Commentary

Divestment of fossil fuel stocks is bad policy 



by Rob Roper

 Since January Governor Peter Shumlin has been pressuring state pension fund managers and lawmakers to sell off coal and Exxon/Mobil holdings. The Governor says (now) this policy is necessary to combat climate change. If enacted, however, divestment will do virtually nothing to reduce carbon emissions — but could cost Vermont taxpayers millions. […]

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Commentary: Shumlin’s Doctors-And-Dentists Tax

by John McClaughry In his January budget message, Gov. Shumlin announced a new source of tax revenue to help fill the ever-gaping Medicaid budget deficit ($55 million in Fiscal Year 2017). He proposed that the provider assessment now applied to hospitals and nursing homes be expanded to independent physicians and dentists, at 2.35% of net patient […]

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Commentary: Act 46: Fix It All, or Repeal It All

by Rob Roper This week (January 24-30) is national School Choice Week, celebrating the great steps forward school choice has made in states around the country. Confronted with many of the same concerns Vermonters are facing about the high cost and quality of their schools, sates from Florida to Texas to Wisconsin to Nevada have […]

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Commentary: Make Big Wind Pay Its Own Way

by John McClaughry An intriguing battle is shaping up in the legislature, over industrial wind power. On one side is the Shumlin administration, wind developers, and pro-renewable energy lobby groups like VPIRG. The Governor has been a consistently outspoken advocate for renewable energy. He issued an edict in 2011 that Vermont must be made to […]

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Commentary: Abandoning Low Cost Hydro for Costly Renewables

by Willem Post Gov. Shumlin has decreed that Vermont must obtain 90% of its total energy from renewable sources by 2050, to ”make Vermont energy independent, fight global warming and climate change, do our part, and be a leader”, and Act 56 of 2015 requires utilities to market electricity that is 55% from renewable sources […]

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Commentary: The Perils of Dr. Dynasaur 2.0 (January, 2016)

by John McClaughry In December 2014 Gov. Peter Shumlin concluded four years of passionate advocacy for single payer health care by announcing that there was, alas, no way that Vermonters could be made to part with the $2 billion in new taxes required to make that idea work. Since then, he has devoted his energy and leadership to […]

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Commentary – Vermont’s Shaky State Government (December, 2015)

by John McClaughry In two short weeks the Vermont legislature will be back in Montpelier. The central issue will be contriving some way to produce a balanced General Fund budget for 2017 – without any visible increases in taxes. Every year for the past five the legislature has faced nagging deficits. For the current fiscal […]

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Commentary: Bernie’s Democratic Socialism (December, 2015)

by John McClaughry On Nov. 19 Vermont senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, a self-described “socialist” for 50 years, delivered his long-awaited address on the subject of his political ideology, “democratic socialism.” To put this in some context, there have been hundreds of interpretations of “socialism” by its advocates, not including those who used the […]

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Commentary: Telling the Truth About Vermont’s Energy Policy (November, 2015)

By Rob Roper How often have we heard advocates for extensive wind and solar development on Vermont ridge lines and pastures (heavily subsidized by tax and ratepayers) say that these efforts are necessary to curb global climate change, prevent future Tropical Storm Irenes, and save the maple sugar and ski industries? Pretty often. However, under […]

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Commentary: Freedom as the School District Solution (November, 2015)

by John McClaughry The ranks of people opposed to the controversial school consolidation act (Act 46) are rapidly growing. The Vermont School Boards Association has expressed grave displeasure with the provision that penalizes local school districts that spend more than the state thinks necessary. Districts exploring merging into larger unified districts are complaining about the […]

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The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.
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Latest News

2-11-16- Ready, Fire, Aim! (Or, Watching an Incompetent Legislature Work Its Magic)

by Rob Roper So the senate bent itself into contortions to kill a provision of the Paid Sick Leave bill (H.187) that would have exempted businesses with fewer...

Roll Call! Senate Votes to Block Paid Sick Leave Exemption for Small Businesses

. H.187 – AN ACT RELATING TO ABSENCE FROM WORK FOR HEALTH CARE AND SAFETY (SENATE AMENDMENT) . PASSED in the State Senate on February 10, 2016 by a vote of...

2-9-16 – U.S. Economic Freedom Slips Downward Again in Global Survey

by John J. Metzler While recessionary winds continue to buffet the world economy, many countries are still prospering due to innovative policies which have embraced economic growth and...

Roll Call! Senate Votes to Mandate Paid Sick Leave

. H.187 – AN ACT RELATING TO ABSENCE FROM WORK FOR HEALTH CARE AND SAFETY . PASSED in the State Senate on February 3, 2016 by a vote of...

2-3-16 – Gun Rights in Montpelier’s Crosshairs

Posted by Rob Roper Gun Rights opponents are getting bolder and more aggressive in Vermont. Despite the fact that this is an election year, something that usually deters...

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