“Mr. Carbon Tax”: GOP challenger attacks incumbent Dem’s climate voting record

By Guy Page

A Republican candidate for the Vermont House of Representatives is pounding a climate hawk incumbent Democrat for his support of carbon taxation. 

Frank Empsall is trying to unseat two-term incumbent Rep. Scott Campbell (D-St. Johnsbury). Republican Scott Beck holds the other seat in the two-seat district. Empsall finished third in the 2020 general election, but hopes that growing dissatisfaction with Campbell’s carbon tax voting record makes the difference this year. 

No other Democrats are running, leaving Campbell in what many political observers believe is a difficult position, because some Democratic voters who would vote ‘double-D’ will instead choose one of his Republican challengers. And now Empsall is taking aim at what he clearly believes is Campbell’s point of electoral vulnerability – his strong, consistent advocacy for carbon taxation and other costly ways to reduce Vermont’s carbon emissions. 

In the State House, some lawmakers are known for ‘favorite issues.’ Campbell is a Climate guy. A weatherization professional, he has introduced climate legislation, fought hard for its passage on the House floor, and co-sponsored other bills aimed at carbon reduction. Not surprisingly, he’s a member of the Joint Carbon Emissions Reduction Committee

On September 12, the Committee to elect Frank Empsall took out an ad in the Caledonian-Record, the venerable, locally-owned daily newspaper whose coverage area includes St. Johnsbury, Concord, and Kirby, the three towns in Campbell’s district. The ad accurately states that Campbell was:

  • Lead sponsor for the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2020. The GWSA required the State of Vermont to make deep cuts in carbon emissions, or face legal action.
  • Champion of the ‘Clean Heat Standard,’ which would drive up the price of heating oil for homes and businesses. (He supported it in all three roll call votes.)
  • An advocate for Vermont joining the 10-state Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) “to raise the tax you pay on gasoline and diesel fuel for your car and truck.” (Specifically the TCI would tax the wholesale fuel dealer, who then would pass along the added cost to consumers at the pump.)

“The most important cause in Montpelier for Scott Campbell is driving up your energy prices to make you stop using gasoline, diesel, heating oil and propane – all to defeat what he believes to be catastrophic ‘climate change’,” Empsall writes in the ad. “If that’s not your most important cause, say No to Mr. Carbon Tax Scott Campbell and send Republican Frank Empsall to represent you in the House. He will work to protect you, not tax you out of existence.”

This morning, Vermont Daily Chronicle asked Campbell to respond to the ad.

“I don’t chose to respond to deceptive, obnoxious ads such as what my opponent just placed,” Campbell replied. “Regarding the climate crisis, the status quo is untenable; the global energy transition required is an economic disruption; the resulting transformations in world, national and local economies will challenge Vermont and the NEK. What’s his and other naysayers’ suggestion? Just saying no is not an answer. It’s a failure of leadership.”

Categories: politics

8 replies »

  1. On Thursday Mrs. Scott Campbell indignantly responded that Empsall’s ad violated her and his standards of “decency” – but didn’t dare defend his pro-carbon tax record.

  2. Mrs. Scott Campbell made an indignant reply to this ad, denouncing it for lack of “decency” – but making no defense of her husband’s documented record as an ardent climateer.

  3. This entire Climate hoax is another fleecing scheme perpetuated by Progressives/Cultural Marxists. Evidently, Campbell is leading that charge in Vermont. There are just too many Vermonters who fall for these liars. Anything these let-me-feel-good Progressives do to try to reduce emissions won’t matter much to global temperatures. Any cuts in emissions are swamped by increases in India, Africa and especially China. For every gram of carbon we no longer produce here in the US, they add five. Hear the laughter in Beijing? In the end, Candidates need to remind Vermont voters that vlimate change, equity, gender and all other progressive policies are designed to destroy the middle class by a morally repugnant ruling class.

  4. Here are 18 examples of the spectacularly wrong predictions made around 1970 when the “green holy day” (aka Earth Day) started:

    1. Harvard biologist George Wald estimated that “civilization will end within 15 or 30 years [by 1985 or 2000] unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”
    2. “We are in an environmental crisis that threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation,” wrote Washington University biologist Barry Commoner in the Earth Day issue of the scholarly journal Environment.
    3. The day after the first Earth Day, the New York Times editorial page warned, “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.”
    4. “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make,” Paul Ehrlich confidently declared in the April 1970 issue of Mademoiselle. “The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years [by 1980].”
    5. “Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born,” wrote Paul Ehrlich in a 1969 essay titled “Eco-Catastrophe! “By…[1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.”
    6. Ehrlich sketched out his most alarmist scenario for the 1970 Earth Day issue of The Progressive, assuring readers that between 1980 and 1989, some 4 billion people, including 65 million Americans, would perish in the “Great Die-Off.”
    7. “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” declared Denis Hayes, the chief organizer for Earth Day, in the Spring 1970 issue of The Living Wilderness.
    8. Peter Gunter, a North Texas State University professor, wrote in 1970, “Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China, and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions….By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.”
    Note: The prediction of famine in South America is partly true, but only in Venezuela and only because of socialism, not for environmental reasons.
    9. In January 1970, Life reported, “Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support…the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution…by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half….”
    10. Ecologist Kenneth Watt told Time that, “At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.”
    11. Barry Commoner predicted that decaying organic pollutants would use up all of the oxygen in America’s rivers, causing freshwater fish to suffocate.
    12. Paul Ehrlich chimed in, predicting in 1970 that “air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.” Ehrlich sketched a scenario in which 200,000 Americans would die in 1973 during “smog disasters” in New York and Los Angeles.
    13. Paul Ehrlich warned in the May 1970 issue of Audubon that DDT and other chlorinated hydrocarbons “may have substantially reduced the life expectancy of people born since 1945.” Ehrlich warned that Americans born since 1946…now had a life expectancy of only 49 years, and he predicted that if current patterns continued this expectancy would reach 42 years by 1980 when it might level out. (Note: According to the most recent CDC report, life expectancy in the US is 78.6 years).
    14. Ecologist Kenneth Watt declared, “By the year 2000 if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, `Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say,`I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’”
    Note: Global oil production last year at about 95M barrels per day (bpd) was double the global oil output of 48M bpd around the time of the first Earth Day in 1970.
    15. Harrison Brown, a scientist at the National Academy of Sciences, published a chart in Scientific American that looked at metal reserves and estimated that humanity would totally run out of copper shortly after 2000. Lead, zinc, tin, gold, and silver would be gone before 1990.
    16. Sen. Gaylord Nelson wrote in Look, “Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”
    17. In 1975, Paul Ehrlich predicted that “since more than nine-tenths of the original tropical rainforests will be removed in most areas within the next 30 years or so [by 2005], it is expected that half of the organisms in these areas will vanish with it.”
    18. Kenneth Watt warned about a pending Ice Age in a speech. “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years,” he declared. “If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an Ice Age.”
    MP: Let’s keep those spectacularly wrong predictions from the first Earth Day 1970 in mind when we’re bombarded again this year with dire predictions of “gloom and doom” and “existential threats” due to climate change. And let’s think about the question posed by Ronald Bailey in 2000: What will Earth look like when Earth Day 60 rolls around in 2030? Bailey predicts a much cleaner, and much richer future world, with less hunger and malnutrition, less poverty, longer life expectancy, and lower mineral and metal prices. But he makes one final prediction about Earth Day 2030: “There will be a disproportionately influential group of doomsters predicting that the future – and the present – never looked so bleak.” In other words, the hype, hysteria, and spectacularly wrong apocalyptic predictions will continue, promoted by virtue-signaling “environmental grievance hustlers” like AOC, who said several years ago that we have “only 12 years left to stop the worst impacts of climate change.”

  5. Great, Empsall!!! I’d vote for you if I lived there. Good job focusing on real issues and communicating facts!!

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