The first observation that a conservative might make upon reading Chris Lisinski’s State House News Service article on a press conference of groups opposing the Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI) gas tax is the skewed perspective. According to Lisinski, conservatives’ expressing their view on an issue “deepened tensions between the think tanks who hosted it and environmental groups.” When environmental groups hold similar events, are they ever described as “deepening tensions” with people who disagree with them?
Still, hearing from folks on the other side is always valuable:
One of those individuals, Environmental League of Massachusetts President Elizabeth Henry, told the News Service that she did not intend to ask any questions but hoped to hear a clear alternative for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from TCI opponents. She said that hope went unfulfilled.
“We have a statutory obligation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050,” she said, referring to the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008 that sets an emissions reduction target. “Climate change mitigation is statutorily mandated, and if not TCI, then what? I’m open to hearing it, but I feel like we have a really great solution in TCI.”
As Rhode Island’s governor attempts to impose the absurd goal of 100% renewable energy supply in her state by 2030, we should consider what Henry is making of this “statutory obligation.” If it can’t be met without imposing overly restrictive burdens on the people of the state, then remove it. Presumably, one is supposed to bow in the face of “statutory obligations,” but the reality is that the obligations are only statutory. They can be changed easily with another statute.
Thus does the Left like to box a democracy in, to make it seem as if the people have no choice. In this case, TCI is an attempt to hide the choices that have been made, as one of the TCI-opponents explains:
“Why are they doing this through this interstate compact? Why don’t you just raise the gas tax by 17 cents? The infrastructure is already in place to collect the tax, you wouldn’t have to hire any more bureaucrats to do it,” said Rob Roper, president of the Ethan Allen Institute in Vermont. “The reason they’re doing it through this convoluted, expensive means is because it’s a CYA program for politicians who don’t want to be seen as raising a tax.”
Supporters of this sort of environmental policy take intricate steps to make it seem as if the public has no choice and then to make it difficult to find accountability when they don’t like the choices that have been made.