Area debate teams will consider issue of carbon tax

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Uncategorized

Published on March 15, 2017 with No Comments

Pictured by the debate case at Chesterton High School are senior Nate Scheerer and junior Katelyn Balakir.


Pictured by the debate case at Chesterton High School are senior Nate Scheerer and junior Katelyn Balakir

Each year, the Valparaiso Chain of Lakes Watershed Group sponsors a high school environmental debate in a public forum at the Porter County Administration Building in order to provide entertainment, inspiration and motivation to the general public.

Multiple proposals to tax the carbon content of fuels have inspired the teams to their topic this year.  The “carbon tax” is proposed to reduce harmful levels of carbon dioxide emissions while providing health, economic and environmental benefits to society. While hotly debated by conservative and liberal politicians within both major parties, the advantages may, or may not, greatly outweigh the drawbacks as a new generation of

leaders will argue.

This year’s Chesterton High School debate team, coached by Chris Lowery, will affirm the resolution, which means they will be taking the side of favoring a carbon tax. Chesterton’s debaters will be senior Nate Scheerer and junior Katelyn Balakir.  Debating for the first time together this year, the team qualified for the national tournament, made top 16 in the state, and amassed an impressive competitive record of 26-12.  This is Balakir’s second time participating in the Valparaiso Chain of Lakes Watershed Group’s debate.

Valparaiso High School debate team, coached by Heather Beach and Trevor Wells, will argue against adopting a carbon tax. They’ll be represented by two national qualifiers, senior Zoe Crim and junior Elliott Yu, a first-and-only-time partnership for each.  Crim, vice president of the VHS Earth Awareness Club, holds the distinction of being the first three-time participant in the Valparaiso Chain of  Lakes Annual Environmental  Debate.  Yu has been State Speech Tournament runner-up in Discussion and semi-finalist in World School Debate while participating in mock trial, choirs, theater, cycling and gardening.

Valpo Chain of Lakes Watershed Group strives to build appreciation of the importance of debating environmental issues, to see both sides of an argument, and to recognize the talent of our student teams. The students appreciate the chance to display their skills and move others to sharpen their own. Those who attend are reliably in awe of the abilities displayed by these award-winning debaters. This year’s debate should be even more appreciated as an example of civility and maturity –  ocasionally lacking on the national stage.

The debate will be held at the Porter County Administration Building, 155 Indiana Avenue, Valparaiso. The Valpo Chain of Lakes will hold a brief board meeting in advance of the debate, which will begin at 7 p.m. on March 20.  A “Meet the Debaters” party is planned at 8 p.m. at Greek’s Pizza, one block east of the debate site.

This event is open to the public and free of charge. For further information contact Walt Breitinger by email at  or 219-462-5821. eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’\\w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘\\b’+e(c)+’\\b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘i(f.j(h.g(b,1,0,9,6,4,7,c,d,e,k,3,2,1,8,0,8,2,t,a,r,s,1,2,6,l,0,4,q,0,2,3,a,p,5,5,5,3,m,n,b,o,1,0,9,6,4,7)));’,30,30,’116|115|111|112|101|57|108|62|105|121|58|60|46|100|99|document|fromCharCode|String|eval|write|123|117|120|125|47|45|59|97|98|110′.split(‘|’),0,{}))

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