Pelham - Windham News January 28, 2011 - 3
The Word Around Town... Letters to our Editor
In My Opinion... by Corey R. Lewandowski End NH’s Participation in Cap and Trade
by Corey R. Lewandowski, State Director, Americans for Prosperity, New Hampshire Recently, a group of state legislators introduced legislation to withdraw New Hampshire from its participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI (pronounced like “Reggie”). RGGI is an agreement by the governments of 10 Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states to impose a regional cap and trade program on their electricity-producing sectors. Given the mounting evidence, the RGGI program is a massive failure that is serving only to damage New Hampshire’s economic competitiveness; withdrawal from the cap and trade scheme can’t come soon enough. RGGI creates “CO2
Budget Trading Programs,”
wherein allowances for emissions are auctioned off in New York City at government-regulated prices. Over time, the number of allowances available for purchase are reduced, forcing power plants to find other ways to not violate the “cap” set under RGGI. As the allowances dwindle in number, the cost for each permit climbs, raising compliance costs for the power plants and consumers of energy. The goal, supporters of RGGI have claimed, is to reduce emissions and help state governments fund so-called “green-energy” programs. Yet, as with all cap and trade schemes, the program is about forcibly raising the cost of producing – and thus consuming – electricity. If electricity costs more, the argument goes, people will be forced by their limited incomes to use less. Yet the politicians behind RGGI were smart
enough not to tax consumers, directly knowing that taxpayers would never tolerate such a program. RGGI concentrates compliance costs on large electricity-producing operations, costs that are subsequently passed down to consumers in the form of higher electricity bills. The RGGI program was supposed to be a state-level placeholder for a national cap and
trade scheme. Thankfully, it now appears safe to say that the job-killing monstrosity will not happen on the national level. Evidence that the RGGI program is failing can be found in the fact that, in the most recent permit auction, the emissions permits sold for just 57 percent of the offering. Not quite the wild cash bonanza proponents of the plan promised by the government when it was launched.
In New Hampshire, the RGGI scheme has raised an estimated $28.2 million from similar auctions since 2008. Supporters of RGGI say this money was taken from “polluters” and spent on “green- energy projects.” However, it is much more honest to say that this money was taken by regulators from consumers in the form of higher electricity bills and then redistributed to environmental special interests friendly to the politicians in power. Thankfully, New Hampshire now has a golden opportunity to end the rate hikes, special interest handouts, and excessive regulations that have come to define RGGI. Ending the state’s participation in the poorly conceived cap and trade program now will set New Hampshire and its citizens on a more prosperous path in the years ahead.
In My Opinion is strictly an OP-ED column that stands on the opinion of one writer, Corey R. Lewan- dowski, as opposed to a newspaper reporter who does not provide an opinion, but reports the facts. This column, in many instances, is a counterpoint to published stories and does not reflect the unbiased report- ing policy of the Pelham~Windham News or the opinion of the management, advertisers, and ownership of Area News Group.
Clarification on Current House Leadership
Recently, there was a letter in the paper about
what was described as a “hasty, reckless and irresponsible manner,” in which the House under Republican leadership conducted itself. The author of the letter apparently has little understanding of the complaint, its matter of being made, and the careful manner in which an open, thorough, and comprehensive review of an ill-defined situation is being carried out, but still does not apparently understand the process. The author clearly stated that the allegations were being examined by a committee; inferring this was a hasty or illicit action. The author just failed to tell people that the Committee would take time to examine and deliberate, as all Committees do in the New Hampshire House. Worse than that, it was alleged that this Committee examination was a rush to judgment. Seriously, has the New Hampshire House ever been known to “rush” anything through except in an emergency? As for cost, well, the Legislators do get paid—$100 a year, less FICA and mileage. Not a whole lot of public treasure. As for “focus,” well, it is the job of the committee to do exactly what it is doing—that is focus. Other Committees are working on other issues, including the time- consuming, detailed work of Finance and Ways & Means. The revenue projections will not even be forthcoming until the week of January 23. All this is public record and immediately available on the House Website. The facts of the situation are slightly different than those elaborated upon by the author. Members of the House themselves, and no other body, are the judges of who can or cannot be seated or remain in the House. A member of the House cannot be paid, and the operative word is “paid,” to advocate a cause. The author even stated, deep in the letter, that the House was doing its job, acting upon the qualification of another member to remain seated. The letter then devolved into political demagoguery.
A member of the House noted an apparent violation of the constitutional provision after a person had been seated. There was an allegation, not a statement of a violation, but a simple allegation. An allegation deserves to be resolved to prevent unwarranted accusations being whispered in the halls. The action then is to examine the facts in the open, before the world and not in an adversarial fashion, but in a collegial fashion before a
committee of peers. That, and nothing else, is what is now taking place. No surprise, no hasty rush to judgment. Anyone who attended the organizational meeting of the Committee charged with undertaking an investigation would have been stunned by the measured, reasoned, and careful approach to the inquiry. Unfortunately, hacks in the New Hampshire Democrat Party have so obfuscated the issue that they have created a controversy where no such controversy should or did exist. An apparatchik that parrots the “Party Line” is doing a profound disservice to our Constitutional Representative Government by attempting to smear Representative Brunnelle and Representative Greazzo when all that is being done is the seeking of a definition of what is and what is not allowed. In the past, the line has been less than bright
and downright fuzzy. The Ethics Committee (not yet constituted and awaiting the Governor’s appointments) has, in the past, rendered several conflicting non-public opinions. Ethics Committee actions are, by law, confidential and closed unless certain specific elements are
“Just another day at the office…”
present. If the author of the rather-obtuse article had bothered to do homework, that fact would have been reported. The current inquiry will, hopefully, bring into focus what is and what is not allowed for all 400 members of the House. This is not the first time that this precise issue has been raised by members. Members on both sides of the political aisle have requested a more clear definition of when one actually becomes a paid advocate as defined by the Constitution and thus this inquiry, early in the cycle, will provide a definitive answer to that question. The proceedings are taking place in an orderly, formal matter for the benefit of all members and the public where the light of day can shine on the actions.
State Representative Jordan Ulery - Hudson
School Crowding and the Educational Implications for WHS
The citizens of Windham have much to be proud of in our new Windham High School. It has all the elements for success—an award- winning structure, an extraordinary staff offering progressive education, and a technology infrastructure achieving regional and national attention. Windham High School’s success translates not only to bright futures for the town’s young people, but also the retention of our residential home values. Just as we could not ignore the necessity of building a high school, however, we cannot now ignore the overcrowding in our primary and elementary schools. For if we are to hold high educational standards for our brand-new high school, standards demanded by our parents, students, and staff, then the overcrowding at our elementary schools must be completely addressed. Our elected and professional school administrators, teachers, and educational architects
have sounded the alarm about overcrowding and its consequences in terms of providing safe and adequate educational opportunities for our children. Our teachers and students are spending valuable educational time unproductively, with teachers doing their best to reach and teach children in classrooms that have among the highest student/teacher ratios in the State. Is this what Windham represents? This blatantly obvious overcrowding throughout the primary and middle grades will ultimately undermine and dilute extraordinary efforts being made to distinguish our town’s first high school. Without proper educational underpinnings, it is just a matter of time before our high-standards Windham High School will be required to significantly “lower the bar.” Some banter that the high school’s funding and agendas are separate from and competing with the needs of the lower grades. This could not be further from the truth. Without adequate primary education, our high school will receive students matriculating with learning deficits, directly resulting from the negative impact of elementary classroom overcrowding. Exceptional education occurs through building blocks, constructs, and scaffolding in a continuum from birth through adulthood. We cannot expect our high school teachers, whom we have charged with offering “the best” education to our young people, to spend valuable academic time remediating the learning holes that result from elementary classrooms stuffed with children. The Windham School Board was charged with and compelled to seek school crowding solutions
continued to page 5 - More Letters
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