Commentary: Renewable Energy and Blackouts
California has just suffered electrical blackouts affecting over 200,000 people, and there will be more to come on hot summer evenings. Why? Because California has become infatuated with subsidizing solar and wind powered electricity, which disappears when the sun goes down and the wind stops. Vermont is heading down that same mistaken path.
California Heat Wave/Black Outs Highlight Flawed “Green” Policies
California is suffering a major heatwave with temperatures coming in at significantly over 100 degrees. Compounding the danger is the unfortunate reality that California’s electricity capacity – arguably the most “green” in the nation – can’t handle the demand needed to run the air conditioning. California Governor Gavin Newsom admitted that California’s extreme shift to renewable energy sources is at the root of the current crisis.
Bill McKibben on the Pandemic, VTDigger, and Vermont’s Deplorables
Here’s a recent comment by Middlebury College’s enviro activist in residence Bill McKibben, which makes an interesting point.
“The pandemic has also been hard on [Vermont’s] newspapers, which have been curtailing editions and laying off staff. But Vermont is also lucky to have two more-or-less statewide independent media outlets: the entirely Web-based VTDigger and the Burlington-based alternative weekly Seven Days.”
“Both have done something unusual and useful during the pandemic: they have shut down their comments sections. They did it to make sure that people weren’t spreading bad information about public health, but the secondary effect has been to isolate the small number of soreheads and malcontents who monopolize such venues.” That reminds you of Hillary Clinton’s characterization of her detractors as “Deplorables”, doesn’t it?
In the case of VTDigger, which I readily admit performs a valuable service for the state, I did a quick analysis of the first ten comments posted on the report of the July Senate passage of the Global Warming Solutions Act. Seven commenters were opposed to that bill, and three were supportive. I added up the positive and negative responses, and found that the opposition prevailed by a ratio of 1058 to 103 (91% opposed).
Two weeks later VT Digger discontinued comments on the dubious grounds that it took too much staff time to moderate them. In my view, it’s more plausible that they got tired of publicizing the views of McKibben’s soreheads and malcontents who opposed the Digger-favored climate agenda.
John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute.
Commentary: Candidate Questions for 2020
Here are 16 incisive questions, fairly stated, to put to your candidate for the legislature, Governor and Lt. Governor. Voters deserve to know what they’ll get by giving their votes. That’s what makes democracy work.
Do Black Opinions Matter?
As the House Judiciary Committee began virtual public hearings on police reform, and VPIRG, the Vermont ACLU and other groups hop on the “defund the police” parade in the name of the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s worth taking a moment to explore some issues from the perspective of the Black Community.
Ethan Allen Institute Releases Updated Legislator Vote Profiles
August 10, 2020
The Ethan Allen Institute released its officially updated legislator “Roll Call Profiles” today to reflect the key votes from the 2020 legislative session. This year’s highlighted legislation includes votes on the Global Warming Solutions Act, a minimum wage increase, Paid Family Leave, creating a tax and regulatory structure for the sale of recreational marijuana, “ballot harvesting,” and more.
Massachusetts TCI Bill
That’s the eleven-state agreement to drive up gasoline and diesel fuel taxes to get people to stop driving internal combustion cars, by relieving them of millions of dollars to insulate somebody else’s home, subsidize electric cars, build charging stations, bike paths, and so on. The same proposal is before the Vermont legislature.