Opinion — Push Back

Published 12:35 pm Saturday, January 29, 2022

Two months after Republican candidates were swept into office in a majority of House of Delegates’ districts as well as a Republican Governor, Lt. Governor, and an Attorney General with a massive turnout; a week after these folks were sworn into office; the Democrats in the Senate have decided that they will not consider the interests and mood of the voters of Virginia. They have started digging in their heels and refusing to moderate the positions of their more liberal brethren.

Masks

I am not a fan of mandates by presidents or governors. They are counter to our representative form of government, however, sometimes steps need to be taken quicker than the legislative process can occur. Therefore, mandates should be rare and short term. Governor Northam, with the assistance of a majority in the General Assembly, issued mandates with no such restraint. This led to Governor Youngkin issuing a mandate that removed the mask requirement mandate in schools.

This has created a firestorm across the Commonwealth, led by special interests that campaigned against him and have been upset that parents are more aware of what is happening in our schools. Some in Chesapeake immediately brought a lawsuit against the Governor’s mandate. Some school systems immediately rejected the Governor’s action based on a bill that was passed last year and was signed into law. They argued that the mandate was unlawful.

The law that passed, states that Virginia’s schools must follow the CDC directives.  It does not, however, require schools to follow CDC recommendations, which is different than a directive. Some counties will follow the Governor’s directive, some will not. This will play out in the courts.

Meanwhile, our children are being used as pawns. Rather than following science and commonsense, parents and students’ interests are being ignored. The real science research tells us several things. It tells us that children are far less likely to be infected with Covid than adults. Children, just as with adults, who are healthy, generally have mild cases. Likewise, many school-aged children have now been vaccinated. Most importantly, the masks that are most often used are worthless against the virus. Professional studies say that the only effective masks are the N95 masks that are not readily available for families or schools, and that they should be used only once and then discarded. All bills relating to this are being killed in the Democrat majority Senate. If we are to move forward, we must adjust our thoughts and actions to the most recent studies as this virus mutates.

RGGI

Governor Northam decided last year that Virginia should join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). This purports to help save the planet from Global Climate Change. That sounds reasonable only if you buy into the underlying arguments that the climate is warming and that we are the cause of it.  Since I have written previously about the misreported data in their modeling of projects years into the future, I will not repeat that argument.

However, there were questions last year as to why Virginia should be lumped into a region in which our electric rates are lower than those to the north that extends to New England. Interestingly, Pennsylvania, a state much like Virginia, has not joined. The most important factor in RGGI is that power producers must buy credits to continue to emit greenhouse gases.

The result is that someone must pay for the credits that must be bought. That would be you! Everyone’s electric bill is being raised in this process. As Governor Northam left office, he was bragging about the wonderful things that the money brought in by the state was accomplishing. He also explained that part of that money would be used to help pay the rising electric bills of the needy. In effect, our state government is now acting as Robin Hood, stealing from all and giving to some. This is bad policy.

This allows some politicians to campaign about the evil power companies. While at the same time, it extorts cash from those same companies to pay for their pet projects. The result is that the same pollutants are being released into our environment.

Governor Youngkin and most in the General Assembly are trying to reverse this charade, however, the liberals in the Senate are committed to blocking those efforts.

Frank Ruff Jr. represents Lunenburg in the state Senate. His email address is Sen.Ruff@verizon.net.