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The Voter’s Speakeasy featuring unbiased reporting and insight into life at Project Vote Smart from our staff, interns, and volunteers.

Legislative Activities: Renewable Energy Sources

2016 August 26

 

Recently, there has been debate over energy sources.  Some states are continuing to prioritize economic expansion through traditional energy sources, like oil, coal, and natural gas, over implementation of renewable energy sources, like wind and solar power.

Other states are passing legislation to mandate renewable energy implementation. The tradeoff between clean energy and new jobs, and traditional energy and keeping current jobs, has been debated in state legislatures, yielding different results.

There has been a shift toward renewable on the federal level. President Barack Obama approved the 2017 budget which allocated funds to promoting clean energy technology programs.

Obama said that “America must foster the spirit of innovation to create jobs, build a climate-smart economy of the future, and protect the only planet we have.”

The budget aims to double the investment in renewable energy research and development to $12.8 billion by 2021. The president argues that the investment in and development of renewable energy is a worthwhile expense that will create jobs.

In terms of state legislation, there have been several actions taken and bills passed, falling on both sides of the debate over energy sources. And as with all legislation, there are opponents and supporters.

The North Carolina Senate has recently passed HB 763, a bill that prohibits the creation of wind farms in military low-flight zones.  These military training zones “cover almost all of central and eastern North Carolina,” and lawmakers want to prohibit wind farms to protect the military interest in the state.

Senator Norm Sanderson said “you cannot ...

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Daily Fantasy Sports Regulation in State Legislatures

2016 August 18

Daily fantasy sports is a concept that is as tricky to say as it is to understand.  It exists in a legal gray area that has remained unregulated for years.  Recently, after several scandals that brought widespread public attention, legislators have attempted to define and regulate the practice.  

To Fly or Not to Fly: Current Legislation on Gun Sales

2016 August 16

 One of the most contentious issues in 2016 has been the question of gun control.

Where Does the Death Penalty Stand in 2016?

2016 August 12

The death penalty has been a hotly debated topic for centuries, but just recently in 2016, it has for the first time in history become part of an official party platform - that of the Democratic Party, who supports abolishing it.

Vote Smart or Bust!

2016 August 11

A letter from Vote Smart President, Richard Kimball

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and Labeling

2016 August 10

How can the benefits of GMOs be utilized while respecting the consumer’s right to transparency?

“Campus Carry” versus “Gun Free”

2016 August 04

The ideological debate between campus carry supporters and opponents remains contentious, with students rallying around both sides of the argument.

The Minimum Wage Debate

2016 August 01

Some legislators are beginning to act on the task of increasing the minimum wage, while others are actively trying to stop the increases.

Legislative Recap: Tobacco Restrictions

2016 July 28

In the past year and a half, several states have passed laws changing the age at which one can legally smoke cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Potential Ramifications of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt & an Overview of Recent Abortion Legislation

2016 July 25

On June 27, the Supreme Court issued a 5-3 ruling on Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. Justice Breyer wrote the majority opinion, reversing and remanding two provisions of HB 2, which was passed by the Texas legislature during a special session in 2013.

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