Adopt simplified gas tax program
A new gas tax program — really? Come on, keep it simple (“‘Driving reports’ will compare paying by the mile or by the gallon in Hawaii,” Star-Advertiser, Nov. 13).
Instead of coming up with a whole new program, why not just increase the tax rate at the pump? For electrics and hybrids, add an annual road usage fee to their registration. More importantly, increase the fine for driving with expired tags and collect and impound cars with expired tags and safety checks.
Currently, the penalty is less costly than paying the annual tags — duh. Seriously, every day I see multiple cars with one or both items expired, sometimes for many years in a row. The proposed “pay all at the registration” method will allow them to now avoid paying gas taxes as well.
R. Ronnie Goo
Ban proven dangers, not just e-cigarettes
This year in the U.S. there have been more than 300 mass shootings, but no ban on guns.
Every year, many college students and others continue to die of alcohol-related deaths, with no ban on booze.
There are too many cancer deaths from cigarettes to count, but no ban on tobacco.
A few vaping-related deaths and the American Medical Association wants to get in our business and ban vaping?
Let’s start banning the proven dangers first. Maybe then we can really make a difference in people’s lives.
Candas Lee Rego
Fossil fuel companies met public demand
The article, “Fossil fuel companies deserve lawsuit” (Star Advertiser, Island Voices, Nov. 17), and others like it published recently bring to mind the joke where a thief, when asked why he robbed banks, replied, “Because that’s where the money is.”
The fossil fuel companies did legal business meeting our demands for fuels that have in large measure made our lifestyles possible. In meeting the need, they made the fortunes that free enterprise enables.
The technology that would replace those fuels is only now coming to fruition, made possible by government incentives and ironically by the efforts of those same fossil fuel companies. Arguments for lawsuits against these companies are nothing more than excuses for theft because, simply, that’s where the money is.
Corporations must help pay for damage
I applaud the recent announcements by Mayor Kirk Caldwell and Mayor Mike Victorino that Honolulu and Maui will be suing major oil corporations.
Based on internal company research in the 1970s and 1980s, Exxon knew of the catastrophic danger that burning fossil fuels posed to Earth’s climate. Yet instead of coming clean, they chose to fund disinformation campaigns, misleading lawmakers and the public. Just as Big Tobacco was sued under public nuisance law, so too does Big Oil need to be held accountable.
On Oahu alone, the impacts from sea level rise — only one of the many impacts of climate change — are projected to cost more than $25 billion in the coming decades.
Unless the fossil fuel companies are forced to pay their share of the damage from climate change, Hawaii taxpayers and our children will be picking up the entire tab.
Democrats must enforce subpoenas
Democrats are making a huge mistake in the impeachment inquiry. They are not going to court to enforce their subpoenas of documents and witnesses. But they should.
In the Nixon impeachment, public opinion skyrocketed and Republican defense of President Richard Nixon collapsed after Nixon’s White House tapes were produced by order of federal courts, and quickly affirmed by the Supreme Court. These tapes proved Nixon’s criminality beyond dispute.
As usual, today’s Democrats always make wrong choices. President Donald Trump (by false claims of privilege) refuses to produce relevant documents and gives a fig-leaf excuse for people with first-hand knowledge, like John Bolton and Mick Mulvaney, to defy subpoenas. Trump’s claim of privilege is not valid, as proven by all those who ignored Trump’s “order” to defy congressional subpoenas and testified anyway.
Democrats are letting strong evidence remain hidden. It must be strong, or why else would Trump hide it from the American public?