Last year the Michigan legislature approved two strong school choice bills that. established a Michigan Student Opportunity Scholarship (SOS) program. Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer vetoed them. But the state constitution allows the Legislature to override a governor’s veto if enough petition signatures are collected to get the bill back to the Legislature. If passed again, the bills could not be re-vetoed by the governor.
A few weeks ago, President Biden gave a speech about battling climate change in Somerset, Mass at the site of the Brayton Point power plant. "As president, I have a responsibility to act with urgency and resolve when our nation faces clear and present danger” declaring climate change to be "literally, not figuratively, a clear and present danger … (to) the health of our citizens and our communities."
According to the Director of the Congressional Budget Office, Philip Swagel, interest costs will become the fastest-growing federal budget category, and fuel a cycle of higher debt, deficits, and interest costs that deplete resources for investments, emergency response, or preparedness.
One of my favorite columnists is the hard-nosed Holman Jenkins Jr. of the Wall Street Journal. In a recent column he zeroed in on the mythology of climate change. Wrote he, “The half-trillion dollars you were asked to spend on climate change didn’t stop climate change - alternative energy is not replacement energy.”
In 2016, the nature journal Outside proclaimed, “The Great Barrier Reef of Australia passed away in … after a long illness. It was 25 million years old. For most of its life, the reef was the world’s largest living structure, and the only one visible from space. It was 1,400 miles long, with 2,900 individual reefs and 1,050 islands. In total area, it was larger than the United Kingdom, and it contained more biodiversity than all of Europe combined. It harbored 1,625 species of fish, 3,000 species of mollusk, 450 species of coral, 220 species of birds, and 30 species of whales and dolphins.”
Seven Days found an intriguing case study in public policy priorities: “As the state races to build its way out of the housing crisis, much new construction is still incorporating fossil fuel heating systems. That's a big problem, clean energy advocates say, because it adds to a carbon footprint that Vermont must drastically reduce... The 36-unit Stuart Avenue Apartments, owned by Champlain Housing Trust, will be heated by a fossil fuel — natural gas. The relatively low price of gas and easy access compared to other fossil fuels, such as propane and heating oil, made the heating decision an easy one, said Kathy Beyer. For an organization under intense pressure to build housing as quickly as possible amid soaring costs, the cheapest heating option was the developers' only real choice, Beyer said. "Our mission is to build more housing, I'll be very honest about that. If our operating costs are going to go up, it means we're going to build less housing."
Two things are happening this week. Vermont is preparing to sign onto the California Clean Cars II program, which will phase out and ultimately ban internal combustion engine vehicle sales by 2035, requiring that 100% of new cars sold be Zero Emission Vehicles. And Vermont electric utilities are asking Vermonters not to charge their electric cars so as not to overload our electrical grid during the current heatwave. (VBM)
The climate warriors are loudly bemoaning the Supreme Court’s decision in West Virginia v Environmental Protection Agency. The case involved a sweeping bureaucratic edict from the EPA to force electric power plants to cut way back on carbon dioxide emissions.
Depending on what study you choose to look at, Vermont’s business climate is either slightly below average or quite close to last in the US. Just a few days ago, CNBC gave Vermont a #31 ranking. While this rank is a little below average, it is far above where the Tax Foundation placed Vermont just last December: #43. So did Vermont’s Legislature somehow manage to pass enough business-discouraging legislation between December and July that we fell so many spots? While there was some legislation that certainly didn’t help, the immediate answer is “no.”
President Biden signed an executive order directing agencies to take steps to protect access to abortions and the privacy of patients seeking reproductive health services. The order also directed the Secretary of Health and Human Services to make reports and launch a public education campaign on access to reproductive health services.