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: 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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Commentary: Climate Plan Is All Pain, No Gain

The Executive Director of the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association testified before the House Energy & Technology Committee that if the “Clean Heat Standard” currently being contemplated becomes law, he expects it to drive ten to fifty Vermont home heating fuel dealers (oil, propane, natural gas, and kerosene) out of business. This would cost multiple hundreds of people their jobs and leave tens if not hundreds of thousands of Vermonters scrambling to find new heating fuel suppliers. 

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Commentary: Vermont Pensioners Take Their Money Elsewhere

If I give you $100, and you spend it in Wyoming, how does that help the Vermont economy? Answer: it doesn’t.

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Commentary: The Future of Agricultural Report

Earlier this month the Scott Administration released the Report of the Governor’s Commission on the Future of Agriculture. The Report is well-written and constructive, but for many people seriously concerned with this subject, it is likely to be a disappointment.

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Commentary: Here Comes Another Carbon Tax

Are you ready for the coming carbon tax on your home and business heating bill?

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Commentary: Why All Single Member Legislative Districts?

This year, the tri-partisan Legislative Apportionment Board (LAB) recommended that the Vermont legislature re-draw house and senate district boundaries (we do this every ten years following the census) so that there would be 150 single member house districts and 30 single member senate districts. This would be a change from Vermont’s current mishmash of one- and two-member house districts and one-, two-, three- and six-member senate districts.

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