According to a poll of 600 Vermonters, majorities oppose key components of environmental legislation, the recently passed Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA), and the pending Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI).
On October 14 Gov. Phil Scott and four other New England governors – not including New Hampshire’s - announced their support for major changes in the governance of the New England electricity market, which is conducted by the Independent System Operator ISO-New England.
Seven Days recently ran an article asking, “Has Phil Scott Made Vermont More Affordable.” The story cites the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy which notes that Vermont has “one of the most progressive, or equitable, tax systems in the country.”
The Cato Institute gives Governor Phil Scott high marks for his fiscal stewardship. It recently published the “Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors 2020” which uses publicly available data to assess the fiscal performance of the governors and how they restrained or grew the size of their state’s government from January 2018 to August 2020.
By Maxford Nelsen
The legislative process can be quite effective at screening out bad ideas, but sometimes, by accident or design, flawed policies still make it through.
As the Vermont legislature shepherded the Global Warming Solutions Act into law, we at the Ethan Allen Institute pointed out some of the many possible places the law could lead: the banning of ATVs, snow machines, and other fossil fuel burning recreational vehicles, the banning of gas powered lawnmowers and lawn maintenance equipment, fireplaces and barbeques, etc. One of the red flags we raised concerned oil and gas heating systems and the possibility that they could be banned from new construction, renovation, or with the sale of a property. Well, on that front Burlington has fired the first shot.
For the past two years, how many times have we had to hear from Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) advocates that Vermont’s 2005 goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions “lack teeth,” and this dentally challenged nature of our policies is why Vermont has consistently failed to meet those goals. We need big, sharp, serious teeth! And those teeth were going to be the citizen lawsuit provision of the GWSA. This allows that if Vermont isn’t on track to meet the targets in the law, “any person” can sue the state at taxpayers’ expense.
Here’s just a sampling of the bicuspid obsession from the last biennium…
In this era of racial turmoil and violent protests, it’s good to see something constructive emerging. My leading example is the 1776 Project. It was launched by a longtime friend of mine for forty years, Robert Woodson Sr., to counter the 1619 Project that the New York Times launched last year to explain that America is forever defined by slavery, and that all white people are guilty of incorrigible racism.