By Rep. Gina Galfetti
A light snow was falling outside as the weather turned cold, and the House chamber itself was unusually chilly. Looking back, it seems to have been an omen that H. 96 was about to make its debut.
I leaned back in my seat as the Speaker gaveled the House into session and we began the business of the day. There is almost no real action on the floor at this point in the session, because bills are introduced and referred to the committee of jurisdiction. As no bills have been passed out of committee yet, there is no floor debate.
(As many of you know but some may not, a bill must first go through the committee process before it can go to the floor and be voted on. The committee may recommend that the bill pass as introduced or be amended and then passed. If the committee just doesn’t like the bill, they will probably take no action and “leave it hanging on the wall,” shorthand for the fact that every bill in the committee’s possession is represented by a 4” x 6” card posted on the committee’s bulletin board. Many bills, especially those affecting either the appropriations or the revenues of the state, must go to more than one committee.)
I skimmed the bills for introduction that day and lost my breath when I flipped to number 96. There it was—the sister bill to Senate bill number 5. Having an identical bill in both Houses assures the majority (or in this case, the super-majority) that their proposed bill in its truest form will reach the Governor’s desk. And while there is time for the bill to be amended and could ultimately be changed significantly, it is unlikely that we won’t see this bill reach the Governor’s desk, and at that point all may be lost, since we Republicans do not have the power to uphold Scott’s veto.
I scanned down the Bill and almost choked when I saw that the bill’s authors had decided to name it the “Affordable Heat Act” in an effort to disguise the bill’s radical policy proposals that will most definitely increase the cost of all home heating fossil fuels. Over a third of house members had signed on as co-sponsors of the bill. Sixty-one members feel that the bill should be codified in Vermont statutes and be driven down the throats of unsuspecting Vermonters at a time when home heating fuels are already at record highs!
I turned to Topper McFaun, my seat and district mate, and threw my copy down in front of him. He picked it up and said “Here we go kid, you ain’t seen nothing yet!”
With the exception of myself and Reps. McFaun, Donahue and Goslant (the only Republican Representatives of Washington County) and Democratic Reps. Pearl, Lamont, and Wood, all of Washington County Representatives and Senators had co-sponsored either the House or the Senate bill. My head spun as I pondered what my colleagues in Barre City could be thinking. This bill threatens all Vermonters but will hurt low and moderate income Vermonters the most, despite promising “to enhance social equity by minimizing adverse impacts to customers with low income and moderate income and those households with the highest energy burdens.”
Fairy tales for folks who cannot afford to convert to expensive heat pumps or put up solar panels—the folks who live paycheck to paycheck or on fixed incomes!
Legislators who have proposed this bill claim that switching to heat pumps will save Vermonters billions in the long run. But one must ask: How long is the long run? As far as I know, banks do not loan money for heat pumps based on what lawmakers say. The very un- “Affordable Heat Act” will raise the cost of fuel and further burden Vermont’s most vulnerable with picking up the tab for all. Where is the Equity in that? Caught up in some mathematical feel-good formula, I suppose!
Vermont’s Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources, Julie Moore, (who admittedly works for Governor Scott, who doesn’t like the bill) cried foul. She had done some rough calculations as to how much more expensive fuel would get and arrived at 70 cents more per gallon. And that was rough math. Have no doubt that when the cost of the very expensive heat pumps that are needed to provide heat in the coldest temperatures is calculated, the rate increase is bound to be even higher than that of Secretary Moore’s back-of-the-envelope math. She and Governor Scott have both asserted that far more detailed study and planning are required before a law of this nature could even be dreamed of.
But have no fears my fellow Vermonters, when Senator Chris Bray, of Addison County, who is one of the chief sponsors of the Senate bill was asked about S. 5 said “We don’t have to see the entire path in front of us.”
Great, Chris! I suppose we should see if Mister Magoo is available to drive carpool!
Gina Galfetti is the Representative for the Washington/Orange District and can be contacted at: 802.461.3520 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Categories: Rep. Gina Galfetti's Floor Report
Thank you Rep. Galfetti for your diligence, oversight, and reporting on the charlatans under the Golden Dome.
Seems like Mr. Bray needs improvement in common sense, ethics, financial acumen and speaking intelligible English. Otherwise…HEY!!!……GREAT!!! Let’s put this guy in charge of Vermont’s future!!!
Rep. Galfetti, your report is very informative but please give low income and those on fixed incomes more credit. We have known from the very beginning the goals in the GWSA were unattainable. The Affordable Heat Act only makes matters worse. I can’t understand why the legislators would want to so devastate the people of Vermont. I have no trust that help would be available to us. The last time I went to Hannafords milk was $6.49 a gallon. Recently, we had our fuel tank inspected and the tank passes but the inspector said we had to replace the legs on the tank. I was first told that this would cost about $2000.00. later reduced to $200.00. The price really doesn’t matter because I can’t afford to get the legs replaced. I could never afford to install a heat pump or buy an electric car even with subsidies. We heat our home with wood but we are in our late 70’s and we know we wont be able to get our wood supply much longer We do all the work ourselves. I was talking with a friend and she said she wondered why the Vermont government hates us so much. The Affordable Heat Act must not be passed and the GWSA must be repealed. legislators must wake up to the reality that these two bills will destroy what’s left of Vermont, and we all know it. We are not “unsuspecting Vermonters.”
Thank you for sharing the Truth. Senator McDonald said last year to get an extra blanket as the committee chortled and snickered. Absolute proof of how “they” feel about Vermont taxpayers and this year is no different. They are whistling past the graveyards while reaping the spoils of being outright liars and deceivers. When will it end? Only God knows. They will reap the tares for the vile seeds they sow. In the meantime, keep speaking up and speaking out. Rebuke them for their wickedness.
The boomerang is coming right at them and those of us standing with God will prevail.
Thank you Gina, your analysis is correct. The fantasy of affordable heat by restricting access to affordable heat, just does not compute. Mathematical models and other formulas created to produce the desired result are not just fantasy, but they are fraud. The only purpose of such statistical shenanigans is to uphold the rigid ideology of the fanatical belief that carbon is responsible for climate change. Climates always change in very long cycles, and will always do so despite human activities. From my reading we are entering another mini-ice age. These are characterized by highly variable weather patterns due to a very meridional jet stream, which is correlated to low solar activity. The atmospheric physics journal literature covers these topics well.
Thank you Gina for your insight and information. As for Senator Bray..don’t take any walks in the woods with him. Whenever going for a hike in unknown areas I try to be informed as much as possible: Any bridges out, washed out areas, is it hunting season? Sure, the path I can see looks great, but…
Affordable green electric is a bold fiction!
We have no money or plan for a great gob of new extra electricity
Electricity comes from Energy, not just from the outlet on the wall.
Only river Dam electricy is Green power.
Solar is 7 hours a day in January
No where near electricity enough