Despathy: VPIRG is not Vermont’s voice

The “Make Big Oil Pay” hypocrisy

by Alison Despathy

“We learned in kindergarten… If you make a mess, you clean it up”- Make Big Oil Pay campaign

Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG), Vermont Natural Resources Council (VNRC), and Vermont Conservation Voters (VCV) have joined forces to create the Make Big Oil Pay campaign. Intended to build support for state legislation that demands a lawsuit to achieve a Climate Superfund, according to the Make Big Oil Pay website, this legislation would 

–Require the largest fossil fuel companies to pay for the damages they’ve caused in VT

–Raise 2.5 billion dollars over 25 years

Alison Despathy

–Utilize the money to repair infrastructure, mitigate climate health impacts, and make climate solutions more affordable for Vermonters.

Last week, I attended a Make Big Oil Pay campaign at the Athenaeum Library in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. Surrounded by stacks of books filled with wisdom, critical thinking, rich history, and passion, the campaign was completely out of place. 

There is no other way to sum it up. This propaganda campaign is appalling and speaks volumes about their agenda to force their thoughts on others and prey upon fear. The “make big oil pay” presentation severely lacked any substance reflecting the complexity of actual environmental and energy issues. Instead the use of propaganda including intense, gripping music and recent flood pictures dominated their narrative. 

When you understand propaganda and its role in swaying opinions, the playbook is crystal clear–sound bytes, fear mongering and curated narratives. This exact model was used for the Keep Vermont Cool, S.5 -Affordable Heat Act campaign sponsored by VPIRG last year. It goes a little something like this.

Step 1- Create a campaign, take it on tour, amp up the hype with exaggerated dumbed-down messages, cherry picked data and zero nuance –viola–you have legislation growing in your special interest incubator.

Step 2– Carefully mix with all the climate champions who you have helped place in the Vermont statehouse, and you cannot fail, literally you cannot fail. These VPIRG trained legislators are essentially bound to the whims of VPIRG. Special interest politics in Vermont at its finest. A synthetic “movement” by the people generated by a highly coordinated and funded “non-profit.” It is actually a masterful recipe for running the show at the statehouse. Sadly it does not serve the environment or the people of Vermont. 

But we know this is the plan to justify and guarantee the legislation. VPIRG will whip up the campaign and ensure it looks legit and is the “will of the people.” The theatrics are all in play, and yes some will be roped in and fall for the facade. Despite their claims, VPIRG is NOT the voice of Vermont. Most Vermonters would have never supported S.5. People don’t vote to burden themselves with greater fees, limited options, coercion and environmental and social injustice. 

Regarding the campaign, honestly, who doesn’t want money from rich people? But that is not even the point. 

As a spectator at the event, I shared three comments. None received real answers, other than ‘we will take that back to our leaders.’ Several young adults ran the meeting. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for them, wondering if they knew their youth and passion were manipulated and taken advantage of by those really in charge.

COMMENT 1- All of us have used tons of fossil fuels to travel, heat our homes and run businesses; we purchase products everyday made via fossil fuels. Aren’t we all responsible for the world’s dependence on fossil fuels?  Can we own the fact that for better or worse, our economy, lifestyle, technological advancements are built upon fossil fuels. We have all taken part in this abundance of relatively cheap natural energy that allows us to cross states, continents, grow businesses and power practically all aspects of our lives. Chaos and rioting would ensue if the fossil fuel industry ceased operations. Making them pay, while simultaneously being dependent on their products is ignorant, hypocritical and doesn’t add up on any level except the oblivious, money-hungry, greed level. 

Semiconductors or microchips are a prime example. These are found everywhere today in our phones, computers, appliances, smart meters, lighting (LEDs), heat pumps, cars, solar panels, wind turbines and life saving medical devices. Rapidly developing Internet of Things Self Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology (SMART) are all dependent on semiconductors. As one of the greatest consumers of fossil fuel energy, a typical semiconductor fabrication plant uses 100 megawatt-hours of power each hour, more power than automotive and oil refineries require. This equates to the equivalent annual power consumed by 50,000 homes. 

And this is just semiconductors, this doesn’t even touch the amount of fossil fuels consumed by supercomputers, crypto mining, and Artificial Intelligence. Maybe the campaign should be changed to Make Everyone Pay. After the Unaffordable Heat Act, this seems to be the trajectory. 

This coercive shift to renewable energy, and all of the accompanying SMART technology and electronics demands vast amounts of both water and fossil fuel energy. Harmful chemicals and gasses such as perfluorocarbons (PFCs) are also used. This flies in the face of living lightly on the land and reducing energy consumption and pollution, yet this is promoted as the way of the future by renewable energy advocates who supposedly care about the environment and energy consumption. 

For those who play the bogus carbon game, Greenpeace also reported that, “Semiconductor manufacturing, a key step in the tech supply chain, is projected to emit 86 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) globally by 2030, more than Portugal’s total emissions in 2021.” Should everyone who uses semiconductors also pay into the Climate Superfund? This is the mentality we are contending with. 

COMMENT 2- VPIRG is a staunch, actually obsessive supporter of renewable energy. VPIRG’s board is dominated by the renewable energy industry. How does VPIRG justify their support of this campaign and Superfund legislation given that the entire renewable energy industry is dependent on fossil fuels for its existence? From making solar panels, wind turbines, semiconductors, recycling solar panels (when it even happens), mining copper, lithium, and cobalt — all of it requires heavy fossil fuel inputs and is wrought with environmental and social injustice. 

Most solar panels are made in China with the use of fossil fuels, slave labor and horrific human rights abuses, Driving electric vehicles with minerals mined through obscene amounts of fossil fuels and water, land devastation and child labor is the current reality. Biofuels are primarily made from genetically modified crops dependent on chemicals that are poisoning water, lands and people. Rampant deforestation is justified to make way for biofuel crops. Entire ecosystems, indigenous lands, and biodiversity are in peril, ironically due to the renewable energy industry. 

This industry is very simply another empire built upon the exploitation of people and the earth; gold, rubber, cotton, tea, tobacco, ivory, oil, copper, and now renewable energy, Shockingly it is supported at all costs by VPIRG, VNRC, VCV and many who claim to be “saving the environment” This is pure hypocrisy. Should all of these players also contribute to the Climate Superfund?

While discussing New York’s proposed Superfund Act and the “Polluter Pays” Principle, the Institute For Policy Integrity stated that, “Payments would be used to build green infrastructure to help the state adapt to climate change.”

If this Climate Superfund becomes a reality, VPIRG’s renewable energy board members would gain access to copious amounts of funding regardless of the fact that their products and services are all dependent on fossil fuels. What is the real intention behind this Climate Superfund, who does it really serve? 

This is how monopolies are built. Create legislation that greatly favors your industry and taxes and handicaps any competition—S.5- the Unaffordable Heat Act does exactly this. Next, ensure funding is readily available; the Superfund legislation as well as the Inflation Reductions Act fit here perfectly.  In essence, squash the competition, get subsidized, force your products on people and make them pay for it, is the real campaign. 

COMMENT 3– If the Superfund legislation passes and the lawsuit is successful in securing funding for Vermont, will VPIRG, VNRC and VCV no longer support S.5, the Unaffordable Heat Act which places the burden of the “climate crisis” and the energy transition onto the backs of Vermonters? Will they step away from this destructive legislation which brings added costs for heating fuel, no actual benefit to Vermonters and forces the entire thermal sector into the fraudulent carbon game? This is the real conversation that the campaign failed to address because this would interfere with their ultimate goal of full renewable energy dominance in Vermont regardless of cost, risks and reality. 

As a self proclaimed champion of the environment, VPIRG and the many climate champion legislators continue to ignore basic tenets of ecology. Habitat destruction, poisoning the earth, killing wildlife via renewable energy products and infrastructure is antithetical to true environmentalism, conservation and stewardship. Actual resilience in an ecosystem is built upon biodiversity and efficiency. Without this, a system is easily crippled by external stressors and exploited by predators. This is analogous to severely limiting Vermont’s heating sector to electrification. This level of dependence and lack of diversity brings risk and builds monopoly at the expense of the people.

Maybe VPIRG began with solid intentions to positively influence Vermont policy, sadly it has morphed into a narrow-minded, destructive entity that has lost itself in zealotry, special interest influence and dumbed down propaganda. Maybe this is the norm? A worthy organization with ethical goals is born and is then infiltrated by those hoping to capitalize on the established trust and reputation? Sadly, this appears to be the case. The Nature Conservancy is swinging bogus carbon credits, the Sierra Club supports fracked fossil gas and biomass expansion in Vermont and none have stepped up for the mass killing of North Atlantic Right Whales due to the offshore wind industry. Special interest has clearly hijacked the climate narrative and they are killing authentic environmentalism. The Make Big Oil Pay Campaign is nothing more than hypocritical greed.

The author is a clinical nutritionist in St. Johnsbury.

Categories: Commentary, Energy, Environment

18 replies »

  1. I hope you will read the AGE STRONG ROADMAP for another dystopian thinly veiled kettling and herding, and removing all choice and putting the State in charge of our elderly lives… they went for our children…now they want to control…in ‘planned communities’… how we should live out our lives. Endemic throughout is the ABSENCE of bolstering the FAMILY support…it does give lip service…but is really FILLED with gov’t subcontracting and development money from the state… yes…we are an aging state… but practicing for death is not the same thing as maintain health, and living out our lives independently.
    Talk about WRONG WRONG WRONG… and they say they asked us… what percentage of actual participants were ACTUAL seniors? Not many…
    I hope you take this on Alison… its dystopian and will cost the STATE
    plenty…and disregards the family, putting ALL the decisions into State hands…

  2. Spot on Alison Despathy. We need you in the VT state house. I would personally contribute to your campaign. I have great respect for you and your insight on many matters and your ability to write cogently and coherently about them. Thank you for all you do.

  3. The theater of the absurd reaching the final act and curtain call, or rather a giant hook entering stage left. There is an insane amount of money to be had and lost riding on this fear-based convenient lie. Mucho investment dollars about to be lost after being squandered over the past decade, not to mention the environmental damage done. As large credit lines are seizing up, large start up loans disappearing, interest rates climbing, bond markets failing, it is all hands on deck and shills called to immediate action. Attempting to shake down the oil conglomerates with lawfare warfare from unelected NGOs and their co-conspirators appears an exercise in futility, but desperation does breed fake contempt, does it not? Shame on the hucksters and shafters who facilitate this fraud and deception. The day of retribution is closing in on them as the money spicket is drying up in the strong, foreboding headwinds. The HAARP machine and CERN will be going bye-bye in this storm. God wins.

  4. Like BLM it’s a scam hell bent on destruction. As the author writes, “Making them pay, while simultaneously being dependent on their products is ignorant, hypocritical and doesn’t add up on any level except the oblivious, money-hungry, greed level.”

    We see with our own eyes and pocketbooks the devastating effects this movement has had to date. We don’t want to live like prehistoric humans; sleeping in caves, gathering fallen branches to build fires, cutting saplings to make bows, and sewing animal skins for clothing isn’t viable. Maybe that’s the point. I do strongly suspect the intent is to reduce the population and strength of our nation so those who want to rule can take over our country and run the world.

    We must reject everything these organizations stand for.

    • Also like BLM, these narratives about shutting down fossil fuel consumption, CO2 is bad, and Mankind is the cause of climate change are all driven by the Marxists. One of the goals of the communist revolution is to demoralize free people. Placing the blame for climate change on capitalists does just that. Then, those who feel demoralized will be less likely to be able to use critical thinking, and will be more susceptible to the power of suggestion. It should be noted that neither Russia nor China have made any real effort to curb their CO2 emissions and continue to ramp up fossil fuel consumption. All current data indicates the recent increase in atmospheric CO2 is beneficial to life on Earth as a whole. By burning fossil fuels, mankind very well may have saved life on earth by releasing that carbon so that it can be used once again to grow more life.

  5. Can you see who runs our state? Throw in a union or two and Planned Parenthood and you have the true cabal that is ruining our state, making life impossible for the normal people.

    Too many political operatives hide as lobbyists, NGO’s and Non-profits….biggest scam going….

    These groups aren’t even funded by Vermonters for God’s sake.

    That’s why we in the Green Mountain Party wanted to tax out of state lobbyists donations by 90%, we don’t need to be puppets of the nwo.

  6. Just wondering, how did all the “activists” get to St J? Did they all come in their EVs? Walk? Bicycle? Mass Transit? I hear EVs don’t come with turn signals – they come with virtue signals.

    Come on, this is yet another scheme to transfer what’s left of middle-class “wealth” to the globalist elites and a bunch of high-dollar lobbying firms. Period.

    Here are my rules to stop nonsense such as this. 1. FOLLOW THE MONEY! Who funds VTPIRG (besides our tax dollars I mean)? Who REALLY funds VTPIRG, and all the other PIRGs for that matter? 2. Use their own playbook – Infiltrate their ranks. 3. Make what you learn known. I know, I know, but every snowman starts as a single snowflake, right?

    Bigger picture time. I honestly agree that we have to move on from fossil fuels. Not because they’re causing (gasp!) “climate change”, not because of nuclear, which brings it’s own set of problems, but because we have the technology for free (zero-point) energy and have had it for 40 or 50 years. But aside from the initial cost of the box that does the magic, where’s the money in it for the elites? There is none. That’s why they’ve been hiding the tech. Where do you think all the missing billions and trillions of dollars have been going? Sure, some goes to payoffs, kickbacks, and bribes, and some goes to NASA, the biggest cover story ever. But the bulk of that money, and we’re talking year after year after year, goes into deep black projects.

    Imagine the lives we could all have, how healthy we could be, where we could travel, if all the black project tech were made available to the rest of us “deplorables”?

    Isn’t it about time?

  7. I came home last summer to a very nice, probably college age, young lady at my home. She was from VPIRG and wanted me to sign a petition to hold Big Oil accountable. I declined and proceeded to asked her a few questions about creating a new mega-monopoly, Big Electricity, which is much more powerful than the so-called Big Oil. Even to the point of being government mandated and funded. She respectfully stated she could not address that but only could repeat that Big Oil is OBVIOUSLY the problem, no further proof was needed. To her credit she did ride her bike out to my house in the country, I asked if any fossil fuels were used in the manufacture of her bike. She said she had to get going as she had others to visit and asked if I would sign her petition, I politely declined.

  8. well done John on declining the petition. over my 30 plus years here i have also been approached by the bike riding vipirg puppet annually. they dont visit as much, perhaps because i challenge them on their data and brainwashing.
    this is a small cult, mind training organization. early on i thought what a great idea an good example of volunteering to canvas the community to speak of issues. i no longer give to vipirg. there is no fair balance and these young people are easily persuaded and just regurgitate what is told to them.
    as my son has become trained when approaching me on the latest social issue,
    he knows i am going to ask for what his source is. there is no reply other than i read it on the internet. yikes people

  9. How can there be an article on VPIRG without mentioning the Blittersdorfs? They created VPIRG as a front so that they could brainwash the masses into buying into their windmill nonsense. They own/owned NRG systems in Hinesburg.

    Slimey bunch in all.

  10. Speaking of brainwashing the masses, John D Rockefeller and the Standard Oil Company “coined” the term fossil fuels a long time ago in order to give the idea that oil is rare. This was done IN ORDER TO JACK UP THE PRICES of the stuff flowing out of the ground in Pennsylvania. Sorry kids their ain’t no dinosaur in your gasoline nor heating oil. The black goo/Texas T or whatever you want to call it is constantly in production by Ma Earth under our feet. That being said, I too would prefer we find something else for which we can generate electricity, but until we discover its replacement it is here to stay. Shutting down Vermont Yankee in Vernon as opposed to rebuilding to a new more modern and safer technology would have been a smart move, but alas we in Vermont seem only to act on the “emotion” of the day placed in front of us by the media. TURN your TV off.

  11. This is a great article, with insightful comments. The attack on oil actually started a long time ago. The Technocracy movement of the 1930s wanted to get rid of oil. They proposed a new economic and social system, which would track and control all energy consumption. The details are published in a document called The Technocracy Home Study Guide published my Technocracy Inc, in the 1930s. You can download it for free from the Internet. The technocrats from the 1930s went underground and emerged as World Economic Forum/UN stakeholders. The objectives of the technocrats from the 1930s almost exactly mirror those of the Green movement (aka Build Back Better/Great Reset/Forth Industrial Revolution.)

    • Good information which tracks well with so much of what we’ve learned about secret societies and their populating high positions globally. You can include most of our “selected” politicians, and just about all of our cabinet secretaries, especially all the intelligence agencies under “Homeland Security” such as CIA, FBI, NSA, DOJ, ICE, DEA, FCC, treasury, energy, education, etc., etc.

      As you point out, these tactics have been around before. The deep state has successfully operated in the shadows for decades (Operation Paperclip, Operation Mockingbird, etc.), even throughout human history. They provide the illusion of choice, limited by their gaslighting, threats, and violence, always creating division and strife resulting in war, fire, destruction. It helps them eliminate as many of us “useless eaters” as possible, at the same time rewarding vice through countless welfare programs to keep people dependent and controlled. We want people to be responsible, productive and self-sufficient and therefore free, and from which the capacity to help others is gained, not replaced by state actors whose positions depend on always having an underclass to exploit.

  12. I might only add that the single largst, and most environmentally destructive, user of fossil fuels is our Dept. of Defense. I read some years ago that the military uses at least 50% of our fossil fuels, and no doubt even more in wartime. Since our largest export these days seems to be war, it is peculiar indeed that no one in the green energy crowd seems willing to address the military’s horrific environmental cost and damage.

    • Oh, my was that a truth bomb you just dropped? lol 🙂

      Well done, very well done.

      Definitely of the bunker buster category….or bigger.

  13. I contradiction for sure. Based on research on the supranational powers advancing globalism and Pluralism as defined by the United Nations, which is supported by the leftist progressive political agenda, the draining of US resources including capital and oil, to support global citizens initiatives is not surprising.