Roper: Scott admin pushes Senate for follow-up Clean Heat Standard vote

By Rob Roper

Debate over the Clean Heat Standard (CHS) bill (H.715) is now in the Senate Committee for Natural Resources & Energy, where members received their first briefings on the legislation today. The notable difference in the senate discussion compared to the house was the evident pressing by members of the Scott Administration (Ed McNamara, General Counsel, Agency of Natural Resources and TJ Poor, Director of Planning, Department of Public Service) for formalizing the need for another vote by the legislative branch on the final plan put forward by the Public Utilities Commission before the CHS could be implemented.

This idea was pushed in the House committee by Rep. Sally Achey (R-Middletown Springs) and shot down, and on the House floor in the form of an amendment by Rep. Jim Harrison (R-Chittenden), which went down 44-96.

But, as Poor argued, “I don’t think the two-step process causes us to lose anything. I think it does allow us to gain better information, better analysis, and allow the legislature to really make an informed decision on what their voting for — on what kind of winners and losers of the clean heat standard are you furthering with your policy decision…. The affirmative decision should be made to say that, yes, we understand to the best that we can the consequences, and that we affirmatively support and want to move forward [with the Clean Heat Standard].” 

This is common sense and responsible, accountable government – something our legislators and activists seem allergic to. The last thing most of them want to do is affix their “yes” votes to a bill that has a definitive price tag on it with zero plausible deniability about who they’re screwing over. Will the Senate defy expectations, do the right thing and install a two-step process? Time will tell.

Either way, the good news is that the administration seems to be laying the groundwork for a potential veto of the CHS if it doesn’t contain a second vote threshold. The bad news is, many members of the Scott Administration, including Poor, have been advocates for the Climate Action Plan and the Clean Heat Standard, at least conceptually if not in its details.

Scott himself has not brought the hammer down on the CHS for being what it is: a stealth Carbon Tax on home heating fuels. Opposition to Carbon Taxes being a platform he was first elected on back in 2016, and one he still professes to stand by. Will he continue to stand by that pledge? Again, time will tell. 

– Rob Roper is on the board of the Ethan Allen Institute

4 replies »

  1. “…with zero plausible deniability about who they’re screwing over.”

    That would be me. The point isn’t climate change: rather, Vermont is being cleared out of farmers, artists, poets, small business owners, etc., in favor of rich liberals like “Arec Bardwin” (who just bought a house here). These folks want a safe, clean hidey hole at their disposal as the type of society they promoted breaks down. I first noticed this during the wind-industry scam. This is just another approach.

    Thanks in advance, Governor Scott, for your veto.

    • I’m hearing Stowe is getting bought up by Disney. It makes sense since resorts in particular have suffered through an extended period of near-decapitation due to mandates, staff shortages and rising costs.

  2. Climate Marxism:

    Control the means, output and (re)distribution of production by controlling the means, output and distribution of energy.

    It’s the marriage of the Degrowth Movement with Marxism.

  3. The Democrats and Progressive in the Vermont legislature are quick pass and mandate non-solutions to global climate change all without lifting a finger to do the least amount of cost – benefit analysis…….Behavior of this nature would not be acceptable nor tolerated for 10 seconds in the private sector………But it happens repeatedly in the Vermont legislature.

    Listening to months of testimony from self interested climate activists and the renewable energy industry does not constitute cost – benefit analysis.