Top 10 Posts of 2020 from the EAI Blog

2020 was an unprecedented year. From Covid-19 outbreaks, to entire swaths of the economy shut down, to peaceful/violent protests, we saw a little bit of everything. And while their may seem to be more bad news than good this year, the tail end of 2020 has brought hope with a Covid-19 vaccine. As we yearn to turn the calendar to January, it may help us to reflect on the most meaningful cultural and political events of 2020, to make us wiser for the future decisions we will make in 2021. 

The Ethan Allen Institute Blog is a forum for our members and followers to post and share a variety of perspectives on topical issues. We encourage diverse, and civil debate. These opinions do not necessarily reflect the position of the Institute. We post on our blog a couple times a week, which means that we’ve published over 100 pieces this year. We decided to look at the numbers, to see which posts you thought were most popular and relevant to the statewide dialogue.

Here are the top 10 posts of 2020 from the EAI Blog. We look forward to connecting with you on the Blog in 2021!

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Commentary: Goodbye to TCI

On December 21 Gov. Phil Scott bailed out of the proposed 12-state Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI), at least for 2021.  Only three of the twelve hoped-for state participants have agreed to implement TCI (Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island). Eight others, including Vermont, agree to keep on meeting, talking and negotiating, but the process is likely on life support. The twelfth state, New Hampshire, wants nothing to do with TCI.

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Sierra Club Natural Gas Appliance Ban

The climate change warriors in California, led by the Sierra Club, have a wonderful new idea to make Californians suffer. It’s similar to the “impact charge” (tax) that the Burlington City Council wants to impose on natural gas appliance and hearing users.

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Legislator Admits GWSA Will Have No Impact on Climate Change

Responding to an email inquiry from a concerned citizen about the real impact – and cost -- of the Global Warming Solutions Act, passed last spring over the veto of Governor Phil Scott (R), Representative Scott Campbell (D-St. Johnsbury) admitted, “Let me start by repeating that no one, least of all me, believes Vermont can stop climate change — or even affect climate change.  It’s tempting to focus on that narrow issue because of the specific metrics in the law, namely the required greenhouse gas reduction thresholds (leaving aside the unfortunate name of the Act),” and, “GWSA will not ‘mitigate’ climate change…”

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Thanks to Workers

The Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan offered an important thought in a column last week. She wrote about some research finding “unexpected gifts of the pandemic..."

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Vermont & Mass. compete to leave taxpayers with largest climate bill

12 years before Vermont passed the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) in 2020, Massachusetts passed their own GWSA in 2008. The two policies mirror each other closely. Perhaps irrelevant, if you discounted VT and MA politicians' need to one-up each other.

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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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Why the Recent Pro-TCI Poll is Bunk

Advocates for the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI) released regional poll of New England and Mid-Atlantic states that, they say, shows overwhelming support for the de facto carbon tax on gasoline and diesel fuels. The poll consisted of an astonishing sixty – SIXTY! – questions. And, here’s how you know the whole thing is utterly worthless: not one of those sixty questions made reference to the respondents’ willingness to pay an estimated 5 to 17 cents per gallon (cpg) more at the pump.

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Vermont gets 3rd Worst Financial Transparency Score in Country

Truth in Accounting ranked Vermont 48th out of 50 states in terms of a Financial Transparency Score.  While EAI often discusses what programs should or shouldn't be in state budgets, the results of those budgets are found in a government’s comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR). A CAFR is produced annually by governments and is audited by certified public accountants. The ranking is a composite score based on 8 criteria of different weights.

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Biden’s New Climate Czar

President elect Biden has named former Secretary of State John Kerry, whose greatest accomplishment was the Paris Climate Accord, as his White House Climate Czar.  He will lead Biden’s campaign to stamp out the carbon dioxide emissions that he believes are causing climate change with all its terrors.

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