by Matt Cota, Vermont Fuel Dealers Association
The Burlington City Council voted 10-2 Monday evening for a charter change resolution that may result in a ban of oil and gas heat.
What happens next?
Voters in Burlington will decide on March 2, 2021 whether to approve the charter change. If they do, the Legislature will be asked to sign off on the proposal.
If the City Council is given permission from both Burlington voters and the Vermont Legislature, they could ban oil and gas heat in new construction and charge an “impact fee” for those that want to stick with their existing heating system.
After hearing from concerned constituents who watched this WCAX-TV report, an amendment was added that requires any future carbon tax ordinance to be approved by city voters.
In other words, if the Vermont Legislature gives Burlington permission to tax its own residents for staying warm, voters will get a second chance to say no.
Click here to watch the full City Council debate.
Click here to watch the WCAX story featuring VFDA’s comments.
For more on the Burlington Burner Ban, go to vermontfuel.com/burnerban.
[Editorial comment: if this charter change passes, Vermonters have got to wonder – what’s next? Eliminating heating fuel assistance for low income Burlington residents if it pays for natural gas? Requiring restaurants to cook with electric burners? Removing propane patio heaters on church street that are keeping restaurants open during the pandemic?]