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.

Commentary: The Peril of the Federal Billions

           On January 5 Gov. Phil Scott delivered an upbeat State of the State message. He declared that though Vermont has many unmet needs  -  his leading example was a “desperate need for more people and workers.” - “anything is possible”.

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Commentary: Stopping the Bleeding with Pension Reform

A dozen years ago, a Vermont pension reform committee recommended that the state look into switching the way it structures its pension plans for new hires in the future.

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Commentary: Tomorrow’s Energy Plan

The Department of Public Service has just released its 2022 Comprehensive Energy Plan (CEP). Aside from the “stakeholders”, it’s probably fair to say that very few Vermonters - and very few of their legislators – will be able to penetrate the CEP’s acronym-ridden complexities.

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Commentary: Clean Heat Standard Is a Stealth Carbon Tax on Heating Fuel

A key component of the Climate Action Plan just put forward by the Vermont Climate Council is a thing they’re calling “The Clean Heat Standard.” This is a convoluted scheme that is in practice a stealth tax on home heating oil, propane, natural gas, and kerosene that will drive up the costs of those products for consumers.

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Commentary: The Consequences of Doing Nothing

Imagine you have a mortgage. When you close on your house, the bank gives you a schedule of payments that you’ll have to make each month to pay down the principal and interest. After 15, or 20, or 30 years of fixed payments, the mortgage will be paid off.

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Commentary: Everyone Should Hate Proposal 5

When the Vermont House of Representatives returns in January, one of the first orders of business they will take up is a constitutional amendment called Proposal 5 (aka Article 22). Proposal 5 is being sold as a statewide protection for women’s rights guaranteed under Roe v. Wade. This isn’t an accurate portrayal of what Proposal 5 would do. In fact, Proposal 5 is a legal mess that no one on either side of the abortion debate should be okay with.

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Commentary: Vermont’s Four Plans to Defeat Climate Change

Since 2014 the climate change activists have created four public policy plans to achieve their objectives. Plan A – the carbon tax - bit the dust in 2018. Plan B –TCI – has just followed it into oblivion. Plan C is the Vermont Climate Council’s Climate Action Plan, avoiding a visible carbon tax (except for resuscitating TCI). When that fails, there’s Plan D: send the Conservation Law Foundation into court to sue the State for not shackling Vermonters with Plan C fast enough.

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Rethinking the Climate “Crisis”

The airwaves are awash with frenzied reports about the terrors of the imminent climate crisis. Could we calm down a minute and get a grip on the subject?

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Commentary: The Condos 'Wet Paper Ballot Standard' surpasses "Gold Standard"

In his recent commentary, Secretary of State Jim Condos decried election disinformation’s potential to create distrust in our electoral process. Despite touting the “gold standard voter-marked paper ballot we use in Vermont,” Condos has done much to encourage such distrust in our electoral process while dismissing the importance of a free press in supporting free elections.

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Commentary: Holding Legislators Accountable

The 2022 legislative session will decide how to redistrict Vermont’s House and Senate. The best way to hold legislators accountable is to put them into single-member districts, where the voters can vote incumbents up or down. Failing that, separating the two positions within a two-member district would achieve much of the same end.

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