Keep open for solar
As the weather gets warmer and we move into the sunny days of spring, we should all appreciate the potential that sunshine has to offer our state, which has jumped from 43rd to 25th in the nation in solar generation since 2018. As the saying goes, let's make hay (or energy) while the sun shines. Solar technology is providing jobs, improving communities, and saving Arkansans money on utilities.
However, access to solar in Arkansas is seriously threatened by House Bill 1787. This bill would kill millions of dollars in economic development and construction in Arkansas' rural communities and eliminate hundreds of jobs.
The Solar Access Act of 2019 has spurred Arkansas' solar growth, which continues through large-scale solar projects that are in the works for communities, businesses, and schools across the state. HB1787 puts these projects at risk, and would make the adoption of solar economically unfeasible for many businesses and nonprofits. We cannot afford legislative overreach that harms business development in our state. Arkansas needs to ensure regulatory stability to allow the market to thrive.
While the utilities claim that solar increases costs for customers, the evidence shows the opposite is true: Solar customers save utilities and their other customers money, and altering the Solar Access Act would raise electricity rates for all ratepayers. As Governor Hutchinson put it, let's keep Arkansas "open for solar business."
They're all about sex
It seems that sex is the only thing on the minds of Arkansas legislators these days--or the denial of Arkansans' rights to determine and act on their own proclivities and beliefs. Taking away citizens' rights to make decisions about their own bodies is an obsession with these far-right, obnoxiously hyper-religious legislators, who appear to believe that they have a duty to dictate and proscribe the most personal and intimate choices and actions of their constituents. This legislative session has reached an all-time high (or should I say low) in hubris and hypocrisy and is a perfect illustration of the reasons Arkansas remains at the bottom of the barrel among the 50 states in health, income, education, gun deaths, and social progress.
The last time I looked, the Old Testament was not part of the U.S. or the Arkansas constitutions, and separation of church and state was still at least a pretense. Try to tell that to any of our benighted legislators, who are committed to turning back the clock on women's and LGBTQ rights and making sure that there are enough guns and a legal license to kill anybody who thinks differently and poses a perceived threat to their homophobia and covert racism.
I love this state, which Mother Nature has endowed with such abundant natural beauty, but its elected government is a sad, sad commentary on the worst, most narrow-minded and regressive tendencies of human nature.
North Little Rock
Out of Afghanistan
President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump both are due appreciation for finally getting us out of Afghanistan where, in my opinion, we should have never been. Even former President George W. Bush now reportedly agrees we should have never gone into Afghanistan.
After we have been there for 20 years, the Taliban now reportedly control more territory than before we invaded. Thus we have spent untold billions of dollars and lost thousands of lives with little if anything accomplished. The Afghan people seemingly don't want us there any more than did the Iraqis. How can we dictate how other people live when we have so many murders here?
Let's try working together to solve our own problems before we try to dictate to other countries as to how they should live.
To address challenges
We celebrate Earth Day once more. Earth Day was started in 1970 to bring American attention to the needs of the environment. These efforts led to the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency, established under the Nixon administration.
Fifty years later, we are experiencing unprecedented global warming. Last year was the second-warmest year on record. Scientists have found evidence of earlier warming and cooling periods in Earth's history. These past warming or cooling events took millennia, centuries, not decades like we are experiencing now. One is not supposed to experience rapid global warming in one's lifetime.
One cannot help but wonder what struggles our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren will share. In Iroquois society, leaders are encouraged to consider seven generations in the future when making decisions that affect the people.
Awareness, understanding, and action to address climate have begun to some degree, but honestly, much more will need to be done.
Unfortunately, the United States is home to likely the largest group of climate-deniers in the world. Survey after survey indicates that the vast majority of Americans, regardless of political party affiliation, recognize climate change and support actions to address it. The party that once championed the environment and established the EPA is in denial and has refused to take action to address our warming planet.
It will take all of us pulling together in the same direction to suppress these rising temperatures. If the recent response to covid-19 is any indication, the steps needed to address climate change could be a challenge.
Help celebrate Earth Day by supporting and voting for political candidates prepared to address the global warming challenges facing us and our future seven generations.
If he doesn't like her
I have been reading John Brummett's regular columns on next year's governor's race with interest. I had been undecided, as various potential candidates announced. But after reading his columns continuously slamming Sarah Huckabee and apparently trying to create some grass-roots movement for Jim Hendren, I have decided to support Sarah.
When a left-winger like Brummett spends that much effort and time trying to convince me that she's a terrible choice, it provides me all the reason I need to support her.
It would be far better
The old wisdom is correct: Arkansas would be better off if its Constitution called for the Legislature to meet for two days every 60 years, instead of the present requirement of 60 days every two years.