Clean Heat Standard passes House 98-46

After a lengthy floor debate, the Clean Heat Standard was approved by the Vermont House 98 to 46 Thursday, April 20. 

The bill directs the Public Utilities Commission to spend the next year and a half and about $1.6 million dollars on developing what can be put most simply as a cap and trade system in an attempt to lower the greenhouse gas emissions from non-transportation fossil fuels. A check-back provision in the bill requires the legislature to vote to enact the program after it is designed by the PUC but before full implementation.

If the program sounds complicated, that’s because it is, as you can see in the infographic to the left, which simplifies it as much as it can. In short, credits can be earned by certain activities, such as installing heat pumps, that reduce fossil fuel use. Fossil fuel dealers then have an obligation to purchase those credits or create their own. 

Many in the legislature have taken the perspective that the bill is an overpriced study because, as we noted earlier, the legislation is directing the PUC to design the program but not implement it. The issue with that logic is that there is a high likelihood that whatever the PUC creates and brings back to the legislature, they will likely say is too well calibrated and complicated to adjust for whatever the legislature doesn’t like, and at this future date, there will be a doubt that the state will meet the greenhouse gas targets statutorily mandated under the Global Warming Solutions Act. This will lead advocates to claim that the confluence of sunk costs and impending citizen suit via GWSA means that there is no time or ability to do anything other than accept what has been presented by the PUC. That’s just our prediction, and we did predict the outcome of GWSA correctly. 

The bill has been contentious for many reasons, with the potential cost being one in particular. We’ve covered, as have the press, the controversial cost estimates by the Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources that the program could add up to 70 cents per gallon to the cost of fuel, which environmentalists and some lawmakers protested as preposterous despite not having an estimated cost of their own. An amendment was offered by Rep. Jim Harrison on the floor to establish a ceiling on credits so that no more than 20 cents a gallon would be felt by customers, but that effort was rejected by a vote of 101 to 43.

After third and final reading in the House today, where Rep. Scott Beck (R-St. Johnsbury) has proposed a checkback amendment, the bill now goes back to the Senate, where it should quickly move due to the changes in the House being rather minor. This would put the bill on the Governor’s desk soon, where many expect a veto, as he has expressed dismay with the bill and requested a more extensive checkback provision. – Republished from Lake Champlain Chamber April 21 Advocacy Update newsletter

Categories: Legislation

12 replies »

  1. Vermont, American Marxism in action!
    This is another good reason to abandon the state for one that believes in capitalism and fair market economics.

  2. The beginning of the end. The globalization of our blessed state is becoming nag ushered in without consent.
    Enough is enough. All of this will be null and void IF we simply secede from the US empire. It’s our right to do so as it is with the republic of Texas. We can be the Switzerland 🇨🇭of North America 🇺🇸 🇨🇦 and be an honorable people once again. The Second Vermont Republic is in its 3rd trimester ready to pop. The time is right for the 2VR.

  3. I have written to my County Senators as follows:

    Dear Senator,

    You will soon have the opportunity to review and vote on the revised S.5.

    Voting in favor of this bill is the worst thing you can do to the people, all of the people, of Vermont.

    Every dollar diverted by this mislabeled carbon tax takes spendable money out of the pocket of every Vermonter and raises the cost of living in Vermont.

    This is not a tradeoff. There is no measurable global warming result.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Milton A. Eaton
    86 Brets Road
    Brattleboro VT
    802 376-0619

  4. For the sake of transparency, I am sharing the email I sent to my representative.

    Good morning Representative Conlon,

    I am emailing to request that you vote “NO” ON Bill S.5. There is no doubt that this bill will negativity impacted all but the richest and most privileged individuals living or owning property in Vermont.

    The preferred energy options are unreliable, expensive and perform poorly in cold weather regions. Solar energy is a poor performer in one of the cloudiest places in America. In addition, the electric grid is not capable of handling the increased demand required for the state to convert heating systems to electric heat pumps, which again perform poorly in cold weather climates.

    While I do use a pellet stove, the bags of bellets are 40 pounds apiece and need to be physically carried from the outside to the inside of someone’s home. Our state demographics consists of an aging population, most will not meet the physical requirements needed to use a pellet stove.

    Lastly, we do not have the workforce to make the necessary energy upgrades. Therefore, people will be forced into poverty, as they struggle to pay their heating bills, due to the carbon tax associated with fuel oil or they will be forced to leave the state.

    I believe one senior froze to death in his home last winter. We will most likely see more of this in the future if S.5 is implemented, or of course seniors could choose to go the pharmacy to get assisted suicide medication. I am sure they will appreciate our legislature making this option available to them in the face of freezing to death. I apologize, I regress.

    These policies are in service to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and Environmental Social Governance, which the Biden Administration supports, as well as the World Economic Forum and it’s stakeholders.

    At what point do we slow down to consider the human impact of such policies. It would be one thing if we had the resources and infrastructure in place to support SDG policies, but we don’t.

    From my perspective, sustainability has nothing to do with sustaining the population, human rights or human dignity. These policies will financially crush Vermonters and America at large, decimating the middle class.

    I am asking you to break from what is being demanded by your party and to instead do what is right. Vote “NO” and give Vermont the time needed to make this transition when the resources exist to support such a transition.

    Christine Stone
    Resident, Leicester, Vermont

  5. Why stay in Vermont and live under the illusion that anything is going to change or that Vermont’s looney voters will come to their senses? South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Texas. All fine alternatives.

  6. When can we expect Senator McDonald’s blankets for warmth fundraiser? I hear many say they are leaving Vermont. I don’t blame them. If you have the means and a place to go, I wish you all the best. I will caution if you are going to go, you better do it quickly. The market bubbles are bursting. Our currency is devaluing at a record pace. I will not be driven out of my home or home State by the freaks of misery. The collapse is coming and it is going to destroy them. Declared and decreed!

  7. For sale sign going up within the next 12 months. Enjoy your woke playpen, folks.

  8. The assertion in the flowchart that biofuels are a “cleaner alternative” to traditional fuels is ridiculous.

  9. wow!! Vermont, a pimple on an elephant’s ass, is going to save the world while in the meantime killing Vermonters!

  10. I agree with gtpooh68. And while I would like to move back west only more north…Montana to be exact, I have put so much work…blood sweat and tears into my property to make it a working homestead, I can’t start over. I’m not young anymore. I worry a great deal about what happens to this state. These woke progressives need to be “deprogrammed” because there is no having a logical, civil discussion with them. So I stay and fight.

  11. Time to sue the likes of Vermont’s notorious Bill McKibben who has made his fortune on the global warming scam.
    After a thorough review of a broad spectrum of literature on climate change, Friends of Science Society has concluded that the sun is the main driver of climate change, not carbon dioxide (CO2).
    Time to take this excuse to the courts before they completely destroy our economy for political control, not our well being.
    RESiST THE RATS. Destroy their false arnument.