Press Release

New advocacy group fights Burlington ‘burner ban’

Opportunity Vermont, a registered 501c4 organization, announced Feb. 1 a comprehensive effort to inform Burlingtonians about the dangers of the “Burner Ban” resolution. In addition, Opportunity Vermont has released a petition calling on the Mayor and City Council to abandon any proposal that taxes residents who need gas for heat, hot water, or cooking.  

Opportunity Vermont released the following statement:

“Climate change is real, and the impacts are very dangerous. Opportunity Vermont supports efforts to protect the environment, but this resolution will have the opposite effect intended. The resolution is the first step in the effort to ban burners, boilers, furnaces, stoves, fireplaces, and dryers that use natural gas. The resolution could also allow a carbon tax on Burlington residents that decide to keep their current heating system rather than convert to electricity.

“Switching to electricity in Burlington is not necessarily better for the environment. One of the primary sources of electrical power in Burlington comes from the McNeil Generating Station. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the McNeil plant is Vermont’s largest producer of C02 admissions. The McNeil plant releases more than 350 thousand metric tons of emissions into the atmosphere every year.

“Additionally, the McNeil plant operates at just 24 percent efficiency, which means three out of every four trees thrown into the fire goes up in smoke without producing any electricity while releasing more heat, smoke, and particulate matter into the air. This doesn’t include the CO2 emissions emitted into the environment to log and transport the wood.

“Converting to electric heat will add to Vermont’s peaking problem. When the temperature dips into single digits, the New England grid is at peak demand and relies on coal and oil fired power plants in southern New England. We need a coordinated regional policy if we are going to add more demand for electricity, not a town by town approach. The result will be inefficient coal fired electric heat during the coldest part of the winter. 

“Even the most efficient electric heat pumps won’t keep Vermonters warm on a cold night. In fact, the Public Service Department reports that electric heat pumps only replace 40 percent of the heat load. The other 60 percent needs to come from traditional heating sources that would be banned under the city council proposal. This policy won’t solve global warming, but it could keep Burlingtonians in the cold.

“The resolution will be voted on this Town Meeting Day by Burlington voters. Should the resolution pass, the Legislature will consider whether to grant the charter change and make the unprecedented decision to allow a Vermont city to enact its own carbon tax. We urge Burlington voters to stop this now before it spreads to other Vermont towns.” 

Opportunity Vermont is a registered 501c4 with a mission to “inform citizens, strengthen debate in the public square, and protect the economic, educational, health, and environmental interests of all Vermonters.” Those who are on the board or participate in advisory positions come from diverse backgrounds and political affiliations. In the coming weeks, Opportunity Vermont will roll out additional initiatives in municipalities across the state.

8 replies »

  1. Since when do eco-freakos let little things like facts that compare whatever we do to further reduce our carbon footprint, to what China and India are, and will continue to do, bother them, or even enter into a conversation ? It’s all about keeping us down, while allowing them to realize their full potential. Of course the rich, and famous will still fly from their summer home to their ski chalet on their private jets, and sail from Nantucket to the Bahamas on their yachts that burn diesel by the gallons per mile, not miles per gallon. Mean while I’m supposed to pull my canoe from my cave to the lake behind my bicycle.

  2. Once upon a time we had Hydro Quebec and Vermont Yankee, now we don’t. The electric grid is older than Methuselah and not producing enough to heat peoples homes nor cool them in the summer. So now city council deems it necessary to ban gas and oil. Natural gas is a renewable source and there was a huge push in the past years to convert to that. In the 70’s it was everyone needed to convert to electricity. Vermont has one of the smallest carbon footprints, yet rather than make China and India clean up their act, the progressives are pushing for us to freeze to death if we play along. These are some of the many reasons that Vermonters are leaving. We get taxed for our quality of life. That is unsustainable.

  3. The byproducts of burning gas are carbon dioxide and water vapor. My gas furnace is extremely efficient and my hot water is on demand. The only argument against gas is that at certain points in the process methane is released which is a technical problem easily fixed. I used to be all
    electric and it cost a fortune. I do not.plan to go back since it cost me thousands to convert to gas.

  4. Heating with electricity? Having to convert efficient natural gas burners and boilers to electric? This harebrained idea actually has the potential to become reality? Has there been a study on the environmental and financial impact to convert all of the appliances and heating systems in Burlington? Just how much “savings” would there be? Has it been rigorously defended? This virtue signaling “solution” to climate change is such a bad idea. If it did cut carbon emissions, which is debatable, it would do so at great monetary expense, and negatively impact our security to have dependable, efficient energy. I hope the people of Burlington have enough sense to reject this scheme outright.

  5. First turn off all “fossil” heat in City hall, on a trial basis for just 90 days.

    Maybe the Progressives could heat the place by doing push-ups and jumping Jacks all day, 24 hours
    Put some sweat equity into their scheme.

    A lot of “remote work” going on.

    These folks are only foolish with other peoples circumstances, I
    Imagine the entire overhaul of the cities whole electric grid for all this enormous demand

    • good call, they should practice on themselves through the cold winter months and sweat through the hot summer months.

  6. I used to feel sorry for Burlington residents then opened my mind and thought, they voted for these idiots that don’t listen to the whole city. Check the cities covid policies, what a disgrace.

  7. The old saying that the “best thing about Burlington is that it is so close to Vermont” is factual……..

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