by Don Keelan
President Biden’s appointee to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Richard Trumka, Jr., has made it clear, according to the WSJ, that gas stoves need to be removed from all kitchens. According to Trumpka, the stoves are unsafe. Of course, the hidden agenda is to end fossil fuel device usage.
My Garland, a 1986 vintage, six-burner, cast iron reliable appliance, will, in time, have to go. The Democrats and their far-left Progressives allies have moved from my basement to my kitchen. This home invasion comes on the heels of the party-in-power looking forward to removing my gasoline-fired cars from my garage in the not-too-distant future.
‘The Take-Awayers’ have also been in my tool shed where I store my lawnmowers, chain saw, leaf-blower and weed-whackers. They are gas-fired and have to go as well.
This is not hype. The Democratic/Progressive-controlled legislature wasted no time introducing legislation to make it financially unfeasible to own assets like stoves, furnaces, cars/trucks, and any equipment using fossil fuels (heating oil and gas for now).
The objective is simple: make fossil fuel so expensive for the dealers and then inevitably the consumer that all fossil fuel devices will be prohibitively costly to operate or even find places to dispense such fuels. By definition, put the small fuel dealers out of business.
When they convened on January 4th, the legislators had barely found their way around the Capitol building when S.5 was introduced as the substitute for the Clean Heat Standard legislation, which failed in the last legislative session. The latter was passed by both houses, vetoed by Governor Phil Scott, and finally failed in the override by one vote. It has now been reincarnated; if you can believe this, it is renamed “The Affordable Heat Act.”
Heating fuels will be affordable to second homeowners who do not worry about the cost of burning fuel in an empty house. Add to this group, the trust-fund legislators who never worked a day. And less we forget, the cast of hundreds from the Vermont nonprofits (lobbyists) funded heavily by out-of-state interests.
There was a time when I gave the Vermont Legislature kudos for their common-sense approach. Not anymore. If they need to see what impact their S.5 Affordable Heat Act will have on the Vermont environment, they should conduct the following exercise: take a one-gallon bucket of water (make sure it is clean) and dump it into Late Champlain. Then, measure the rise in the lake’s level.
The senators pushing for the merits of S.5 implementation, a convoluted and potentially costly bill, should do a test case in a Vermont town before it goes state-wide. Legislators should be willing to do this in light of the numerous failures of recently adopted legislation.
A second recommendation is for Montpelier to assist homeowners and businesses in weatherizing and replacing antiquated equipment. My 1,000-square-foot office in Arlington, Vermont, went from using annually 1,600 gallons of heating oil to 400. We replaced the office’s 15 windows and the 25-year-old furnace. Have I made a difference in the State’s carbon emissions? I have, without being coerced/prodded by the government. My carbon emissions impact is unmeasurable. What is measurable is the $4,000 in annual savings.
My wife and I are in our early eighties and often wonder, can we keep what we have in our kitchen, garage, basement, and shed for our few remaining years? It appears that Montpelier could care less about how its decisions impact older Vermonters. That is unfortunate.
One appliance is gas-fired, and hopefully, not be ‘confiscated’: my butane lighter to light my pipe. I have been clicking a lighter for over 62 years and now will just hide it in my pocket.
The author is a U.S. Marine (retired), CPA, and columnist living in Arlington, VT.