Letter to the editor: Transitioning to cleaner energy resources is the best way to reduce the financial impact of rising gas prices

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KATRINA FOLEY, OC Board Supervisor

Gas prices continue to skyrocket for Orange County residents, with no end in sight. That’s why I’ve asked my colleagues on the Orange County Board of Supervisors to join me in calling on Governor Gavin Newsom and the state legislature to either give taxpayers a refund or suspend the gas tax for one year, as long as this revenue loss is made up. by the government’s budget surplus so that we can continue to finance essential infrastructure.

While suspending the gas tax or offering an equivalent rebate will not completely solve the blight of ever-rising gas prices, it is essential that we provide respite to families across the county. Orange struggling to pay for gas.

As Putin’s war in Ukraine, supply chain disruptions due to the pandemic, corporate greed and California’s 51-cent gas tax take their toll, to really reduce the burden on the increase in prices at the pump, we need long-term planning.

First, we need to wean ourselves off oil and transition to clean energy resources, including working with the private sector and energy providers to add new electric and solar vehicle charging stations.

Access to community charging stations and cheaper electric vehicles (EVs) can significantly save on gas bills. The market tells us that electric vehicles are a better economic option. We must listen.

Second, we need to be able to walk or cycle to work or school, instead of driving. As mayor of Costa Mesa, I launched an active transportation plan to improve mobility safety. Now, as County Supervisor and Director of OCTA, I am working to add miles of new bike lanes and protected walking paths, so residents can get around easily and safely.

Our dirty and underutilized flood channels remain an untapped resource for this effort, as long as we also invest in public safety resources to patrol these areas.

Finally, modernizing our fleet and our public transport system is essential as we move away from dependence on oil towards sustainable technology. At OCTA, we have invested in 10 rechargeable battery electric buses and an equal number of hydrogen fuel cell electric buses in our fleet, with the goal of 100% zero emissions technology by 2040. see more zero-emission county vehicles.

These simple and very popular solutions reduce the impact of exorbitant gas prices and improve our quality of life.

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