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No high horse over hybrids

May 28, 2008

Re "Hybrid car sales are zooming," May 23

As one of those self-righteous Prius owners, let me suggest that the fact hybrid sales are up and SUV sales are down is exactly why we must not pass a federal gasoline tax "holiday."

To save our planet, we must wean ourselves off our addiction to oil. And if rising gas prices help meet that objective, I'm all for them. Most people in this country will never do the right thing for the environment unless there are economic incentives. The knowledge that hybrids do not release harmful emissions when in electric mode, and the ability of drivers of certain hybrid vehicles to drive solo in the carpool lane, are nice features.

If we really want to stop global warming and clean up the environment, we are going to have to hit people where it hurts -- in their pocketbooks.

Lauren Steiner

Beverly Hills

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My wife and I own hybrid cars. My brother owns a hybrid car. I have six friends who own hybrid cars. About 15 members of my church own hybrid cars. None of these people has ever acted "holier than thou" because we own hybrid cars, as The Times suggests. It might be a good idea for The Times to cease perpetrating this myth, probably started by companies that don't make or sell hybrids and by people who feel guilty because they don't drive them.

Barry Pulver

San Diego

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