that it doesn't inadvertently hurt the very representatives they are trying to elect to not regulate them.

Ironically, Chevron gives not give one dime to the Rosie the Riveter Foundation or any shoreline effort that I am aware of. It takes a special kind of indifference to be that far out of touch.

The billboards will give way to new ones about electing Nat Bates and Corky Booze. And you can be sure that these Chevron logos will be as hard to notice as their ads will be hard to escape.

Jeff Shoji

Richmond Shoji is a member of Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin's staff.

Letters misapply the term 'Marxism'

Our political system has been rigged so that the wealthiest citizens and corporations get favorable laws to help them monopolize a vast majority of the economic output.

Even after this led to an economic collapse, a massive government bailout resulted in even more gains for the top tier.

For many average Americans, the economy remains weak. This has led to arguments in favor of extended jobless benefits, an increase in the minimum wage, and tax changes that might improve the job market and reduce income inequality.

And yet the mere public discussion of these issues, with little actual progress, leads some Times letter writers to start calling names: "Marxist communism!"

You can call a horse a pig, but it doesn't change the horse, it just makes you look foolish.

Steve Evangelou

Walnut Creek

Joel Keller is part of BART problem

That was an interesting PR piece by BART board President Joel Keller in the Feb. 23 Times.

Let's see, he's been on the board for two decades. Now he is up for re-election and he wants arbitration and no strikes.

Keller is part of the problem and always has been. The BART board has been giving the farm away for 35 years and Keller has been a big part of it for two decades, as he so proudly states.

Why didn't he say "no" to the SEIU 20 years ago. He is the reason the wage and benefit package is so way out of line.

Martin Fernandez

Antioch