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: A Legislative Wrapup for 2022

The 2022 legislature did a respectable job avoiding the dangers of too much money to spend, but its most notable outcomes were Gov. Scott’s judicious vetoes of Act 250 (non) reform, making half the state into a conservation zone, and stalling the Vermont Climate Council’s flagship carbon tax scheme, the Clean Heat Standard.

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Commentary: Maine Decision Points the Way Toward Universal School Choice

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Maine tuition case opens the door to every K-12 student having the right to opt out of an unsatisfactory public school and attend the independent school of their choice – sectarian or nonsectarian – at public expense. There will still be public schools, but they’ll have to compete for pupils by being responsive to the needs of  pupils and parents.

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Commentary: Watch Out for a Heating Oil Crunch

A combination of factors could well lead to much higher heating oil prices by the end of the year. Ironically, that’s what the climate change warriors have worked hard to bring about for the past six years – but if this happens, the increased fuel cost will go into the petroleum supply chain, not to the state to finance green subsidies. Let’s hope that global warming will bring us a string of mild winters.

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Respecting Precedent in Constitutional Law

           The debate is raging over the U.S. Supreme Court’s leaked draft opinion overturning the 1973 abortion rights decision, Roe v. Wade, and its follow on opinions in Doe v. Bolton (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992). The advocates for a constitutional right to abortion have never quite agreed just where this right can be found in the Constitution. But they do agree and have strongly argued that the judicial rule of stare decisis – a presumption of the validity of longstanding earlier decisions – should be invoked to keep in force the right declared in Roe v. Wade 49 years ago.

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Commentary: Bad policy begets worse, repealing the GWSA is the solution

One signature and one vote thwarted the attempt to upend heating in Vermont's built environment. Governor Phil Scott won the game of political ping pong against the Legislature, when the latter failed to override his veto of the Clean Heat Standard (CHS) bill by one vote.

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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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