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Readers' Letters: Look at real costs of electric vehicles

Jim Redden’s article (Including fuel, EVs cost less, Sustainable Life, Nov. 14) is half the truth.

Yes, we all would love to skip the gas station and put those dirty, evil oil companies out of business. The article reads like a rosy-colored glasses thing. Please, let’s stop drinking the Kool-Aid for a moment and look at the truth.

It was never mentioned that most car buyers will buy a battery replacement program for $100 per month, above and beyond the car purchase price and warranty. OK, so the owner in the article is a lessor and may not be part of that program, but a buyer, which most people are, will pay for battery insurance instead of buying gas.

The Nissan Leaf has a 60,000-mile lifespan and the batteries need to be replaced. The price tag? $15,000. My car with 189,000 miles has a total cost of around $10,000 for maintenance. So the Leaf owner has a choice in order to drive 189,000 miles: Replace the battery two times at a cost of $30,000 plus the price of the car or, at 60,000 miles, replace the car two times.

With all that aside, the real problem with the Leaf and all battery cars is the environmental damage used to manufacture the car. It’s the dirty little problem the PC green movement just won’t report on and would like to keep a secret. If people ever found out about the heavy metals needed to make batteries and the toxic nature of mining, refining and storing the toxic metals, and the environmental impact to our Earth, people would revolt.

Please, can someone write the entire story and not sound like a commercial for Nissan and the rosy green movement?

Andrew Weisenberger

Milwaukie

Double standard glaringly on display

You recently ran a headline on the light-rail bridge that stated that the names of dead white guys aren’t likely to make the list (Dead white guys won’t make top of TriMet’s list, Nov. 7). I have to point out the double standard here.

Would you ever have dared to run a headline saying “dead black guys?” No way. Never. Not a chance. People would have been outraged.

So why is it OK to refer to the pioneers and founders of our city as “dead white guys?”

Jeffrey Lawton

Southeast Portland

There’s room for two green rating systems

As a practicing LEED AP (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional) and Green Globes Professional, I take exception to some of Steve Law’s conclusions (Clash of the Green Giants, Oct. 24).

I write a biweekly blog for HPAC Engineering (hpac.com/blog/clarks-remarks), and I posted on that same topic on Aug. 28. Law infers, for example, that because Green Globes is “financially supported by vinyl, chemical, wood and plastics manufacturers,” they won’t award points for using nontoxic building materials.

I suggest he do some research on the U.S. Green Building Council’s membership. For example, the American Chemistry Council is a member of the Green Building Initiative and a gold-level member of USGBC. Others who belong to both organizations include the American Wood Council, Chemical Fabrics and Films Association, Carpet and Rug Institute, etc. And no, Dow Chemical isn’t a member of GBI, only the USGBC ... at the gold level.

Law also concludes that the two rating systems are even on scoring. Not true! One of the most significant advantages to Green Globes, in my opinion, is that there are no prerequisites — that carry no point value — and that nonapplicable credits don’t count against you.

He and I do agree that LEED has revolutionized the construction industry, but he needs to do more research before he advocates for one system over the other. They both have a place, and I’m not sure that he understands the construction industry enough to make some of the statements that he does.

Larry Clark

Sustainable Performance Solutions

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Bus warning device will add to noise

Thank you for your recent article about the coming tests of warning signals on buses (TriMet helps curb distracted walkers, Nov. 7). Although this certainly seems like a pressing safety concern, I am concerned about the possible use of audible warning devices every time a bus is set to make a turn.

Our environment is noisy enough already and this will not only add to it, but it will become just another sound in the mix of city sounds and will no longer stand out. Thus, it will lose its warning goal.

Perhaps they could investigate something that only makes a sound when the driver needs it — something like a car horn, perhaps?

Bill Kownacki

Milwaukie