Letters for February 11 

Readers sound off on plug-in hybrids, the Oakland riots, and security contractors in Iraq.

Page 2 of 4

One more thing, Onboard Diagnostics (OBD), required of all vehicle manufacturers, would be required to be fully understood, modified as necessary, and extended by a converter. The problem is that OBD internals, including the information needed to be sure to avoid lessening the effectiveness of the OEM OBD, appears to be proprietary data not available to anyone but the original manufacturer and government entities.

For more specifics related to the original CARB proposed rules — though not the minor modifications that came as later amendments, please see my August 2008 formal comments to CARB at http://www.calcars.org/calcars-news/977.html.

Ronald Gremban, CalCars Technical Lead, Corte Madera

No Support for Electric

I've been driving an all-electric car for the past seven years, but at this point there is no support infrastructure at all for EVs, thanks mostly to CARB's refusal to uphold the legislature's intent for ZEV's, which started way back in 1990. There is no justification for such rigid and uncompromising rules, which only stifle innovation and provide little actual consumer protection. Plug-in hybrid customers know what they are doing — we are adults, we don't need the state to mandate a ten-year warranty or require completely unnecessary testing.

And I support 3Prong also because they advocate using renewable PV power to fuel these plug-in hybrids, which reduces CO2 emissions even further!

Gary Gerber, President, Sun Light & Power Company, Berkeley

Speak Up

How can citizens send comments to the Air Resources Board about this? Now is the time to make our voices heard. We as individuals and as a state need to support people and organizations who are working hard to get us off petroleum.

Rachel Hollowgrass, Oakland

Electricity Isn't Free

Robert Gammon's fawning paean to the gods of cool, righteous cars is classic logic of omission. By driving one of those plug-in hybrids of his praise we can get as much as three times as many miles per gallon as the usual old but really already quite excellent Prius, no?

Well if you're counting miles but not gallons while the car is running on electricity, isn't that pretending like electricity is free and you don't have to be burning or tapping oil, dams, nuclear, wind, ­whatever ­ to produce the energy? In other words, isn't he kind of cheating to skip comment on the electricity and how much energy, money, and climate change that costs? Not to mention car accident deaths, paving farmland and paradise, filling up and spreading out cities with parking lots and parking structures, freeway interchanges, etc. Using his logic, driving a 100 percent electric car you'd be getting infinite miles per gallon and spending no money at all to drive your car.

The real issue besides why would someone defend cars so thoughtlessly is why spend $9,000 to $14,000 a year on a car at all, being about the USA average, and not instead walk, bike, and take transit? Well you can't walk, bike, and take transit everywhere because we've built our scattered, low-density cities around cars. So do what's possible, those of you close enough to what you need, and for those "structurally dependent" on cars, gradually changing city structure toward more compact development near transit is the real way to plug-in to energy and climate solutions.

Richard Register, Oakland

Editor's Note

As we reported in our January 28 issue, ("Saving the Plug-In Hybrid,") the California Air Resources Board voted late last month not to subject the plug-in hybrid industry to a series of proposed regulations that might have bankrupted small operators such as Berkeley's 3Prong Power.

"A Night of Anger," Seven Days, 1/14

Flaming the Fire

The Express is perpetuating falsehoods and irresponsible sensationalism with its uncritical repetition of the Chronicle's misquoting of Nia Sykes regarding the BART protests. Even a cursory fact-checking by the Express would have revealed Nia Sykes' January 9th letter to the Chronicle editor clarifying her position and explaining how she was misquoted. I doubt that the Express attempted to contact Nia Sykes for clarification. Instead, the Express chose to further inflame the situation by misquoting her, and even going further by characterizing her speech as a "snort." Such is not responsible journalism but rather irresponsible sensationalism.

Dave Abercrombie, Oakland

Editor's Note

In fact, Nia Sykes has not responded to several requests for an interview from this newspaper.

Oakland Deserves BART Love

Just what Oakland didn't need — to have to cover for BART cops screwing up on BART property that just happened to be in the O.

I hope Oakland gets some serious BART love (cleaner stations? cleaner bathrooms? brighter parking lots? station agents that care?) for covering their respective ... the last couple of weeks.

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