Calistoga water rates
EDITOR: The Calistoga City Council raised water and sewer rates, plus annual increases for three years, even though Mayor Chris Canning had previously said Calistoga already had the highest water rates of any Northern California city.
Our city fathers said they probably would not have to raise local utility rates when they authorized two extremely large resorts, because the added transient-occupancy tax might even allow a reduction in our personal utility charges. They even wrote that we have plenty of water and sewer capacity to cover the proposed additions. This was untrue, as we are now on water rationing, and there are problems with our wastewater.
The Calistoga City Council also must know that, in population ratios, Calistoga has more senior citizens on fixed incomes than any other city in Napa County. Also, up to 70 percent of our schoolchildren are from homes at poverty level. None of these people can afford to pay these extras, as small as they may seem to the advantaged ones.
I am deeply disturbed by those votes by the council.
A carbon tax
EDITOR: In reference to your Tuesday editorial (“Stalling globally, acting locally on climate change”), any effort to decrease greenhouse emissions by increasing energy efficiency is laudable and should be pursued vigorously, though without global action, its impact will be negligible.
In your Dec. 1editorial (“Global climate inaction continues”), you stated: “Climate change has no easy solution.”
I submit that, while politically difficult, imposing an escalating tax on the release of carbon into the atmosphere would make the burning of fossil fuels less competitive and the production of energy from renewable sources more competitive, resulting in a slowing of the rate of climate change.
The tax could be rebated to households to offset the increased cost of energy and to encourage investment in energy efficiency.