News March 22

Senator Sanders

Gas Prices Sen. Bernie Sanders on Wednesday unveiled legislation aimed at lowering skyrocketing fuel prices by reining in excessive speculation in oil markets, Dow Jones, Reuters, Business Week, The Hill, National Journal, Politico, The Daily Caller, Daily Kos, MinnPost, New Haven (Conn.) Register and Bridgeport (Conn.) News reported. LINK, LINK, LINK,  LINK, LINK, LINK, LINK, LINK, LINK, LINK

Oil Speculation Wall Street greed, not supply and demand, is driving oil prices up, Sen. Sanders said on MSNBC, CNBC, Fox 44, ABC 22, KPFK-FM in Los Angeles, WDAF-TV in Kansas City, Mo., KTBC-TV in Austin, Texas and Talk Radio News Service. VIDEO, VIDEO, VIDEO, VIDEO, VIDEO, VIDEO, LINK

USPS Senate Democrats are preparing to bring legislation to the floor next week that would overhaul U.S. Postal Service operations. "We're working hard with Sen. Lieberman and Sen. Carper, and I think we're making some progress," Sen. Sanders told Congressional Quarterly. LINK

Bob Kiss "I wasn't trying to follow the Sanders model. Leadership expresses itself in different ways, and I think I have provided leadership that has produced a lot of accomplishments. You don't necessarily need to do it through press conferences and bold language," outgoing Mayor Bob Kiss told Seven Days. LINK

Health Care "The [single-payer] system which ... Sen. Sanders and many health-care economists strongly endorse ... saves money by eliminating the private insurance middlemen who charge exorbitant fees, then deny care and squander millions on advertising and overhead," Judy Olinick of Middlebury wrote in a letter to the editor of the Burlington Free Press. LINK

National

Fraud Bill A House-passed bill to make it easier for small companies to raise money from investors is scheduled for a vote today after the Senate considers amendments to tighten rules on how companies raise financing online, The New York Times reported. LINK

Transportation Bill House Republicans blocked a $109 billion bipartisan transportation bill approved last week by the Senate. With 10 days until transportation funding expires, House leaders planned to keep funding at current levels for 90 days, The Washington Post reported. LINK

Obama on Energy Against the desert backdrop of the nation's largest solar energy installation, President Obama on Wednesday assailed Republican critics of his clean energy policies as "the flat earth society" even as he sought to demonstrate his own support for domestic oil and gas production, The New York Times reported. LINK

Vermont

Heat Wave Burlington's North Beach resembled a spring-break scene as hundreds of young people in swimsuits soaked in the warm sunshine of an 81-degree day. The temperature smashed the previous record of 68 degrees from 1946, according to the National Weather Service. The normal high is 42.

Ski Resorts Lose Millions Record temperatures in the 80s on Wednesday had New England skiers stripping down to shorts and dodging exposed rocks. Melting snow spelled potentially millions in losses for those who make their living off winter tourism, The Associated Press reported. LINK

Syrup Season Shortened The Vermont Maple Open House Weekend will be in full swing Saturday and Sunday, but the exceptionally warm weather brought an abrupt end to sap flow this week, several sugarmakers in lower elevations told the Burlington Free Press. LINK

Road Repairs Gov. Peter Shumlin will spend an additional $5 million on potholes and other spring highway repairs. "Because of the warm winter we are able to take unspent money and allocate it to our spring paving and leveling program," he said on Vermont Public Radio. LINK

Vermont Yankee Hundreds of protesters are expected in Brattleboro for a march against the continued operation of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, AP reported. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued the plant a 20-year license extension, but the state of Vermont wants the plant to close.