Vermont Daily Today

Vermont Daily: Friday, October 23, 2020 Edition

Report: Bernie wants Biden to name him Secretary of Labor

Who would fill Sanders’ Senate seat?

By Guy Page

Vermont conservatives see a silver lining if Joe Biden defeats Donald Trump on November 3: Vermont may no longer have Bernie Sanders as a senator. 

According to Politico, Bernie Sanders wants a President-elect Biden to appoint him the next U.S. Secretary of Labor. The online news magazine quotes someone “close to the senator” as saying: “I can confirm he’s trying to figure out how to land that role or something like it. He, personally, does have an interest in it.”  WCAX says neither he nor wife Jane are denying the story. 

Which raises two questions: what would Bernie do as Secretary of Labor, and who would take his place in the Senate? MORE…..

State may provide temporary fuel tanks to “red-tagged” homeowners

By Guy Page

Gov. Phil Scott said the State of Vermont may provide temporary fuel storage to homeowners prohibited from receiving heating fuel deliveries due to uninspected or substandard fuel tanks, Gov. Scott said at his press conference today.

Vermont Daily asked: “An estimated 1600 homeowners have “red tags” on their fuel tanks prohibiting fuel deliveries, per the 2017 law. For as yet uninspected homes with no red tags, only heating oil tanks may be filled. Is your administration considering relaxing any of these no-delivery regulations?” 

“We’re considering that issue as we speak,” Scott said. “We don’t want anyone to be impacted in a negative way.” One option under review by the Department of Environmental Conservation is to provide temporary fuel storage to homeowners with “red tagged” or uninspected non-heating oil tanks, he said. He emphasized that many “red tagged” fuel tanks represent an environmental risk and should not be filled. 

Under a 2017 law, fuel dealers are prohibited from delivering heating fuel to homeowners whose fuel tanks have 1) not been inspected (except for fuel oil) or 2) have been inspected and found to need repair or replacement. The heating fuel industry in Vermont is booking into December to do inspections, repairs, and replacements. MORE…..

Donald Trumps makes claim of 35-year low carbon emissions about 40 seconds into this video

FACT CHECK: Are U.S. CO2 emissions now the lowest in 35 years?

Last night President Donald Trump claimed U.S. Co2 emissions are at a 35-year low. Fact Check: True – due mostly to natural gas replacing coal

by Guy Page

Near the end of last night’s debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joseph Biden, President Trump declared that “We have the best carbon emissions numbers that we’ve had in 35 years, under this administration.”

Could this be true? Does the administration that withdrew the USA from the Paris Climate Accords actually have the lowest carbon emissions since the Reagan era?

Yes, it’s true, according the latest monthly energy review by the United States Energy Information Administration, the government clearing house of energy data. See below and page 197 of PDF. The first three and a half years of the Trump administration have by far the lowest total CO2 emissions, across all energy sectors, of any administration since the first term of Ronald Reagan.

C02 emissions peaked at 6 billion metric tons in 2007. During the Trump administration the highest annual figure was 5.2 billion metric tons. This year is on target for falling below 5 billion for the first year since 1985 – admittedly with an assist from the pandemic.

An analysis of the different C02-emitting sectors show little change year-over-year in transportation carbon emissions. Total gasoline-related emissions have remained roughly level since 1995, with a slight reduction during the Obama presidency. But the real, if unacknowledged carbon reduction success story is the replacement of cheap, dirty coal with even cheaper, cleaner “fracked” natural gas.

In 2007, 2.1 billion metric tons of carbon was emitted from burning coal, virtually all to make electricity. Coal comprised more than a third of the USA’s total carbon emissions. By 2019 the figure had plummeted to 1.1 billion. In the same time period, natural gas emissions were up a third – indicating the rapid dominance achieved by natural gas for both building heat and generation of electricity. The annual volume of “fracked” natural gas began in earnest in about 2010, and has grown steadily since.

State tax receipts up 23% in September, 9% in Q1

Revenue exceeds expectations lowered by pandemic

General Fund revenues for the month of September were $165.97 million versus the monthly target of $134.49 million, +$31.49 million or +23.41% above the consensus target, Administration Secretary Suzanne Young reported today

The largest single above target performance was Personal Income Tax receipts, which were +$22.89 million or +29.20% above the monthly target of $78.39 million. Corporate Income Tax receipts of $24.03 million were also ahead of target by +$8.90 million, or +58.9%. Year-to-date General Fund revenues were $572.80 million, +$49.27 million or +9.41% above the consensus target of $523.54 million. 

“The fact that receipts for the first quarter of this fiscal year exceeded forecasts in all three funds is a positive development,” concluded Secretary Young. “The forecasts adopted in August, however, were lowered significantly from the January forecast pre-pandemic and the receipts this quarter if viewed against that earlier forecast reflect the current difficult and uncertain economic circumstances presented by the pandemic.”

Meals and Rooms tax receipts were down, while property transfer taxes were up. Both trends reflect the impact of the pandemic. Tourism is way down, while out-of-staters are buying Vermont homes at a rapid pace. 

Categories: Vermont Daily Today

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