The EAI Blog is a forum for our members and followers to post and share a variety of perspectives on topical issues. We encourage diverse, and civil debate. These opinions do not necessarily reflect the position of the Institute.

The Ones Who Gave Residential Solar a Price Hike

If you have solar panels connected to an electric grid in Vermont, you may have been caught off guard recently by a sizeable increase in a subtle change to the “Energy Efficiency Charge (EEC).”

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VT Implications after 18 year old wins Gun Rights ruling

Three years ago Vermont raised the age for purchasing any firearm from 18 to 21. But on July 13, a three judge panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a Federal law barring the sale of handguns to persons under 21 was unconstitutional, calling into question Vermont’s 2018 action.

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The Terrors of Climate Change

       Last week I reviewed the new book by physicist Steven Koonin entitled Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters, in which he explains how most of what you hear about climate science is, to put it mildly, exaggerated or insupportable.

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An Unsustainable Appetite for Spending

Steve Klein of the Joint Fiscal Office briefed the Pension and Benefits Task Force, which is looking into how to fix the state’s $6 billion unfunded pension liabilities, on the current state budget as well as impending budget pressures in the pipeline. Klein’s slide show revealed a frightening increase in spending with daunting implications for Vermont taxpayers.

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Two More Act 250 Horror Stories

The Burlington Free Press’s excellent reporter Dan D’Ambrosio reported last Thursday on two more horror stories from the application of  Act 250, the development control law.

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Can Vermont Follow New Hampshire's Tax Rate Reduction?

Drew Cline of the Josiah Bartlett Center in New Hampshire noted that New Hampshire’s Business Profits Tax rate was 8.5% in 2015, making it the third-highest corporate income tax in New England, after Maine and Connecticut.

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A Thorny Question Indeed!

At the July 26 meeting of the Vermont Climate Council, member Richard Cowart raised what he admitted might be “a thorny question.” Thorny or not, it was a very good one. It illustrates very clearly how government interventions in the free market, using carrots and sticks to influence people’s behavior in singular, predetermined ways can lead to disastrous conclusions.

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“Sacrificing” the Sick to Vermont’s Green Energy

Annette Smith, Executive Director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment, gave some harsh testimony to the Science and Data Subcommittee of the Vermont Climate Council Meeting on July 21. The Subcommittee was discussing how to calculate “economic analysis of the costs and benefits the costs of climate action” including the health impacts of various policies. The health costs of climate action are frequently brushed under the rug, as the health benefits are talked up.

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Endangered Species Act Foils E-Car Manufacturing

Everybody from President Biden down to Gov. Scott is busy promoting electric cars as the major means of cutting down the 43% of Carbon dioxide emissions from the transportation sector. California wants all cars on the road to be electric by 2035.

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Why Exactly is the Rent Too D*** High?

A headline in VT Digger declares “Vermont wages well behind cost of rent, national study details.” First question: did we really need a study to tell us that? When politicians run on the issue of “affordability” at the top of the list of unaffordable items is housing. When companies say they have a hard time recruiting workers to come to Vermont, the obstacle usually at the top of the list is a lack of affordable housing for the potential employee.

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