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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Choosing a More Energy-Efficient Future

November 29, 2003

Kudos to all of those senators who stood firm against the onslaught of the supporters of this ill-advised energy bill (Nov. 25). I am proud of our California Democratic Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein. They know that this country does not need more support of the outdated fossil fuel technology -- and the SUVs -- that would make fossils out of all of life in the not-too-distant future, but serious investment in conservation and realistic alternative energy that can work now, such as solar, wind, biomass energy production and electric and hybrid cars.

Elke Heitmeyer

Sherman Oaks

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The Senate's action to block the energy bill because of special-interest entanglements is not only good news for the nation, it's even better news for California's public schools. Current California law requires royalties from oil and gas production on public lands in California to support public schools. In 2001, California public schools and counties received more than $28 million from oil royalties. The energy bill passed by the House of Representatives but rejected by the Senate would have shifted a significant portion of these funds away from California schools to oil companies.

At a time when Americans and Californians are being asked to make tough choices, we shouldn't be debating a choice between schools and oil companies. It's time for Congress to get back to work and deliver an energy bill that provides economic growth, a sound energy policy and freedom from special interests.

Steve Westly

California State Controller, Sacramento

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