Monday, March 25, 2013

Sandy Garst Differs with Tea Party Federation

Sandy Garst comments on some bills heard in the Virginia General Assembly, 2013, pertaining to property rights and "Agenda 21":

"Agenda 21/Property Rights Bills

*Important Reminder: As of 2010, each bill submitted costs approximately $3000-$5000 to process.*


I have reported on 57 bills relating to Agenda 21 and/or Property Rights.  There were many more bills this session that could have been included. 

Because the people on my distribution list know about Agenda 21, I am only going to explain my positions on a couple of bills that differ from Tea Party positions.  I am not saying that the Tea Party Federation is wrong because they have valid reasons for their assessments.  I just came to a different conclusion based on my bias and what I could interpret.   

“Establishes a special nonreverting fund known as the Wetland and Stream Replacement Fund to receive moneys paid to the State Water Control Board for mitigation of any impacts that a project may have on wetlands. The moneys in the fund are to be disbursed to purchase mitigation bank credits…”

Ø  I oppose all funds that do not relate to a specific core governmental function and even then I question the need when a budget would suffice.

Ø  This fund supports the Agenda 21 tool of wetland mitigation that is in opposition to private property rights.

Ø  Wetland mitigation banking is similar to the carbon credit exchange the federal government wanted to force on us.  It is a cap and tax scheme. 

Fiscal Implications: “DEQ anticipates requiring one position at an annual cost of $80,000 for salary and benefits. If the revenues derived from this fee are insufficient to cover the entire cost of the position, the agency will have to absorb the remaining impact, absent some general fund support.”

Ø  This is an expansion of government that will cost not only those poor folks whose property has been labeled a wetland but most likely every taxpayer.


Establishes the Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium Authority as a political subdivision of the Commonwealth for the purposes of making the Commonwealth a national and global leader in nuclear energy and serving as an interdisciplinary study, research, and information resource for the Commonwealth on nuclear energy issue.”


·         “Summary: This legislation establishes the Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium Authority (Authority) as a political subdivision of the Commonwealth. The Authority will be governed by a 17-member board of directors, ten of whom are appointed by the Governor, five representing specific public institutions of higher education, and two representing the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. The Authority is required to form a nonstock, nonprofit corporation, which would be referred to as the “Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium” (Consortium). Membership in the Consortium will be opened to both public and private institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth, Virginia-based federal research laboratories, nuclear-related nonprofit organizations, business entities with operating facilities in Virginia that are engaged in activities directly related to the nuclear energy industry, and other individuals whose membership is granted by the Consortium's board of directors. The purposes of the Consortium include carrying out the rights, powers, and duties of the Authority and conducting other activities useful in:

·         making the Commonwealth a leader in nuclear energy,

·         serving as an interdisciplinary study, research, and information resource for the Commonwealth on nuclear energy issues, and

·         raising money on behalf of the Authority in the corporate and nonprofit community and from other nonstate sources.”


Ø  This creates a public-private partnership and public-private partnerships are an Agenda 21 tool.

Ø  This creates an unelected Authority that will affect the nuclear energy industry.

Ø  This “political subdivision of the Commonwealth” represents an expansion of government.

Ø  This Authority is going to need money to operate and it would be naïve to think tax dollars will not be allocated to fund it through grants, tax credits, or direct funding.

Ø  If Virginia were to become a national and global leader in nuclear energy, it would best happen through the free market.  Government and Academia usually just add expense and interference.



HB 2190 Stormwater management ordinances; requires localities to adopt more stringent requirements.Summary: This bill requires localities to report to the Department of Conservation and Recreation when a more stringent stormwater management ordinance or stormwater requirements are developed by the localities.”

Ø  This takes power away from localities. 


“Fiscal Implications: This bill could result in administrative costs to the Department of Conservation and Recreation resulting from greater regulatory review requirements. Specifically, the addition of language directing appeals of locality decisions regarding BMP usage limitations to the Department may result in additional time and resource impacts depending on the magnitude of such appeals. Such costs are indeterminate.”

Ø  This will be an added expense.  Who will pay?"