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: Meet Your New Climate Government

Meet Your new Climate Government:  The Global Warming Solutions Act, enacted over Gov. Scott’s veto, establishes a 23-member Vermont Climate Council to create a Plan directing state agencies to adopt rules to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. Fourteen of the 15 legislative appointees are screened and true climate activists. They outnumber the administration appointees, and the lone  fuel sector member,  14-9.  Hold on to your wallet.

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Commentary: 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: Combating “Welfare for the Rich”

A new book “Welfare for the Rich” explains the many ways that government policies benefit the rich, leaving the not-rich to hold the bag. We need to “raise the hue and cry” to put a stop to it.

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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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