The Score: Housing Policy, Renewable Energy, Voting Machines, Fossil Fuels

This week on The Score – What kind of housing policies work best? Is there a future for renewable energy? How are voting machines kept secure? Does Virginia’s General Assembly reflect the state’s age cohorts?

Housing Policy
Emily Hamilton Mercatus Center housingBut first, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University recently published a study about housing policies in the Baltimore to Washington corridor, which includes dozens of jurisdictions in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. It’s called “Inclusionary Zoning and Housing Market Outcomes.”

I spoke to research fellow Emily Hamilton about that study and other recent housing news. We met at the Mercatus Center in Arlington on Tuesday.

Emily Hamilton has previously appeared on The Score in March of this year and in July 2018. You can find her on Twitter as @ebwhamilton.

Renewable Energy
The cost and availability of electricity is also in the news. Most electrical power in the United States has traditionally been generated by fossil fuels – coal, oil, and natural gas. What about alternatives like solar, wind, and hydropower?

Nader Sobhani Niskanen Center renewable energyI went to the Niskanen Center in Washington to speak to Nader Sobhani, a climate policy associate at that think tank. We have something in common: both of us earned our master’s degree at the London School of Economics (although in different disciplines and different years).

Sobhani has recently written several articles about this topic: “A cost-effective tool to reduce the risks of climate change” (The Hill); “Renewables Do Not Rely On ‘Magical Thinking’ — They Are Winning On Price“; and “Are Renewables Driving Up Electricity Prices?

We talked about renewable energy on Tuesday afternoon. You can find Nader Sobhani on Twitter as @nsobhani_smrc, while the Niskanen Center is there as @NiskanenCenter.

Logic and Accuracy
Melissa Morton Charlottesville registrarIt wasn’t that long ago that I served on the Charlottesville Electoral Board and performed Logic and Accuracy (L&A) testing of voting machines before every election. I visited Charlottesville’s new general registrar, Melissa Morton, to ask her about this process and how it helps maintain election integrity and voter confidence. In anticipation of the November 5 elections, Charlottesville’s L&A will take place on the morning of October 28.

As it turns out, this issue was highlighted on Thursday by WVIR-TV, the NBC affiliate in Charlottesville, in a story reported by CJ Paschall.

I talked to Melissa on Wednesday afternoon in her office. The Office of Voter Registration and Elections can be found on Twitter as @CvilleVotes.

Delegates’ Demographics
Virginia is one of only a few states with elections this November, and the only one where every seat in the legislature is up for a vote. Both the state Senate and House of Delegates will get new members after November fifth.

Virginia General Assembly Rachel MaceOn Thursday afternoon, I spoke by phone with Rachel Mace, who is running in the 41st House of Delegates district as a Libertarian against incumbent Democrat Eileen Filler-Corn, the House minority leader. If Filler-Corn is re-elected and the Democrats win a majority, she will become the first female Speaker of the House in Virginia history.

I first asked Mace about research she has done about the age make-up of the House of Delegates. About half the members belong to the Silent Generation and the Baby Boomers, with Millennials and Generation X filling up most of the rest of the chamber.

From the Archives
Earlier in the show, we talked about renewable energy with the Niskanen Center’s Nader Sobhani. In this interview from the archives, I ask former Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Becky Norton Dunlop about fossil fuels. We met at the Conservative Political Action Conference in March 2014.

From the Archives, here’s Becky Norton Dunlop, now the Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow at the Heritage Foundation. You can find her on Twitter as @resourcesgal.

Let me give a special October 26th birthday shout-out to the voice you hear between our segments – she’d be listening if she weren’t out celebrating with punch and pie.

Be sure to come back next week for more news, reviews, and interviews. I’ll be reporting from the Virginia Film Festival, where I have already interviewed actor Dennis Christopher (Breaking Away, Django Unchained), producer Pattie Sellers (Port of Destiny: Peace), and television writer/director Steven J. Kung (ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat, Netflix’s Dear White People).

Don’t forget to tell your friends where to find us and feel free to join the conversation by leaving comments below.