STOP THE PRESSES! Guv vetoes Clean Heat Standard due to inadequate ‘checkback’

by Guy Page

Minutes after today’s Vermont Daily Chronicle “went to press,” Gov. Phil Scott issued a veto of H715, the Clean Heat Standard requiring a transition from fossil fuel heat to electric heat and weatherization.

In his veto statement (see below), the governor said H715 needs a more thorough ‘checkback,’ or legislative approval for the Public Utilities Commission implementation plan due out by next July.

None of the three roll call votes held by the House on H715 mustered the 100 votes that would be needed for a veto override. The Senate voted 23-7 – sufficient for the 2/3 needed to override.

“I think the checkback was solid, and there are enough votes for an override,” Sen. Brian Campion, vice-chair of the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee said after hearing about the veto. The Senate committee passed H715 with a ‘checkback’ that the governor said is inadequate.

On May 6, Governor Phil Scott returned without signature and vetoed H.715 and sent the following letter to the General Assembly:

Pursuant to Chapter II, Section 11 of the Vermont Constitution, I am returning H.715, An act relating to the Clean Heat Standard, without my signature because of my objections described herein:

As Governor and as elected officials, we have an obligation to ensure Vermonters know the financial costs and impacts of this policy on their lives and the State’s economy. Signing this bill would go against this obligation because the costs and impacts are unknown. The Legislature’s own Joint Fiscal Office acknowledges this fact, saying:

“It is too soon to estimate the impact on Vermont’s economy, households, and businesses. The way in which the Clean Heat Standard is implemented, including the way in which clean heat credits are priced and how incentives or subsidies are offered to households and businesses, must be established before meaningful analysis is possible. At the same time, those incentives or subsidies could be costly for the State, suggesting larger fiscal impacts in future years.”

I understand the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which is why I proposed a $216 million dollar climate package and why my administration has engaged in this policy conversation since January. However, over the last several months it became very clear to me that no one had a good handle on what this program was going to look like, with some even describing it as a carbon tax on the floor.  

I have clearly, repeatedly, and respectfully asked the Legislature to include language that would require the policy and costs to come back to the General Assembly in bill form so it could be transparently debated with all the details before any potential burden is imposed. This is how lawmaking and governing is supposed to work and what Vermonters expect, deserve and have a right to receive.

What the Legislature has passed is a bill that includes some policy, with absolutely no details on costs and impacts, and a lot of authority and policy making delegated to the Public Utility Commission (PUC), an unelected board. And regardless of the latest talking points, the bill does not guarantee a full legislative deliberation on the policy, plan and fiscal implications prior to implementation. By design, this bill and the inadequate “check back” allows legislators to sign off on a policy concept – absent important details – and not own the decision to raise costs on Vermonters.

For these reasons I cannot allow this bill to go into law and strongly urge the Legislature to sustain this veto. – Gov. Phil Scott

To view a complete list of action on bills passed during the 2022 legislative session, click here.

Categories: Legislation

26 replies »

    • Solar and wind will never produce enough energy to power our immediate needs, much less the energy for our future needs! Like it or not our only source is nuclear. New technology of nuclear nature is our only hope! Wind, solar, water and other such suggestions are “pie in the sky” and just dreams of politicians and dreamers!

  1. Thank you Governor Scott. You have correctly vetoed a bill that would cost most Vermonters money they do not have to spend. In no way would this bill improve Vermonts quality of life. There is research out there that says our forests, when compared to our population, make Vermont almost “carbon neutral”. We should not pay the price to fight “global warming” when other much worse actors around the world do nothing. We cannot make a significant difference.

  2. Your next “stop the presses” will be to let us know that the Legislature leeches overturned his veto. They all need to go, one way or another.

    • Guess we’ll need to commit massive voter fraud & “redistricting” like they do.

      • Term limits are no answer in themselves as long as we voters continue to elect representatives and administration of the same ilk!

  3. Thank you! Governor Scott, for vetoing this useless and malicious piece of legislation, pushed forward by Vermont legislators, pretending to be ‘Climate Justice Warriors’ who can’t comprehend the economic damage and harmful unforeseen consequences their romp into a Climate Crisis Fantasy-land would cause Vermonters. People, please remember this when it’s time to vote again this fall, and vote these fools out!

    • These pinheads may be Vermont legislators but two-thirds of them are NOT Vermonters. They are Soros pawns & frauds. That means YOU, Mac Cormack!

  4. Would it be too much to hope for the removal from office through the democratic process, of these idiots who proposed such policy?
    Oh, wait. Wasn’t the panel produced by the governor?

  5. The gov says he vetoed in part because the costs of this legislation are not known. I would say they are not knowable because of so many confounding variables such as skyrocketing fuel prices. People may well freeze to death because of some politician’s dystopian fantasy.

  6. The first solution ought to be giving people a 100% tax deduction for weatherization, and it ought to be a deduction that reduces income for the school taxes. the second solution ought to be real proof any action is actually needed. Some scientists say the actual temperature increase over 300 years have been a little more then 1 degree. That is not a crisis. — And the real crises we clearly have are the 100 idiots on the legislature. Fuel and heating people need to tell everyone of them they are on the own and refuse to serve them. period.

    • We voters are the ones who elected those to serve in the Legislature and Administration. The so called “Crisis” is a political invention. Those appointed to such Boards are activists who identify as fake experts>

  7. Windmills will provide, at least, a substantial portion of what is needed. That is why corporations pay to install them on private land in VT and then send the electricity out of state.

  8. Clean energy – there is no such thing! Please tell me how resources to construct any of the materials is accomplished without fossil fuels? Are solar panels made of wood? Do you dig the materials out of the earth with a wooden backhoe? Melt them down over a camp fire? Absolute nonsense and nothing more than a money grab. Wake up!

    • Truth is not the motivator for green energy. No one in the legislature cares about cobalt mining in the Republic of the Congo done by children in forced slavery. Liberals and progressives ignore the mining of critical battery components like lithium or the diesel equipment used to excavate a ridge line to build a road to haul tons of concrete for a monolith base or `the manufacture of solar panels in China where environmental policies are nonexistent. When an agenda is your religion for greed, power and control facts just don’t matter. The patients have taken over the asylum, like the invasion of the body snatchers the remote masters control the brain dead. The voters have options but it appears many of them are also brain dead or grotesquely ignorant due to media censorship and smart (dumb) phones. The first way to Take Back Vermont from these non- -representatives of the people is to Take Back our Legislature November 8, 2022.

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