News January 14

Senator Sanders

Global Warming Sen. Bernie Sanders says the warmest year on record in the United States and in Vermont has persuaded him it's time to get serious about climate change. The independent lawmaker says he plans to introduce legislation that would include a tax on greenhouse gas emissions from the biggest polluters, more money for energy efficiency and clean energy research and development, the Rutland Herald, Brattleboro Reformer and Caledonian-Record reported. LINK, LINK, LINK

Wind Energy Sen. Sanders’ letter to the editor of The Wall Street Journal objecting to the paper’s opposition to wind subsidies was “a masterpiece of complaint: clever, direct, deadly,” according to the Beatrice (Neb.) Daily Sun. LINK

Independents Sen. Angus King is profiled by The Hill in an article which mentions that Sen. Sanders is the Senate’s other independent. LINK


U.S. Warplanes in Somalia U.S. military fighter jets provided backup support to a failed French hostage rescue mission in Somalia, the White House announced Sunday in a rare public acknowledgment of American combat operations in the Horn of Africa. In a letter to Congress, President Obama said U.S. combat aircraft “provided limited technical support” to French forces late Friday as they attempted to rescue a French spy who had been held captive for more than three years, The Washington Post reported. LINK


Debt Clash The showdown over the nation's debt ceiling could force the government to consider drastic steps to manage its limited cash, including delaying trillions of dollars of payments to employees, Social Security recipients, contractors and others. The Obama administration has said it has no backup plan to pay the government's bills if Congress refuses to raise the $16.4 trillion federal borrowing limit. The White House said Saturday in a statement that "there are only two options to deal with the debt limit: Congress can pay its bills or it can fail to act and put the nation into default,” The Wall Street Journal reported. LINK

Defense Former secretary of state Colin Powell on Sunday defended former Nebraska senator Chuck Hagel’s qualifications to be the next defense secretary, The Washington Post reported. Hagel will meet this week with Senator Charles E. Schumer, The New York Times reported. LINK


Water Bottle Ban UVM is the latest university to ban on-campus sales of bottled water. "Bottled water is a symbol of our culture's obsession with commodifying things that should be public trust resources," says Mikayla McDonald, a recent graduate, who helped launch the bottle ban campaign, NPR reported. LINK

Vermont Yankee Entergy Corp faces appeals court arguments by Vermont that the state has the authority to shut its only nuclear power plant. Lawyers for Entergy, the operator of the Vermont Yankee plant, are set to argue a district judge was correct in ruling that the decision whether to close a reactor for safety reasons belongs to the federal government and not the state. Both sides are scheduled to present their arguments today to the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York, Bloomberg reported. LINK

Crooked Cop A former Vermont State Police sergeant charged with padding his time sheets is expected to change his plea today. James Deeghan is scheduled to withdraw his not-guilty pleas on Monday on two felony counts. State Police say they can now document almost $213,000 in fraud by Deeghan, including $79,827 for his part of a contract with the town of Jericho between 2006 and July 2012. The town wants a refund. Selectboard Member Kim Mercer said the money should not come from state taxpayers, the Burlington Free Press reported. LINK