Despathy: S.5 a parasitic tapeworm

by Alison Despathy

No amount of money or reports will fix the fundamentally flawed, rotten to the core S.5 bill. Its intention and deceptive name – Affordable Heat Act – sound great and for those who simply read headlines or believe in utopia, it is a perfect plan. Sadly, this is not the case. S.5 is highly destructive

The predatory, actually parasitic nature of S.5 has become more apparent. Vermont will receive at least $600 million in federal funding to support the ‘energy transition’ – plenty to continue to drive this path without burdening Vermonters with higher heating costs in the way S.5 would.

But greed is often overpowering.

Alison Despathy

With federal funding to do the same work that S.5 proposes – ‘clean energy technology’, efficiency measures and an emphasis on low and moderate income Vermonters – why would the Legislature contemplate passing a bill that will result in higher costs for heating fuels? Why would the thermal sector be forced into a game to “pay” for selling products necessary for heating many homes?

Enter the tapeworm: the parasitic, economy-sucking, profit-hungry, monopoly generating S.5 tapeworm.

S.5 demands a clean heat standard-carbon credit equivalent designed to both measure progress and maximize earning potential. This generation of carbon credits benefit select entities such as electric utilities, Vermont gas, and large fossil fuel companies. They all want in on the bogus carbon market because they stand to gain while hard working Vermonters would pay more for heat and fund this plan. That is the parasitic system falsely sold as affordable and equitable.

At the heart of this problem is the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) which requires a policy to track and monitor progress towards Vermont’s greenhouse gas reduction requirements. The GWSA is forcing impulsive action and poorly designed, destructive legislation in order to develop this plan. 

With a clean heat standard, actions taken with federal money will generate carbon offsets/credits. Carbon is a commodity and the carbon market is designed to serve corporations, offer an illusion of environmental concern, create market flows, micromanage industries and provide a source of profit. S.5 and its clean heat standard forces the thermal sector into the emissions trading trap – a game where big business and bogus environmental justice win.

In the winter of 2020, Bloomberg published an article, “How The Nature Conservancy, the world’s largest environmental group, became a dealer of meaningless carbon offsets.” Ben Elgin states, “JP Morgan, Disney, and BlackRock tout these projects as an important mechanism for slashing their own carbon footprint. By funding the preservation of carbon-absorbing forests, the companies say, they’re offsetting the carbon producing impacts of their global operations. But in all of those cases, the land was never threatened, the trees were already part of a well preserved forest,”

Vermont social media has been circulating ads for the Nature Conservancy’s Family Forest Carbon Program – The Nature Conservancy has become a middle man of carbon offsets and is now capitalizing on this extractive market and kicking a bit to the landowners for their land’s carbon sequestration capability.

Does this interfere with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) carbon offset program? Double counting is a strict No-No in corporate carbon markets, but who’s counting anyway? Welcome to the world of corporate environmental justice where all of nature becomes commodified and financialized to serve markets, hedge funds, big business and institutional investors.

This is a dangerous path. Should global corporations and publicly traded companies be able to buy bogus carbon offsets and thus increase their standing in BlackRock’s ESG (Environmental-Social-Governance) corporate credit rating game? BlackRock, State Street, and Vanguard have gained a monopolized level of control over a majority of corporations and manage 22 trillion dollars. Too much money in too few hands. BlackRock has even been referred to as the fourth branch of government.

Is this who should determine what environmental and social justice look like? A glimpse at corporate culture should easily give us the answer.

Greenwashing and bogus carbon markets are also rooted locally. In November, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved a contract for Vermont Gas Systems (VGS) to purchase biogas or ‘renewable natural gas.’ produced from New York landfills and waste owned by British Petroleum. This biogas would circulate through pipes up in Canada, never make it to VT yet allow VGS to have an ongoing source of bogus carbon credits. This coupled with a clean heat standard allows for profits and false messaging about “renewable energy” that will only “increase rates a little bit for customers.”

Similar to biogas- biomass and biofuels are not clean, green renewable energy- in fact most are highly destructive based on their life cycle analysis- often more than fossil fuels. However, because they are considered acceptable in S.5, the entities using these sources can produce clean heat credits to count towards their own requirements and sell on the market or to small fuel dealers who need them in order to continue to operate. More bogus carbon credits generated from greenwashing- the dominant theme in carbon trading.

Out of concern for this inequitable fraudulent carbon scheme, a request was made that S.5 make the non-profit Office of Economic Opportunity responsible for delivering carbon-reducing services.

No can do, Senate Natural Resources and Energy decided. Instead, for-profit electric utilities, Vermont Gas and large wholesalers would continue to generate and purchase for profit carbon credits via greenwashing, while small fuel dealers and their customers pay more to heat their homes.

Is this how Vermont does environmental and social justice? Is Vermont going to embrace authentic environmental and social justice or lock into the bogus, parasitic corporate version that S.5 offers? Vermont could demand a constructive solution and design a policy that allows for measuring progress and accountability and does not negatively impact the price of heating fuel or bring collateral damage to Vermonters, small businesses and our economy as a whole.

The author is a clinical nutritionist in St. Johnsbury.

Categories: Commentary

9 replies »

  1. Well said, will you run for office? We need someone with a brain that doesn’t have an agenda.

  2. Finally a well written piece that we all can understand. S.5 is the Bitcoin racket of the decade. The intelligensia in Montpelier is out to get us all. It’s like a runaway bus on a mountain road. It’s not going to stop until it goes off the guardrails. Hold your Senator responsible for this boondoggle.

  3. Alison Despathy
    Well said, well written with truth and facts
    Thank you very much for sharing this information with WE THE PEOPLE!!👍🗽👍🇺🇸 FOLKS YOU NEED TO LEARN TO SAY NO PERIOD!!

  4. I just watched a documentary by an ex-Wall Street banker called “The Shadow State” … it was terrifying. The Globalist billionaires (Davos crowd under the leadership of Klaus Schwab’s WEF) have penetrated World governments. They believe they have the right to govern us & plan to steal all our human rights & freedoms.

    They are calling this New World Order ” ESG ” (which stands for Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance) where the top 100 billionaires are the Stakeholders/Investors (like Blackrock) decide the rules/laws ~ even in the USA.

    Since 2020, there has been accelerating pressure from the United Nations to overlay ESG data with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), based on their work, which began in the 1980s with United Nations.

    They claim its purpose is to deal with environmental issues having to do with climate change, and ‘equity’ issues under the guise of BLM / racism, gender/LBGTQ equality & gun control …

    The Globalists are ‘greenwashing’ fascsim – is what it looks like.

    to see the trailer – to “The Shadow State”

    this is the link to the documentary; it is free online
    “The Shadow State”

  5. In my humble opinion, S.5 is the product of decades of far left indoctrination in the schools and colleges. But maybe the tables are turning and sharing the truth in well written pieces like this will help inform and encourage others see through it.

    My reason for hope is found in examples like the recent event at Stanford Law School where students shouted down a conservative judge, S. Kyle Duncan, led by the Associate Dean of DEI disrespectfully propagandizing her tyrannical ideas. She has been put on leave, and since then, two federal circuit court judges, James Ho and Elizabeth Branch, have stated they will no longer hire clerks now or in the future from Stanford Law School. Ho stated: “My concern is how law students are treating everyone else they disagree with. I’m concerned about what this is doing to the legal profession—and to our country.”

    The sponsors and those behind S. 5 behave like the Stanford students. They have been and are unwilling to listen to reason or facts but would rather shut down opposition and impose their faulty viewpoint on everyone. It is unacceptable.
    We the people say: Enough! We do not want your tyrannical bill!

    • You are certainly on to something here- that liberal and leftist ideology and a “dumbing down” of critical reasoning are furthering the leftist ideology.
      It also seems that S.5, with it’s probable veto and ensuing override is a distraction from other bills that do equal harm to Vermont’s residents and taxpayers. Current house and senate leadership are clever, diverting attention from other goals- but they are not that clever. baruth and krowinski are receiving direction from outside Vermont, from donor-class marxists using Vermont as a testing ground for their totalitarian, marxist agenda.

      Very few house or senate members are native residents- the majority have arrived here from other dystopian states to change Vermont into what they left behind.

  6. There seems to be virus at the State house, as soon as one enters they are infected with the illness of lack of common sense.

  7. Convolution and contrived complexity are common covers for corruption. Oh, hello S.5.

  8. “Vermont could demand a constructive solution and design a policy that allows for measuring progress and accountability….”

    Or, on the other hand, Vermonters could tell them to take their destructive “carbon credit” scheme and shove it. The whole premise that carbon is a pollutant and that a climate apocalypse is imminent is just more bs and fear-mongering, as proven by the last 50 years of 100 percent failed predictions. Why does anyone continue to believe these corrupt politicians, CEO’s, and scientists whose bread is buttered and laundered by corporate donations (including not-profits and NGO’s), government grants and foreign dark money.

    These are tyrants bent on further enslaving what remains of humanity after their recent and future plannedemics and readymade clot shots continue their depopulation agenda, as advocated by those same WEF/Davos crowd and their collaborators in this country.

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