Rob Roper, 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.

TCI Looks DOA

The Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI), referring to the organization itself rather than the policy, has put off publication of their final proposal for a multi-state, regional carbon tax on gasoline and diesel fuel for well over half a year. Originally, they promised to release it in the spring of 2020, then hinted at summer, and are currently operating under a promise to do so this fall – a window rapidly closing. Presumably, the delays are part of a strategy to hold off until a politically opportune time. It doesn’t appear such a time will ever transpire. Increasingly, TCI looks dead on arrival.

The latest blow comes from Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, who, up until a very short time ago, was TCI’s biggest cheerleader. But now, according to the Boston Herald, “Gov. Charlie Baker said governors are re-evaluating support of a controversial carbon tax designed to limit greenhouse gas emissions….”

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Commentary: Elections Over, Challenges Ahead

The 2021 legislature faces major challenges on Fiscal Worries, Revenue Shortfalls, Retirement Fund Deterioration, and Electric Grid Challenges, but the governor surely won‘t launch a much needed Performance Review.

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Commentary: Early Voting Is Bad for Democracy

Every day there is a new announcement from the Vermont Secretary of State’s office proudly proclaiming how many people have cast their ballots weeks before election day on November 3rd. As I’m writing this opening paragraph that number is about 150,000. By the time I reach the end the number will likely be much higher. This is not a good thing. It’s certainly nothing to be proud of.

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Commentary: False Alarm, The Supreme Court and the Affordable Care Act

U.S Senate Democrats are claiming that a conservative Supreme Court will end Obamacare coverage for 20 million Americans. This is shameless fearmongering. The horrors they so stridently predict will simply not materialize.

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Commentary: Vermont, the Only State Seeing No Need for Election Safeguards

By avoiding best practices in a vote-by-mail effort practiced in other states, our Secretary of State Jim Condos is opening Vermont up to questions of electoral fraud.

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Commentary: Vermont not ready for mail-in-voting says Colorado Secretary of State

Live ballots for the Vermont general election are in the mail and on their way to every active voter on the statewide checklist. Since coming up with this vote-by-mail scheme in response to Covid-19, Secretary of State Jim Condos has argued that it will work because other states have been operating vote-by-mail programs for years without any major problems.

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Commentary: Free Exercise and Faith-Based Schools

A Supreme Court ruling in a Montana case finds that the government’s failure to pay tuition for children attending faith based schools is an unacceptable burden on “free exercise of religion”. That opens the door to tuitioning to such schools in Vermont, and vitiating our “no compelled support” constitutional provision.

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Commentary: Shout-downs place democracy in peril

For years, public demonstrations on issues ranging from abortion to climate change have been commonplace in Vermont, signs of a healthy civil discourse. But some demonstrations have taken a more sinister tone of late, undermining the foundations of our democracy.

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Commentary: What’s In the Global Warming Solutions Act?

The legislature returned in late August to tie up the loose ends of the 2020 session, and one of those loose ends is the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA).

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Commentary: Renewable Energy and Blackouts

California has just suffered electrical blackouts affecting over 200,000 people, and there will be more to come on hot summer evenings. Why? Because California has become infatuated with subsidizing solar and wind powered electricity, which disappears when the sun goes down and the wind stops. Vermont is heading down that same mistaken path.

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