Roper: Hypocrisy of Clean Heat Standard advocates on display

by Rob Roper

Johanna Miller works for the Vermont Natural Resources Council and is a member of the Vermont Climate Council, appointed by the Speaker of the House to represent “a statewide environmental organization”.  Every week or two she does a short YouTube video called “Climate Dispatch.” This last one from March 16 featured Bram Kleppner, another Climate Council member appointed by the Speaker to represent “Vermont manufacturers.” Kleppner’s day job is CEO of Danforth Pewter.

All of these Climate Dispatch videos are cute little exercises in propaganda, but this one was especially egregious. As S.5, the Clean Heat Standard bill, or the UnAffordable Heat Act as it is known to its critics, moves from the senate over to the house for consideration, Lauren Hierl, Miller’s co-host, laments, “That bill has been under unprecedented attack by the fossil fuel industry… they are pouring tens of thousands of dollars into misinformation on that bill and really kind of scaring people about what the impact of transitioning to clean energy are going to be.”

Let’s unpack this….

First, “an unprecedented attack”? Referring to a $34,000 statewide media buy? I’m fairly certain there are multiple precedents in Vermont politics for campaigns by organizations for and against legislation, and by any standard $34K is quite tiny. For comparison, groups for and against Proposal 5, the “Reproductive Liberty Amendment” spent over $1.2 million. And it’s not like the folks represented by Hierl and Miller aren’t running their own equally if not more expensive campaigns in favor of S.5. (See related Behind the Lines story HERE)

Second, the charge that fuel dealers are spreading “misinformation” and “scaring people” is laughable on two counts. In the first place, the fuel dealers’ ad cites testimony from the Secretary of Natural Resources estimating that passage of the Clean Heat Standard will result in an added $0.70 to a gallon of home heating fuel and that translates, on average, to an additional $500 per household on an annual heating bill. That’s not misinformation, it’s math.

In fact, a more robust analysis of the potential cost of the Clean Heat Standard by the Ethan Allen Institute showed as much as a $4.00 per gallon impact on heating fuel. So, as for spreading fear, if anything the fuel dealers are downplaying just how bad the Clean Heat Standard will be for their customers.

But this is the truly hilarious part….

Hierl leveled these hyperbolic accusations at the fuel dealers just after Kleppner was asked by Miller why he supports the Clean Heat Standard. His answer: “Global warming threatens to damage or destroy everything you care about.”


No attempt to spread fear and panic amongst the masses with that line of attack! No, not at all! Everybody just remain calm while we figure this thing out….

As for spreading misinformation, Kleppner then goes on a rant about how global warming causes violent weather, disrupts agriculture, damages houses, roads, businesses, and keeps people from earning a paycheck. (If you were’t frightened enough about the prospect of losing everything you care about.) But even if all the issues Kleppner raised about global warming were true (debatable on some counts and outright false on others), saying or implying that passing a Vermont Clean Heat Standard or even the totality of the Global Warming Solutions Act will have ANY impact on future weather patterns is, well, a heaping wheelbarrow full of misinformation. Passing S.5 won’t do a darn thing to prevent the next Tropical Storm Irene from happening if that’s what Mother Nature has on her schedule.

Heile, Miller and Kleppner bring to mind the Joseph Goebbels quote about the best propaganda trick being to accuse your opponents of that which you yourself are doing.

And speaking of hypocrisy, as mentioned at the outset, Kelppner’s day job is CEO of Danforth Pewter. For those not familiar, Danforth Pewter specializes in selling a bunch of overpriced, useless crap to wealthy people who will take it out of the box, put it on a shelf, and never touch it again. Things like the “Cape Oil Lamp with 10” Globe” for $280. A great gift “that celebrates years of warmth and intimacy.” So, if you’re burning kerosene in your trailer to keep from freezing in February, you’re part of the problem, but if you need to create just that right ambiance to score with the very special someone you just met in the apres ski bar, fire up that oil lamp! Bram Kleppner’s got your back.

Pewter is a metal made mostly from tin mixed with antimony – both of which come primarily from Communist China — and a little copper. Needless to say, mining, processing, shipping, and working these metals is a dirty and highly energy intensive business. The stuff Danforth Pewter makes and sells – and the CO2 it produces — is entirely unnecessary for sustaining or enhancing human life. If you really cared about the planet’s future as it relates to greenhouse gas emissions, you’d shut down an outfit like Danforth Pewter in a heartbeat. Seriously, who needs it? And if keeping it around means hastening the destruction of “everything” you, I, and everyone cares about, well, then I say good riddance. Let’s start there.

Rob Roper is a freelance writer who has been involved with Vermont politics and policy for over 20 years. This article reprinted with permission from Behind the Lines: Rob Roper on Vermont Politics,

Categories: Commentary

20 replies »

  1. Guessing Rob will not be receiving Christmas cards from Danforth Pewter in the future…………

  2. Mr. Roper, you sir are just on fire! Keep exposing the hypocrisy, it’s hilarious.

  3. Roper, a graduate of the Ethan Allen Institute, an organization that is drenched with fossil fuel money, will do everything he can to not disclose that. The fuel dealers and the industry are worried about losing market share, not how much consumers pay for heating oil or gasoline. There is nothing stopping oil companies from raising their prices to .70 cents a gallon, or more. Having more than one way of heating your home, and increasing efficiency will not just be better for the environment, but maybe stabilize the prices of oil and gasoline. Fuel Companies need to do their part in all of this, just like the power companies.

    • I don’t know where you get your misinformation about where Ethan Allen gets funding. I wish it were true.
      Ethan Allen Inst. needs all the financial support possible, from all sources, to spread the truth, along with Rob’s voice addressing the massive lies of the propaganda machine that is trying to destroy Vermont by making living and working here impossible unless one is subsidized by big brother.
      In 2022, China set new records in coal production, importation and consumption. China is currently building and planning over 80 additional coal power plants.
      In 2023 the UN IEA projects world fossil fuel consumption will be up by 50% and the US DOE EIA projects US fossil fuel will still supply at least 30% of demand for energy.
      “–passing a Vermont Clean Heat Standard or even the totality of the Global Warming Solutions Act will have ANY impact on future weather patterns is, well, a heaping wheelbarrow full of misinformation.”
      Rob, keep up the good work.

    • Beyond the scope of heating needs, take a deep dive into the industry of plastic. The top manufacturers are located in Taiwan. One is set up with a LCC in the Cayman Islands. What other top industry is in Taiwan? Electronic chips. As the climate change cult screams to divest in “fossil fuels”, their elected official heroes (such as the ones under the Golden Dome and Congress) are heavily invested in the plastic industry and electronics overseas. No wonder Pelosi and other high ranking members took trips to Taiwan. It wasn’t really about war with China (which they are friends with as well), it was to protect their investments. As long as foreign money flows into their coffers, they will protect the overseas “fossil fuel” industry, personally profit greatly from investing in it, and their woke minions are used as fodder fools to keep the scam going. Follow the money, who is profiting from it, and the facts speak volumes.

    • Your allegations and argument are invalid. EAI’s funding is of no relevance to the S.5 debate. Simply put, S.5 is a carbon tax, designed to place a premium on hydrocarbon fuels for home heating- while also dictating what energy source is acceptable to a government commission of climate evangelists.
      Mobil Oil, Shell and other major oil companies could care less about Vermont, as evidenced that Vermont’s heating fuels- oil and LP gas are wholesale purchased by jobbers and then resold by retailers. The very folks represented by the VT Fuel Dealers Assn.
      To further discredit your argument, Vermont government’s preferred energy source is electric energy- and at this moment, per ISO-NE the New England grid is 90% fueled by non-renewable sources. of which 55% is hydrocarbon based. The fantasy of solar and wind powered Vermont is just that, fantasy. S.5 seeks only to expand government, increase government revenue and control- and merely switch where the hydrocarbons are used to beyond Vermont’s borders. Virtue signaling as a revenue source is not sound policy- however there are quite a few climate evangelists reaping tens of millions of dollars promoting this fantasy.

      • You can say my information is wrong. I look at the bigger picture. My information was sourced from Canada, you know our border neighbor to the North? Where is Hydro Quebec located? Who owns Hydro Quebec? (October 2022 “HQI US Holding LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hydro-Québec, has entered into an agreement to acquire Great River Hydro, LLC, which owns 13 hydropower generating stations with a total installed capacity of 589 megawatts along New England’s Connecticut and Deerfield rivers in the states of Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Great River Hydro is being sold by affiliates of ArcLight Capital Partners, LLC (“ArcLight”) for a value of approximately US$2 billion.”) Justin Trudeau and company investments are oddly the same as his counterparts in the USA. Gee, I wonder why?

        The issue is much bigger than S.5. While a great many people are filling their pants over S.5, the syndicate continues profiteering bigly from the whole “fossil fuel” industry. Shutting down pipelines, stopping production, derailing train cars, perpetually surcharging and taxing, while “they” and foreign countries profit from all of it and we get to pay for it. The Golden Dome syndicate is playing a role in a larger scheme. It is death to the USA by a thousand cuts. Vermont is nothing more than a coin dispenser and it should come as no surprise why…if people bothered to look past the fear porn of climate change and the subtle theivery behind it all.

      • Timing is everything, my response is to Mr. Ivan Peter Smith and the allegations he asserts, diverting attention from the message to the messenger. My response ended up below yours by order received, apparently.

  4. Well there you have it folks. Mr. Roper has given us his view as to why the S5 fuel bill is not a good idea and Mr. Smith has given us his counterpoint. Though the legislators are likely to be interested in your consensus I was just wondering…which view do you find most credibility? Mr. Roper’s or Mr. Smith’s?

  5. 1. If global warming, er, climate change, is caused by humans, why did the glaciers melt 12000 years ago?
    2. Archaeologists have found fossilized flowers, pollen, and trees in Antarctica. They date this as being from ~200 million years ago, and from a core sample they say the CO2 levels back then were 100x what they are now. Explain to me again how humans caused that?

    Like fauxvid, we’ve been lied to. CO2 makes plants grow. More CO2 available to plants means more clouds, which means more precipitation, which means even more plants and even more clouds. More clouds diminishes average sunshine, which actually COOLS the planet.

    So you can see how climate is really a wave, going from warm to cool and back again, ad infinitum. It’s about equilibrium and balance, with man being the direct cause of so little, hundredths of a percent, that it’s meaningless.

    And yet in East Palestine OH, officials blew up a bunch of toxic polyvinyl which fouled the air and ecosystem, when they could have just as easily drained the rail cars. I wonder how much CO2 went into the air with that one. I would venture a guess that it’s more CO2 than all the cars in VT for a year. But no, we’d rather turn the discussion into how the Ethan Allen Institute is funded. Look! Squirrel!!

    The Unaffordable Heat Act is a sham. Think about it. Think it out. Use your brains!

  6. I will not be “polite” nor “politically correct”. They want us out. We are not welcome here. We are using up THEIR personal air and space. They want you dead.

    You can keep your less than polite wording of “population control”. THEY WANT YOU DEAD. Move out. You are not welcome here. Do you think they have worked so hard to deny you your vote just to ALLOW you to live here?

    And let me just say the quiet part out loud: How dare you get in the way of our Abortion plans? How dare you think you have any rights here? If you are not an illegal alien, or an out of state pregnant citizen hell bent on donating your ripped out of the womb adrenochrome donation, YOU are the problem.

    WAKE UP VERMONT. It’s YOUR unwillingness to face what is going on that allows these monsters to dictate whether you can be warm or not on your own terms.

  7. According to the Lobbying Information Disclosure at the Secretary of State’s office, VPIRG reported spending $10,236.13 in Jan. and $22,805.36 in Feb. VNRC reported spending $10,033.67 in Jan. and $13,812.15 in Feb. Conservation Law Foundation reported spending $10,573.70 in Jan. and $11,295.80 in Feb. In total three groups promoting the Affordable Heat Act/Clean Heat Standard have spent $78,756.81 in the first two months of 2023.

    • I missed some, add in Vermont Conservation Voters and Sierra Club, the total for the first two months spent on lobbying by the five groups including VPIRG, VNRC and CLF, is $94,114.72.

  8. The short sighted-ness that encompasses the views of some in the world is downright malicious at times, I feel. People, we live in an area and time that you should be seriously considering not just one source of heat for your home. That means not just using fuel but maybe wood. The reality of all of this big movement (and I think of it like my morning communion) is to funnel money into certain directions when you should be using a balanced approach. EG something like planning a pellet stove and a fuel oil or propane heat source into your home, ensuring your comfort and safety. Heat pumps have proven for some homes to be not enough (ahem, you in question look at your wants vs needs) and our focus on one vs another will simply create shortages if not resource raping and overpricing in the future on items we require. Hate not only the game, but the player in this regard.
    Read Miss Banks comment and also weigh things on this story: I used to work across from an old man’s home in Rutland, his name was Francis. He was born in the home he occupied at the time and could remember that the Moon Brook flooded his home around 2 sides + and he could only exit the house via the front door. Today this would mean the Tap House, gas station, tire shop plus more businesses along the path of Moon Brook would be closed for business til the flooding subsided. His story was from the previous 100 years to Irene people. Irene just affected different areas of our state and became OUR story. Our topography, it causes funnels and weather focused points. Just ask people in Mt Holly. I can personally attest to weather phenomena along rte 7 between Pittsford and Brandon, esp by the Florence truck route.
    Plymouth rock is still sitting in the approximate same amount of water it’s been used to for quite some time folks. It’s time to stop the emotional rule based insanity people. The earth is going to do what it wants, or more importantly what it needs, to do.
    Everything cycles!

  9. How much nonsense and infighting can one take. We are being used by an out of control empire. It’s time to take back our homes and create our legal right to a 2nd Vermont Republic. Then we can live at peace and be sensible like our ancestors, which is what brought us here in the first place. Go 2VR.

    • I used to think so too, then I realized that Vermont’t endemic leftists would just turn their new nation into some bizarre combination of Portland & North Korea. At least for now, the US government reigns them in a little. I’m all for seceding, but not with the current demographics. Nope. LOL.

  10. Mr. Lowry. Think Swiss 🧀 Our Republic is not left or right anymore than that. Do it while we still can before the N Korea ICBMs.