Meg Hansen, John McClaughry and David Flemming write 40+ commentaries a year discussing the most pressing public policy issues in Vermont. These are published online and in newspapers throughout the state, including VT Digger, the Caledonian Record, the Rutland Herald, the St. Albans Messenger, the Bennington Banner, Vermont Biz, TrueNorthReports, Times Argus, the Eagle Times and Vermont Daily. If you see an EAI commentary in your local newspaper, shoot us an email! And if you don't see our commentaries in your local papers, let your newspaper editors know.

Commentary: Heating Fuel Tax Dead – for Now

On May 11 the short life of the Clean Heat Standard (CHS), promising “clean heat for a cooler planet”, came to sudden but probably not final end.

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Commentary: Nuclear Power Revival

The growing reawakening of enthusiasm for nuclear powered electricity has been a remarkable development over the past ten years.

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Commentary: The Check Back for Legislative Accountability

The climate lobby is racing to push through the Clean Heat Standard heating fuel tax bill – without any legislator voting on the record to launch this costly program. For climateers, defeating the Menace of Climate Change trumps Vermont’s constitutional requirement of legislative accountability. The Check Back Amendment would require a vote of the legislature after March 2023, when all the details are known.

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Commentary: Middlebury's Messy Voter Rolls Suggests a Larger Problem

Vermont’s poorly maintained voter lists are placing the integrity of our 2022 election at risk, as newly uncovered evidence from the 2020 election shows.

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Commentary: Clean Heat Standard Greatens Carbon Emissions and Class Divide

The Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) requires Vermont to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by specific amounts by 2025, 2030, and 2050. Failure to meet these mandatory targets would allow any person to sue the state, at taxpayers' expense, for non-compliance. The GWSA appointed a 23-member Vermont Climate Council to create an action plan.

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Commentary: Questioning Blind EV Advocacy

Governor Gavin Newsom recently ordered the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to ban the sale of gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035. Since the 1990s, 16 states have adopted CARB’s more stringent emission standards in place of federal regulations enacted by the Environmental Protection Agency. Newsom’s mandatory transition to zero emission vehicles will thus have a domino effect in the CARB states (including small, rural Vermont), which will be legally bound to outlaw the sale of internal combustion engine vehicles.

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Commentary: Legislature Pushing Through Major Changes

The Vermont legislature is moving swiftly into its final six weeks. A major issue, as always, is parceling out revenues to cover  the $8.1 billion Fiscal Year 2023 general plus transportation fund budgets. That process is eased this year by the tsunami of Federal dollars rolling into the state, allowing the solons to fund programs and causes that in ordinary times, with normal state revenues, would not make the cut.

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Commentary: Successful Energy Transitions are Facilitated, Not Forced

Governor Gavin Newsom recently ordered the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to ban the sale of gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035. Since the 1990s, sixteen states including Vermont have adopted CARB's more stringent emission standards in place of regulations enacted by the Environmental Protection Agency. Newsom's mandatory transition to zero emission vehicles will therefore have a domino effect in the CARB states, which will be legally bound to outlaw the sale of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. 

 

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Commentary: Is the Electric Vehicle for You?

The Climate Council has called for 170,000 heavily subsidized electric vehicles on Vermont’s roads by 2030 – up from 4,360 last year. EVs have some legitimate attractions, but range anxiety and charging time trauma persist. For those boosting EVs while proclaiming “environmental justice”, prominently featured in the Climate Action Plan, mining for battery ingredients cobalt and lithium involve very troublesome consequences, ranging from water consumption to river pollution to unspeakable child labor in the Congo.

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Commentary: Expanding Parental Choice in Education

Four court cases, including one from Maine at the U.S. Supreme Court, are likely to open the way to expanded parental choice in education. But the four powerful Vermont education lobby groups are feverishly working to persuade the legislature to declare “Fund Only Public Schools”.

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