Roper: Governor, we can’t afford the heating fuels we’re about to tax

LIHEAP letter reveals folly of carbon taxation

by Rob Roper

Governor Phil Scott recently signed onto a letter with other New England governors to the US Congress asking for increased federal funding to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Here’s the logic: 

Keeping warm and safe is particularly challenging for low-income households in New England, which has some of the country’s oldest homes and a particularly cold winter climate. More than any other region of the country, New England households are dependent upon expensive delivered fuels. For many low-income households, there are few and limited near-term options and while we are all working diligently on assisting these families with energy efficiency programs for the longer term, the immediate needs this winter are likely to be acute. New England governors deeply appreciate your longstanding support of LIHEAP, and we recognize the difficult fiscal decisions confronting Congress this year. However, with the dramatic rise in energy prices and the additional increase anticipated this winter, we ask that you supplement the annual appropriation to mitigate the effect on our vulnerable populations. (September 26, 2022 letter)

“It’s hard for a state government to argue for taxpayer money to subsidize the high cost of something they’re simultaneously trying to price consumers out of the market.”

– Rob Roper

Here’s the irony: This comes as Vermont legislators recently attempted to add a “Clean Heat Standard” Carbon Tax (H.715) on those very same home heating fuels (oil, propane, natural gas, and kerosene), with the intention of driving up the cost, forcing customers to change to electric options. It’s hard for a state government to argue for taxpayer money to subsidize the high cost of something they’re simultaneously trying to price consumers out of the market.

To Scott’s credit, he vetoed the Home Heating Carbon Tax, and his veto was thankfully sustained – by a single vote in the House. This election has consequences. 

So, here’s a modest proposal to Governor Scott: How about signing a similar open letter to every candidate running for State House and Senate asking them to pledge opposition to the Home Heating Carbon Tax that the Vermont Climate Council is recommending – again – that the new legislature vote for following the November election, because see your quoted paragraph from the letter above. 

Categories: Commentary

3 replies »

  1. As a candidate for the Vermont House, Washington – 3 (Barre City), I make the pledge: if elected I will vote “No” on the Home Heating Carbon Tax. I hope all other candidates of both parties will join me.

  2. Perhaps the good ‘guv is about to learn what we already know. The federal government currently could care less about Vermont, nor it’s citizens as the political elitists continue their assault on America- as we knew it. The financial gains to be made by climate evangelists, members of congress and the donor class far outweigh the cost to push a few tens of million dollars toward the LIHEAP program. LIHEAP will get more funding, but not close to enough, with the cost added to the current tax and inflation burden on the rest of us.
    There will be people that freeze to death this winter. In Vermont.
    The Death Certificate will say something else, but there are some that will perish because of this liberal/socialist frenzy to be “green”.

  3. I would have to call this an oxymoron moment for the governor. A shortened definition of a cruel kindness. Those of us on the edge of not quite qualifying for state aid get to watch the governor plead for free federal government money to help the poor while the rest of us drain what little savings we have left to survive another cold winter. The USA is 31 trillion in debt ($31,000,000,000,000.00), while we send Billions to the Ukraine and deplete our oil reserves to drop the price of gasoline at the pump and ship millions of gallons to China. Here at home, instead of budgeting covid federal (printed inflationary) money for emergencies, the governor buys EV charging stations. The state of Vermont employees will vote for this governor as his administration kicks the unfunded retirement funds down the road for another year. This is another $5 Billion dollars the state doesn’t have. It is obvious that the states debts are unsustainable (great liberal word in reverse). So, instead of our legislature and governor tending to the important issues for Vermonters, the governor has to go begging for more money that the US treasury doesn’t have either. The voters will go to the polls or mail in their ballots and vote for more of this. The republicans in the legislature are no different than the current crop of progressives except a few. Some of them voted for Joe Biden, imagine that. In 2020, gas at the pump was $1.87, heating oil this year is hovering around $5.00 per gallon. We are obviously not getting the best representation and haven’t been for years. But, have no fear the dem/progs and some republicans will continue the destruction of the state until bankruptcy will be the only answer. I blame the voters, we don’t need to live like this.