Senate committee ponders adding motor fuel to Clean Heat Standard

By Rob Roper

On Monday, the lightbulb went off over the heads of the members of the senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee that the Clean Heat Standard bill (H.715) that they are currently reviewing only deals with thermal – hence the definitive word “heat” in the name – emissions. Not transportation emissions as well. This did not go down well.

Senator Dick McCormack (D-Windsor) gasped, “Are we really going to let the gavel come down at the end of this session in early May and not have addressed [transportation emissions] in this committee? I think that’s unbelievable?”

Chairman Chris Bray (D-Addison) pointed to work the committee did last year on the Mileage Plus program but was cut short by Senator Mark MacDonald’s (D-Orange) profane outburst, “That’s bulls—t! Mileage Plus doesn’t put one additional [electric] car on the road, it simply drives up the price of used vehicles.” Which I’m sure is exactly why voters sent these folks to Montpelier: to make purchasing a used vehicle because you can’t afford a new one even more expensive. They seem to think so! But I digress….

As the committee members grumbled amongst themselves, Legislative Council, Ellen Czajkowski, chimed in, “One of the primary recommendations from the Vermont Climate Action Plan on transportation was joining the Transportation Climate Initiative, which fell apart a week before the plan was released…. But, that said,” she added with a come hither grin,” you have authority to request bills to address issues. Let me know if I can help! And I would just also add it would briefly, briefly, briefly discuss about whether or not the Clean Heat Standard should address other fuels because that is what other states do.” 

Senator Richard Westman (R-Lamoille) perked up, noting that three other states have standards for transportation, California, Washington and Oregon.

MacDonald proposed, “When TCI went away nothing has happened since then. I think we should spend the next day or so thinking of how this big empty hole in the transportation policy has been created and to work with members of the Transportation Committee to somehow acknowledge that in their Transportation Bill…. We got to do something instead of just going home without any plan.”

Bray mused, “I suppose we could also add something to this bill that would say something similar.” 

And MacDonald cheered heartily, “It’s not a clean heat thing, it’s a clean driving thing.”

After general agreement amongst the members to pursue this direction, MacDonald concluded the discussion, “Let’s think in the next day or so where we could make that statement and push and pull our colleagues along in this direction. Whether the best place to do it is in the transportation bill, or this bill, or some other place.” 

So, just like that the cost and complexity of this Clean Heat and now Transportation Standard bill has likely doubled, much to the detriment of the Vermont consumer. It’s not enough that they’re going to force you to pay more heat your home, but now to drive you’re vehicle as well (because, you know, gas prices aren’t rising high enough as it is). 

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

Categories: Energy

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8 replies »

  1. Rob,

    If I didn’t already know that this gang is capable of anything, I’d suspect that you had written it as an April Fools joke and that it’s just late being published. And while other states are putting their gas taxes on moratorium!

  2. “The question that the Vermont Climate Council and legislators are attempting to answer, using schemes like the CHS, is not, “How do we heat homes and power cars without fossil fuels?” Rather it is, “How do we get most Vermonters to live in smaller homes and drive fewer cars?”

    Curbing society-wide consumption is the only way to curb carbon emissions. But it will not occur voluntarily and cannot be imposed without an imminent threat, as proven by the COVID-19 lockdowns.

    The authorities thus settle on penalizing the middle class – a chronically abused demographic that is teetering on extinction in Vermont. Climate Council member Jared Duval demonstrated this punitive impulse when he admitted that the CHS will hurt businesses that sell “as much fossil fuel as you want.”

    How will bio-alternatives reduce consumption? By shuttering local companies and forcing middle-income workers and families to downsize or leave the state. Ultimately, the Clean Heat Standard will raise carbon emissions and deepen Vermont’s shameful chasm between the wealthy and welfare dependent.”

    From Meg Hansen of Ethan Allen Institute

  3. Pretty soon the government will be giving select people “Cash for Clunkers” as an additional incentive to buy an electric vehicle while simultaneously even further limiting the size of the used car market (by destroying said clunkers).

  4. It doesn’t take much to link the legislature’s perceived need for S.265 to legislative ideas such as this. The elitist leftist socialist crew that has their clubhouse in Montpelier could care less about their respective constituencies- only to pursue junk science, climate evangelism and the dollars from grifter crowd that lobbies to influence then fear repercussion from the electorate.
    After the “unforeseen” consequence of eliminating the middle class in Vermont, whom will pay the
    taxes that fund the cycle of corruption? Certainly not the grifters currently extracting millions in the name of green energy, they will have moved on to more profitable venues. The current legislature is in the process of engineering a welfare state here in Vermont. There will only be the liberal, leftist elites and their service class, beholden to the elites for work and assistance programs from “the government”.
    Without a marked change in the makeup of the 2023-4 legislature, the future is grim for Vermont residents- regardless of income or political status. Convoluted legislation such as this “clean heat standard” ensure that the leftist elites retain their grip on Vermont’s political system.

  5. Terrific stuff legislators!!!! A couple of weeks from now, pass your drive-by legislation “clean heat transportation standards” !!!! Then sit back and marvel at the joy and woke mirth experienced by your greatest supporters / “constituents”. Time to party!!!! They’ll finish their hard day’s work at the local nonprofit or VSAC, and head off to celebrate the awaited spike in the value of their “renewable” stock portfolios in their trust funds….driving their Teslas and Subarus from their $600,000 McMansions and farmettes in SoBu and Charlotte, to BTV to dine or some grass fed VT beef with porcini mushroom sauce for dinner, maybe a little salad with organic micro greens from Pitchfork Farm. Chased with some Caledonia Spirits! Then on to a breezy evening at opening night of the Lake Monsters, while lounging in a $1,600 Suite and sipping a Zero Gravity. Woohoooooo! And what of the masses…the peons and serfs who maintain the roads, sack the groceries at Health Living, clean the restrooms at the Flynn, mow the lawns at Wake Robin, run the wastewater plant on the lakefront, etc.? What of them, as they sweat through their day and see the headlines and wonder about affording heat pumps, $5.00 gasoline, $4.00 boxed macaroni and cheese for supper, and sweat over how to pay for their kids’ teeth cleaning and new tires for the Rav 4? Hmmm?? What of them?????? Well, at least they’ve got Dr. Dynasaur, college loans from VSAC, child care subsidies, 21C after school programs, grants from the VCF for their local school’s gender equity program, and surplus-funded free lunches…to help out!!!!! Yes legislators, may you derive great satisfaction from knowing that you have helped save our climate. (And, helped enrich Suncommon and All Earth Renewables!!!!!!) . May God bless our wonderful People’s Republic of Vermont!!!!!

  6. Those that are supporting this bill must be trying to compete with California as the worst state to ever live in in the United States. There’s nothing there that helps the common Vermonter, that’s the trouble with everyone in the legislature they do everything but help the common Vermonter.

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