Sunday, December 16, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 41

Santa Maria Sun / Letters to the Editor

Nothing wrong with nationalism

Justin Ruhge - Lompoc -

I was reading through Erik Huber's letter "The folly of nationalism" in the Nov. 15 edition of the Sun. I was wondering about the purpose of his historical review of the so-called issues of "nationalism" and wondering why he wrote the letter with all kinds of nasty comments on the past world history for 100 years.

Could it be a vague hit on President Donald Trump, who recently stated that he supports American nationalism? Mr. Huber thinks that all nationalism is evil so Trump must be. There is nothing wrong with our American nationalism. We salute the flag and we sing the anthem and bring in new legal immigrants who want to be American and so does President Trump. 

What Mr. Huber describes is not the nationalism of today, but of times gone past. President Trump is a patriot and supports our country and does not go about the world making excuses for us like ex-president Barack Obama did for eight years. President Trump's nationalism is refreshing and what we all must support. Standing up for our country is not wrong.

E pluribus unum–please joins us if you want to be an American.

Man-made disaster and unforced error

Joe Armendariz, president - Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Assoc. -

Due to the current market price of crude oil, Santa Barbara County has the capability and capacity to generate as much as $30 million per year in annual property taxes to Santa Barbara County, roughly 50 percent of which would go to our county's K-14 public schools, roughly 25 percent of which would go to our county's general fund, of which nearly 60 percent would fund our county's essential public safety programs and services including and especially our Sheriff's Office.

Today, Santa Barbara County isn't utilizing its full capacity of oil and gas production, particularly offshore, and this has resulted in a financial loss to our county of roughly $12 million in annual property taxes to various public agencies throughout the county.

In addition to the loss of property taxes, roughly $225 million in unrealized annual royalties to our federal government, and $28 million in annual royalties to our state government are also going unrealized.

This substantial amount of lost annual tax revenues represent a big-bang, positive economic impact that Santa Barbara County and the various jurisdictions therein are missing out on. These are revenues our county and its partner agencies are in great need of.

Moreover, this chronic financial crisis, which we have been experiencing for the past several years, is not due to some unpreventable natural disaster. Rather, it is due to what amounts to a preventable man-made disaster and unforced errors by those who currently govern Santa Barbara County.

This is not the time to point fingers or to place blame. However, it is long past time that we have a political paradigm shift in Santa Barbara County with respect to our attitude and approach to revenue generation, and about maximizing our comparable advantages, which must include rethinking our county government's land-use policies especially as it relates to resource development.

A political paradigm shift away from trapping oil and gas and other resource development opportunities in regulatory quicksand is absolutely vital and will benefit all of the residents of Santa Barbara County and North County families especially.

Does China believe in nuclear energy?

William Gloege - Santa Maria -

What's the smart money doing with nuclear power while California is abandoning it? China is looking more and more like the new world leader, taking over from America. Smart management has seen the Chinese economy growing nonstop, decade after decade. What about their take on carbon-free nuclear power to run their mighty economy?

According to Wikipedia, China is "all in" for nuclear energy:

"As of September 2018, China has 44 nuclear reactors in operation with a capacity of 40.6 gigawatts (GW) and 13 under construction with a capacity of 14 GW. Additional reactors are planned for an additional 36 GW. China was planning to have 58 GW of capacity by 2020. Nuclear power contributed 3 percent of the total electricity production in 2015, with 170 terawatt hours (TWh), and was the fastest-growing electricity source, with 29 percent growth over 2014. Nuclear generation increased again in 2016 to 213 TWh, a 25 percent increase, and in 2017 to 246 TWh, a 15 percent increase. China ranks fourth in the world in total nuclear power capacity installed, and third by nuclear power generated."

Meanwhile, California leaders like Gov.-elect Gavin Newsome, departing Gov. Jerry Brown, and our legislators are shutting nuclear plants in fear based on no evidence. They're living back to the anti-nuclear cult years and bet instead on solar and wind, both requiring enormous burning of fossil fuel since they work only in daytime and blowing wind.

California will end up buying the reactor technologies of modern, forward-looking countries and suffering economically due to poor decisions of elected leadership. 

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