Tuesday, June 12, 2007

H 520. Overriding a Douglas Veto

I've already written about my support for H 520, the energy bill which the Vermont Legislature passed, and which Governor Douglas swears will wither under the heel of his veto, and which the Democrats who control the Vermont House are going to fight to keep alive in a summer session.

I believe that, in addition to a strong symbolic blow against Global Warming (at, at the beginning of an uphill battle, symbolism is actually very, very important), this bill would also be the first step towards creating a business climate in Vermont which would favor small innovative companies...companies which would supply good jobs, and opportunities for citizen ownership and Independence...building, in short, post-industrial version of Jeffersonian Democracy.

There are other reasons to want this bill passed over Jim Douglas' objections. As John Odum, over at Green Mountain Daily has pointed out:
Legislative Democrats had their chances for a significant power shift increase dramatically today - and they have Jim Douglas to thank for it.
Despite an enormous, broad-based push on its behalf, the Governor has made it clear he will veto the climate change bill, which has become less and less controversial the more members of the media, the legislature and the public have had time to familiarize themselves with it...

...if a Douglas veto -any veto - is overridden, that'll be the headline in all the papers the next day. And the perceived power shift will have the potential to send shockwaves into the next session, as well as the next election season.

The Burlington Free Press raises an interesting point in a Monday Editorial( yes, the Burlington Free Press...no, I'm not kidding) on Governor Jim Douglas and H.520. In speaking of Douglas' alternative to H 520, the Free Press asks:
At the same time, if the administration had the ideas and the power to act on global warming without legislation and without a new tax, then why did the governor wait until after the session to make his move?
...At the same time, if the administration had the ideas and the power to act on global warming without legislation and without a new tax, then why did the governor wait until after the session to make his move?

I think, alas, the answer to the paper's question is obvious: Vermont Republicans have adapted the Republican National Strategy.

The Republican national strategy, which has worked so well for George W. Bush, boils down something very simple: ignore the will of the people, they will go home eventually.

This is a strategy which has stymied progress and overridden the express choice of the people time and time again- the most recent and obvious example being the failure of the U.S Congress to force an end to the now pointless Iraq War.

And I think it is now clear that this Republican National strategy is seeping down to the State Level.

Ruling by fiat is so much simpler than engaging in debate with one's opponents. So much easier than crafting compromises.

Rather than engage in a debate, the administration will wait for the legislature to have it's say, and then, go ahead and do exactly what it wants, secure in the knowledge that the people won't be back in sufficient numbers come summer time....

...we'll see, I guess.


k said...

a handful of years ago, when we were looking into buying a home, and thinking about how expensive it was to be "greener", we were told that there was once a budget for energy efficiency incentives for homeowners. (this was back when this issue was a buzz and not a bandwagon.) excited, we looked into it and discovered that it had been depleted, and that douglas was NOT going to refill that pot. nor were there plans for something else.

it's been clear for a long time that governor douglas is not truly invested in this issue. my fuel bill tells me that his efforts are too little, too late.

Alex said...

I'm afraid you are correct.

I was walking to work this morning and thinking about Governor Douglas (I know, being a political junkie is just WIERD.)

I couldn't help but think what a damn shame it was that this (seemingly) very decent man, who has, in many cases, been the choice of BOTH major parties for statewide office, appears to be so determined to buckle under to the wants of Big Business (from which we historically have gotten very little in return) instead of working to fill the NEEDS of Vermonters.

k said...

yes. the daily needs of vermonters. gov doug should put THAT in his survey-to-figure-out-why-young-people- skip-out-on-VT-as-soon-as-they-darn- well-can pipe and smoke it.