MONTPELIER — Gov. James Douglas threw down the gauntlet in his final state-of-the-state address on Thursday, urging lawmakers to enact a series of initiatives he believes will advance economic development and reduce school spending.
Douglas, a Middlebury Republican, pulled no punches in an address that took just over 40 minutes to deliver and was interrupted 10 times by applause from a General Assembly heavily dominated by Democrats.
Economists and peace activists have long pointed out that the true cost of oil-based energy is not adequately accounted for or paid by us consumers: the pollution it generates, the treatment for diseases it necessitates, the environmental damage that needs to be ameliorated, and the military presence we provide in order to ensure our oil supplies all have costs that are not on our utility bills. Forcing oil, coal and nuclear energy providers to internalize the costs had proven almost impossible due to their strong lobbyist presence in Washington, D.C. and in state capitols.