Back in the mid-2000’s when I was co-teaching environmental science courses, I discovered “Will You Join Us?” (WYJU) an online game developed by Chevron, where players had to power up a simulated city drawing on a variety of energy sources. The game’s scoring system required players to evaluate each energy source on three distinct criteria: “Affordability,” “Security” and “Environment.”
The “Inflation Reduction Act” authorizes Medicare to “negotiate prices” with the pharmaceutical industry. That is to say, impose price controls on their products purchased through Medicare, meaning that prices will shoot up for everyone in the private market. Emperor Diocletian tried price controls in 301AD, wrecked the Roman economy, and was forced to abdicate the throne.
A few weeks ago, President Biden gave a speech about battling climate change in Somerset, Mass at the site of the Brayton Point power plant. "As president, I have a responsibility to act with urgency and resolve when our nation faces clear and present danger” declaring climate change to be "literally, not figuratively, a clear and present danger … (to) the health of our citizens and our communities."
According to the Director of the Congressional Budget Office, Philip Swagel, interest costs will become the fastest-growing federal budget category, and fuel a cycle of higher debt, deficits, and interest costs that deplete resources for investments, emergency response, or preparedness.
One of my favorite columnists is the hard-nosed Holman Jenkins Jr. of the Wall Street Journal. In a recent column he zeroed in on the mythology of climate change. Wrote he, “The half-trillion dollars you were asked to spend on climate change didn’t stop climate change - alternative energy is not replacement energy.”
Here are sixteen fairly stated and timely questions voters should put to those seeking legislative office this November. Voters deserve to know where office seekers stand. That’s what makes democracy work.
In 2016, the nature journal Outside proclaimed, “The Great Barrier Reef of Australia passed away in … after a long illness. It was 25 million years old. For most of its life, the reef was the world’s largest living structure, and the only one visible from space. It was 1,400 miles long, with 2,900 individual reefs and 1,050 islands. In total area, it was larger than the United Kingdom, and it contained more biodiversity than all of Europe combined. It harbored 1,625 species of fish, 3,000 species of mollusk, 450 species of coral, 220 species of birds, and 30 species of whales and dolphins.”
As gasoline prices hover around record highs, putting tremendous pressure on family budgets, stressing businesses, and making life generally more expensive, the Vermont Climate Council is coming up with a plan to make the problem worse. Much worse.
Seven Days found an intriguing case study in public policy priorities: “As the state races to build its way out of the housing crisis, much new construction is still incorporating fossil fuel heating systems. That's a big problem, clean energy advocates say, because it adds to a carbon footprint that Vermont must drastically reduce... The 36-unit Stuart Avenue Apartments, owned by Champlain Housing Trust, will be heated by a fossil fuel — natural gas. The relatively low price of gas and easy access compared to other fossil fuels, such as propane and heating oil, made the heating decision an easy one, said Kathy Beyer. For an organization under intense pressure to build housing as quickly as possible amid soaring costs, the cheapest heating option was the developers' only real choice, Beyer said. "Our mission is to build more housing, I'll be very honest about that. If our operating costs are going to go up, it means we're going to build less housing."
The Left has denounced the Supreme Court’s holding in West Virginia vs. EPA as a gift to big corporate polluters. It – and others – should be cheering this decision as a victory for democracy and the rule of law, over runaway agency regulation to effectuate what Congress failed to authorize.