Redic calls out Balint, Ram-Hinsdale for voting for ‘Clean Heat Carbon Tax’

Lawmaker employed by SunCommon says Democrat dissenter Bock broke trust

by Guy Page

Republican candidate for Congress Ericka Redic is calling out two front-running Democratic candidates for Congress for supporting the Clean Heat Standard bill.

Meanwhile, a Democratic House leader has publicly accused a Democrat who voted against the Clean Heat Standard with breaking trust (see below).

Senate President Pro Tem, Becca Balint (D-Windham) and Senator Kesha Ram-Hinsdale (D-Chittenden), Democratic candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives, both voted for what Redic calls “the Clean Heat Carbon Tax” on February 28 — a measure vetoed by Governor Phil Scott. The veto was sustained by a single vote.

“Voting for a carbon tax in order to purposefully drive up Vermonters’ home heating bills in a state as cold as ours is reprehensible,” Redic said in a campaign statement. “To do this at a time of already record high prices and rampant inflation is beyond irresponsible.”

The “Clean Heat Standard” bill (H.715) would have required sellers of fossil-based home heating fuels, propane, oil, natural gas, and kerosene, to buy “clean heat credits” in order to sell their products. The cost of these credits, which would amount to many millions of dollars per year (though proponents of the bill such as Balint and Ram-Hinsdale have not disclosed cost estimates) would be passed along to consumers, raising the cost of home heating fuels, Redic said. A third Democratic candidate for the seat, Lieutenant Governor Molly Gray, presided over the Senate vote. 

During the floor debate before the vote on the bill, Senator Mark MacDonald (D-Orange) explained, “This bill is going to make buying fossil fuels more expensive. It’s a carbon tax.”  

“One can only assume if the Democratic candidates are eager to vote for a carbon tax on fossil fuels at the state level, they will be eager to do so at the federal level,” Redic said. “Is this really what Vermonters are sending their representatives to Washington to do? Make it more expensive for us to heat our homes? Drive our cars? Live our lives? I don’t think so.”

“If elected to represent Vermonters in Congress, I promise to not only oppose any carbon tax, but to focus my efforts on making our nation energy independent once again, to lowering the cost of gasoline, diesel, and home heating fuels, and getting inflation under control.” 

Chester Dem. Rep. Thomas Bock ‘broke trust’ with the Democratic leadership when he surprised them by voting against the Clean Heat Standard in the veto vote, leaving them just one shy of the 100 needed to overturn Scott’s veto of the signature climate change bill of the 2022 session, House Majority Whip Mike McCarthy (D-St. Albans) reportedly told Seven Days reporter Kevin McCallum, who wrote in the May 16 issue:

“To be blindsided by one of their own members on such a high-priority issue stung House leaders, who saw it as a betrayal. Rep. Mike McCarthy (D-St. Albans), House majority whip, noted that Bock had voted in favor of the bill on two separate occasions and gave leaders no indication he had changed in mind. ‘We trust members will talk to us if they have questions, and he broke that trust,’ McCarthy said.”

Legislators are often advised by their leaders to ‘vote your conscience, your constituents, and your caucus, in that order.’ According to many legislators, constituent calls and emails opposing the Clean Heat Standard vastly outnumbered those supporting it. One legislator, Rep. Mike Morgan of West Milton/Grand Isle, said the ratio in his district was 40:1 opposed.

McCarthy is employed by renewable power developer SunCommon. Without directly referencing McCarthy, Sen. Russ Ingalls told Vermont Daily Chronicle yesterday that lawmakers employed in the renewable power industry, including SunCommon, may have a ‘trust issue’ of their own. Many draw paychecks from businesses or non-profit organizations that rely on state government legislation and/or funding, he said.

SunCommon, for example, was founded by James Moore and Duane Peterson shortly after Moore, as president of VPIRG, pushed through the legislation requiring utilities buy solar-created electricity at above-market rates. The Clean Heat Standard would force building owners to transition heating sources from fossil fuels to electricity.

14 replies »

  1. Ericka Redic is correct to call out Senators Balint and Ram Hinsdale for their poor and incomplete job on climate legislation. Their legislative negligence is far deeper than simply voting for the Clean Heat Standard…….They have failed to consider the dire consequences of the entire climate change initiative and failed to make these consequences known to the voters……The people who will have to bare the burden of their inadequate effort.

    Here’s just some of the consequences they failed to consider and make clear to the voters:

    1. Where will the electrical power come from to replace fossil fuels?

    2. When will this power be available?

    3. What will it cost and how reliable will it be? (Solar panels don’t work at night or when covered with snow”)

    4. What’s the cost of the batteries needed to store power from wind and solar and what will it costs?

    5. Do heat pumps work in cold climates when temperatures dip below zero or colder?

    6. Why hasn’t there been objective research by independent labs been completed to confirm the effectiveness of heat pumps?

    7. Where will the workers come from to install and maintain heat pumps?

    8. What will it cost the average Vermonter to convert to heat pumps?

    9. How will Vermonters be compensated for removing existing oil, gas and other heating systems and replacing them with heat pumps?

    10. Where will industrial solar developments be sited?

    11. How much land will be required to accommodate industrial solar?

    12. What impact will industrial solar have on the environment, wildlife and the visual beauty of Vermont?

    13. What are the climate consequences and costs of mining the minerals and manufacturing solar panels?

    14. Are State siting standards for industrial solar development in place to protect abutting property values?

    15. Same questions (10 thru 13) for wind development?

    16. What will industrial wind and solar cost per kilo-watt vs nuclear or gas generated?

    17. Where will charging stations of electric vehicles be located?

    18. How will Vermonters pay for electric vehicles?

    19. How do electric vehicles (impact on battery charge) perform in cold climates?

    20. We have been told that Vermont cannot change or even affect climate change……..It this is so, why has the Vermont legislature voted to crush the people of the state with mandates that have no impact on climate change?

    21. If the legislative climate initiatives will measurably climate change……Provided the documented proof.

    That’s a list typed in a few minutes……Every reader would likely be able to list many more questions…….Questions that the Senators Balint and Ram Hinsdale have failed to address.

    Ericka Redic keep shining the light on the uncompleted work of Blaint and Ram Hindsdale…….They haven’t done their work in Vermont and don’t deserve to be sent to Congress.

  2. Here in this article we can see a glaring conflict of interest by Rep. McCarthy. He’s in the house to represent his constituents not his employer. If there were any honest reporters in the mainstream Vermont media who actually did investigative reporting, how many more legislators could be found enriching themselves by the policies they propose and support? The voters in St. Albans need to look at what this guy is doing to make life here more unappealing and unaffordable. I’m fairly certain most St. Albans homeowners do not need or want any more expense to survive a Vermont winter or to get to work paying for this pie in the sky boondoggle. And he has the nerve to suggest that Rep. Bock’s vote as a betrayal. Ever wonder what the kick back is for all this green energy fiasco? Ask a legislator, but don’t expect an honest answer.

    • State progressive Dems always like ppl to vote in blocks to follow the national agenda. Thinking for ones self is against the rules.

  3. While there is a good race in the GOP for the US House, I’m concerned, greatly concerned the Senator pro temp or Sen. Ram get the nod from Dems. They are both progressive Dems that will only push our federal government even more to the left. This will continue the polarization of our nation.

    • Even more to the left? The Democratic party writ large is a right wing party.

  4. Go get ’em, Erica!!! Ram is psycho who votes for anything & everything that leads to the ruination and cultural destruction of Vermont.

    Meanwhile, but of course…Ram enjoys her sheltered, upscale existence in Charlotte. Or is it still Shelburne? Yeah another rich girl looking out for us poor folk!

  5. Good job Erica ! Keep shining light on these two for all their ill-advised votes. So many more!

  6. Of course it’s ok for the oil companies to inflate the price of gas & diesel regardless of the actual global price of oil, and the fact that they are making huge profits. And then Republicans who are in bed with the fossil fuel industry, look the other way while they buy back their own stock, and give huge dividends to share holders. As long as corporations control the market, we will always find our selves in this situation. Assertive action needs to be taken to make a commodity like oil and its products reasonable for consumers. And just as important, getting us away from it to more sustainable, stable and ecologically friendly alternatives.

    • Does Ivan Peter Smith’s recognize the irony of his comments on oil company profits given the outsized power and influence the renewable energy industry has over Vermont climate policy?

      Smith’s comment doubles up the irony when considering that Vermont House Whip Mike McCarthy ( An employee of SunCommon) refers to Rep. Tom Bock’s vote against overturning the veto as a “betrayal”…….McCarthy essentially calls Bock a trader for not voting in the interest of the renewable energy industry.

      No one likes the price of gas or heating oil exacerbated by Joe Biden’s ideologically driven energy policies any more that they like the oversized influence of the renewable energy industry on all aspects of life in Vermont…….Influence that was checked by Rep. Tom Bock……..Very much to the dismay of McCarthy and the renewable energy industry and apparently Ivan Peter Smith.

  7. I do believe the conflict of interest that McCarthy has just clearly shown is enough for us to get the word out to boycott SunCommon. If we cannot seem to get the parasites removed from office with fair & legit elections, then it’s time to hit them in the pocketbook!

    Go Ericka! We the People of Vermont do need someone in high office that will shine the bright light on those dark places, send the cockroaches scattering!

    As for Mr. McCarthy, I hope St. Albans votes him out!!!

    As for Ms. Ram-Hinsdale & Balint, these parasites need to be voted out too!
    All are just career gold diggers, even more so than Ms. Gray, who is in career building gold digger mode right now by not even completing a full term in office, but wants to climb that ladder.
    Who in their right mind votes for people that have not even finished what they barely started to just chase those ladder rungs to another higher office…all they want is power & $$$

  8. Go Erica—right on in addressing the incomprehensibilities/incompletenesses of the Clean Heat Standard which is anything but clean.

  9. Whether you will ultimately vote republican of democrat we can help dodge a bullet by getting involved in the democratic party primary for Congress. The choice we need to make is whether we want to let an out of state Vermont short timer be the democrats candidate for Congress when we have another candidate who is a life long Vermonter, whose parents are Vermonters, who was educated in Vermont public schools and UVM and then Vermont Law School. I can’t help but immediately be drawn to Molly Grey because of the foregoing. That she might be a more formidable candidate against the republican is true but let’s be realistic. If we can defeat someone who moved here from New Jersey a few years ago and has demonstrated being more interested in the national democratic party agenda than an agenda that is for Vermont we should do so.

  10. Thank you for letting us point out that anyone voting for the CHS in the legislature is betraying both their constituents, their political party, and the people of Vermont. Everyone can see that throwing logic out is ultimately harmful to political longevity and residents of the state. Thanks to the legislative web site, it’s plain to see who voted for insanity.