Key House lawmaker would penalize gas-guzzlers

Photo Courtesy of the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development

by Kate Kampner, Community News Service

Reducing personal use of gasoline powered vehicles is a top priority of state Rep. Mollie Burke, D-Brattleboro, heading into the next legislative session. 

“The priorities have been so skewed,” Burke said in a recent interview. “People think they have the God-given right to go whenever they want to go.” 

Entering her 16th year on the House Committee on Transportation, Burke wants to work on legislation that pushes people to switch from gas-powered and single-occupant vehicles to electric cars, as well as other forms of sustainable transportation. On top of that, she said legislators need to help make those alternatives more affordable. 

Burke is also a member of the Vermont Transit Advisory Council and the Brattleboro Coalition for Active Transportation.

Burke described a federal program in early development to make it easier for the public to access electric vehicle charging stations with money given to Vermont through the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed in 2021. Through the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program, Vermont officials want to set up charging stations within 1 mile of every interstate exit or highway intersection, as well as within 50 miles of the next station. 

The legislator recognized how it’s going to take time to convince those with “range anxiety” and how it might be harder in more rural areas like the Northeast Kingdom to access the chargers.

“But the goal is there,” she said. “I mean, everybody realizes that electric vehicles are what’s happening. And in order to get them we need to deal with the infrastructure, we need robust policies in state government.” 

Burke said she is supporting former Rep. Curt McCormack, D-Burlington, current Rep. Gabrielle Stebbins, D-Burlington, and other legislators, who are promoting a feebate policy — where people with fuel-efficient cars would get payouts from the state while those with gas guzzlers would have to pay extra fees. 

Burke looked at France as an example: The country instituted its own feebate program in 2008, which added a fee to vehicles with emissions above a certain level.

Burke sponsored a bill last January, H.101, which aimed to start Vermont on that path. The bill went nowhere last session, but Burke said she would support changing that.

“It’s not something we were getting a lot of support from, from the administration, but I think we might try again this year,” she said. 

“I will be working on that and trying to promote that,” she said. “Sometimes you have to do things that are politically feasible, right? But at the same time, we’re in a situation right now where being politically feasible shouldn’t matter. It should matter that we’re in a very bad situation regarding our climate.”

The Community News Service is a program in which University of Vermont students work with professional editors to provide content for local news outlets at no cost.

60 replies »

  1. I don’t believe congresswoman burke has the right to decide where we travel to or how we get there.

    • The theory that by implementing what could be sighted as another tax without representation, would seem to me that you are not representing the people as a whole, but helping those that would profit from such..

      • “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” As I consider the 5 rights the 1st Amendment offers all U.S. citizens since 1791, I particularly zone in on right #4 the right to assemble peacefully. That requires travel, and it doesn’t dictate the reason for the peaceful assembly. It could be a town meeting, a school board meeting, or just a get together at someone’s house. We don’t need travel papers like many other countries in the world. By the way IT IS MY GOD GIVEN RIGHT, and Congress shall make NO law that violates any of these rights. Charging money for any U.S. citizen to exercise their 1st amendment rights is beyond ridiculous. But it appears Burke either hasn’t read the Constitution, or doesn’t understand what the Constitution says. She just wants to skip right over and radify the 1st Amendment, without the voting voices of all U.S. citizens in all 50.
        Regardless of your political affiliation this total disregard of the Constitution Burke has should make everyone angry !

  2. The number of assumptions that this lady makes is astounding. So facts don’t matter, and her statement at the end says that it doesn’t matter whether it’ll work or not.

    The only thing that seems to matter is that they bankrupt the rest of us.

  3. Electric vehicles are not the answer to anything,and people need to be free to do what they want when they want responsibly!!

  4. I wish I knew where to find the photos of the electric car junkyards in France. Anybody?

  5. The audacity, the outright audacity of this woman. To presume to tell me I don’t have a god-given right to travel wherever I want to go. What kind of a person lives in the United States of America, enjoys the freedom granted by God and spelled out in our Constitution with the blood of our forefathers. Yes, my grandfather Edward really did fight for our freedom from the British in 1776 and was wounded in both the Battle of Bunker Hill and the Bennington Battle. Mollie Burke, don’t you dare tell me you will dictate how I live my life in Vermont, our relatives having farmed and worked here since the late 1700s. And yes, I would tell the same thing to your face. Some way, some how, this “representative” needs a dose of reality. Anyone agree with me that she should be forced to live in a socialist or communist country for a year or more? Do we need to again fight in a revolution for our freedom?

    • Yes we do need to fight for our freedom again. For the last 60 years (my lifetime), we have been slowly, methodically indoctrinated and conditioned to accept more and more control and give up more and more Liberties and Freedoms. It may even go further back than that, probably to the late teens or early twenties of the last century. And it will have to get very very bad before anyone gives up their cocoon of comfort and convenience. Try reading the Gulag Archipelago by Solzhenitsyn or Live Not by Lies by Rod Dreyher. Or better yet Resistance to Tyranny by Joseph Martino.
      I will be contacting this representative Molly Burke to give her an eyeful along the same lines as Mr Waldo above. Indeed here is her email address:
      Please do let her know what your thoughts are, however I would encourage you to be firm, resolute but poltely forceful in letting her know your thoughts and opinions. It does no good to antagonize people who don’t think along the lines that you do, it just makes them dig in harder.

  6. “The priorities have been so skewed,” Burke said in a recent interview. “People think they have the God-given right to go whenever they want to go.” Boom – there it is folks. Perhaps it’s time to take a close look-see at their forms of transportation, their travel and accomodations, their sources of home fuel and size of their plantations. Perhaps it’s time to start filing FOIA requests for their emails on the State (public records) dimes to find out the details behind their plans and scheming. The day an elected official tells a human being what rights they possess under the law and under God, is the day they seal their fate. Declared and decreed.

    • I agree Ms. Casey. How does one file an FOIA request? That’s something I could accomplish.

      • Pam, here is the information. Mind you the Attorney General’s Office is under command and control of Charity Clark, so it will be interesting to see if her office follows the law or ignores it. I know for a fact DAIL ignores federal law, ignores violations of law, and outright lies to taxpayers they are paid to serve – under the Agency of Human Services – who proved themselves to be nothing human or ethical at all.

        “Anyone can request public records and a statement of purpose is not required. The Vermont Public Records Law places no restrictions on the use of public records. Records denials must be issued within 2 days of receiving the records request.” (for more information regarding FOIA requests)

  7. Oh, yeah. Tiny Vermont, just over half a million folks, is going to “save our climate,” by screwing poor & working folks some more, and by forcing people to use electric cars that are even worse. It’s hard to tell where stupid stops and malice begins, but in this case I’m still thinking she’s actually just this stupid.

  8. Re: “The priorities have been so skewed,” Burke said in a recent interview. “People think they have the God-given right to go whenever they want to go.”

    Never mind being a Cilmatetard, Ms. Burke is a Climate Nazi. If it was up to Molly, we would have check points and have to show our papers. Molly our rights are given to us by the God you don’t believe in.

  9. Where are the plans for a power grid robust enough to carry all needs of Vermonters in the warm summer, let alone in the winter with its additional challenges.

    • They plan on farming all the land with solar, that is, as soon as they get rid of all the farting cows.

  10. Rep. Burke’s comment about our God-given right to travel is provided without context. I would hope the context excuses such a blatantly offensive statement. If Ms. Burke really does believe Vermonters do not possess a God-given right to freedom of travel by the means they freely choose, she is clearly unfit for public office.

  11. Just looking at the infrastructure practicalities here…a charging station within a mile of every interstate exit and within 50 miles of every other station. How much pavement are you proposing, Burke? How about all the cable needed to connect them to the grid for reliable charging? How about all the extra pavement for whatever number of EVs you expect will potentially be stopping at any given time? Can an EV keep running the heat while someone is waiting for 2+ hours to charge up? What about keeping people from freezing to death while waiting for a spot?

    There is zero cognitive thought going into any of this. Just a push to kill our economy and control the people. She wouldn’t know a God-given right if it was written out for her, like, in some formal document…oh, maybe The Constitution.

  12. This idiot doesn’t seem to understand that freedom of movement is guaranteed by the constitution

    • You are correct….. but if we don’t start pushing back and soon, it will be over.

  13. If one looks at the voting records related to her elections (see Wikipedia)it is shocking to see that she has been serving since 2008(professional progressive), most often ran unopposed, and often won the seat with less than 500 votes total (once with just 295 votes).    Yes, the entire district vote was often less than 500 votes and she got them all.  The most votes she ever got over the course of her 15 years in office was less than 2000 , and she has been opposed only once.  

    Shall we work together and send her our reply in 2024?  It seems she is much more vulnerable than she supposes.  How fitting it would be to educate her on this point.

  14. this remark sums up the mindset of liberal Democrats and Progressives in Vermont. as Covid showed they want to be able to tell citizens what they can and cannot do.they have no regard for rights as something you are bore with like freedom of speech, movement and assembly. the right to defend yourself would be there.whether they would follow these onerous regulations is another topic

  15. And those who can afford electric vehicles will ride on the backs of those who cannot.


  17. This so-called representative is despicable. Fine, let her torture her own constituents with her dopey high ideal and no principles “solutions” but please leave everyone else out. She the poster child on what Orwellian and Ayn Rand warned us about: Elitists who strip away liberties of the citizenry, endorse private property seizure and drive mayhem and violence to the citizenry. Shame on the citizens of Brattleboro for supporting this Statist.

  18. This woman has been in office 16 years too long. She and the likes of Baruth, et al-and that includes the head rino, have turned VT into a hole. Like Mr. Baldi [above] said, “When are you going to wake up?”

  19. Until republicans who can win run for house seats, this is the type of legislation we end up voting on in the legislature. PLEASE…..someone conservative  run for this seat in 2024!

  20. “But the goal is there,” she said. “I mean, everybody realizes that electric vehicles are what’s happening.
    Who is everybody!!!! she is making a huge assumption that “EVERYBODY” thinks that electric cars are the way to go. Also once everybody goes to electric cars does that mean we will now have the God given rights to go wherever we want? You know what burkey, I’ll go where I want, when I want in my “GAS” powered car and I don’t need your permission to do so.

    • AND WHO CARES IF (she thinks) electric vehicles are what’s happenng….it ain’t happening here.

  21. She thinks she has a God-given right to destroy peoples lives, and the planet too. Evs are a scam.

  22. This sounds like just another college graduate, of which we have too many, who has been told they know everything and know nothing!

  23. Rep. Burke, a question….

    Are you auditioning for Kim Il Jong’s Cabinet?

    Ah, thought so…..

  24. And this…..

    Speaking on the insignificance of converting to EVs: “If all the cars in the world today were electric cars running on wind and solar, manmade carbon emissions would be reduced six percent.” -Daniel Yergin, Jan 26, 2020

  25. I believe you mis-typed the “C” that should be behind Comrade Burkes name. Thats a “C” for COMMUNIST. What planet did these people just parachute in from that they think they have the RIGHT to tell us what we can drive and where or how far??? I got news for ya lady, car sales dealers are telling the manufacturers NO MORE ELECTRIC vehicles on their lots. They can’t sell what they have. You can’t incentivize many enough to pay their hard earned dollars for one, though I know you feel its ok to take my dollars and give it to others in the form of subsidies for these pieces of junk. Please Burke stay with YOUR electric car for the winter in Island Pond or some other NEK town. Let us know how well that works for you.

  26. Until this country admits that nuclear power is the answer not wind, not solar, this BS will continue. People who support this nonsense must be blind to facts. Vermonts carbon foot print is tiny. Our poor working class is huge. Stop hurting poor people who are just trying to survive.

  27. How do you enter in any kind of a reasonable debate with a person who thinks like that. And to think they want to call conservatives Nazis

  28. More short sighted, overly uninformed virtue signaling installed as legislation. Question: do you feel like we’re in charge of the government or they’re in charge of us? The first yields freedom, the later is driven by tyranny.

  29. “The priorities have been so skewed,” Burke said in a recent interview. “People think they have the God-given right to go whenever they want to go.” 
    Uh, yeah Mollie we do have the G-D given right…our founders addressed it when they wrote. 
    “ We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
    It can’t be any more clear than that, or we’re just using the word (NAME) G-D loosely? The more you D/Progs run your mouth, the more convinced I am that the only god you believe in is your own puny selves.

  30. I just e-mailed this to that idiot – maybe y’all could do the same but, unlike me, be nice.

    Who in the hell do you think you are? YOU are NOT God. And for your information, according to our Constitution I DO have the God given right to go wherever I want in my car. The cars you are promoting are made by slaves/children who DIE making them. I know you could care less of small black children from the Congo dying to make your stupid car, stripping the land they have to live on so while you look at beautiful green mountains, they look at land stripped of all foliage, All for the sole purpose of you patting yourself on the back, mistakenly believing you are helping the planet. You are so selfish. What will happen to our water systems when the unrecyclable batteries put those toxic materials in our water?

    It is such a relief when you control freaks are not in session, planning on what freedoms you plan to try and take away from us and your obsession with controlling every minutia of our lives. I will NEVER buy one of those IMMORAL cars and you can take your electric car and shove it!

    “Because discarded batteries pose a threat to human health and environmental sustainability, lithium-ion batteries may overheat and fire when exposed to high temperatures or when penetrated, releasing carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide that can be very harmful to human health. In addition, waste batteries will also cause water pollution and inhibit the growth and reproduction of aquatic organisms and other potential dangers.”

    • Ms. Rowell,
      Excellent. Thank you for emailing her. I did as well. Now I am about to write letters to the editor of every newspaper in the area. I already called the State Ethics Committee and was referred to the House Ethics Panel which of course is not in session. But I will keep pursuing this. The Brattleboro Reformer wrote an article about someone using a carrot to draw a swastika on the road but ignored a House Representative imply explicitly that we don’t have the right to travel.

      • Thank you for your work on this. Everyone leaving a reply needs to write her Don’t be shy. These morons “work” for us, We need to push back. This woman is scary because she has power and apparently is too stupid and arrogant to understand our rights.

      • The State has an ethics committee and the House has an ethics panel? I wonder what they do other than answer a phone, reply to an email, and construct a report or two. Certainly appears to be yet another toothless, meaningless waste of taxpayer money, and an illusionary, useless mirage of honorable intent.

  31. We’d estimate that the lowest out-of-pocket cost for an uncomplicated battery pack replacement on the Chevy Bolt would be from $16,775-$17,775 for the battery, $100-200 for related parts, and $675 for the HV-certified labor).
    Now, a Chevy Bolt is just an example of the replacement cost. Most cars are under a 5 year warranty. Other EV cars may give you 7 years. Even if car manufacturers say the battery should last 10-15 years, that gives the consumer no guarantee, plus the cost of the EV car. Don’t forget the cost of the electrician you need to hire to give you a 220 line outside to charge your car at home. BUT, what if you rent an apartment, or live in a condo or townhouse ? A condo that has 20+ units will need 20+ charging stations. Who pays for that ? Your association fees. If you live in an apartment, your rent goes up greatly to pay for the ability to charge your car. Don’t be fooled, the cost is overwhelming, in a state with a very low carbon footprint. Until you get China and India to go green, nothing we do in Vermont will make a difference, except going broke.

  32. If she wasn’t a communist, she would be calling for accurate calculations of how much CO2 is made by the manufacturing and charging of EVs and put fees on them accordingly. But commies never think clearly.

    • Vermont was once split between NY and NH before it was a State of delusion. I just as soon go back to that if possible. Chittenden County could be reunited with NY and what a perfect union that would be! Grand Isle, at one time, wanted to stand alone. If I’m not mistaken, Killington wanted back to NH. Seeing that Idaho is now ready to take 3/4 of Oregon by request of Oregon citizens….it can be done! I’ll jump a few counties over to the East if NH is willing to remain free and not die by federal assisted suicide.

  33. Dear Mr. or Ms. FreedomFounders1776,
    I was raised to respect people and be polite. Sometimes I forget. So unfortunately, this is one of those times where I remember, and I will not say what I would like. But you are encouraged to perform an act on yourself that although physically impossible, metaphorically is quite possible.
    I am quite tired of our part of Vermont being ignored by you upstaters.

  34. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) produces close to 70% of the world’s cobalt, which is essential for the production of EV batteries. A Sky News investigation found that children as young as four are working in dangerous and squalid conditions in the DRC’s Cobalt mines for less than a dollar a day. If she really wants to virtue signal, Rep. Mollie Burke should endorse social-justice sourcing restrictions on EV car manufacturers.

  35. I am so pleased to see so many of you feel the way I do! I thought i was the only anti-climate change/anti- woke/anti -illegal immigration person in Vermont! That is why I have never taken a liking to Vermont since moving here! Too much of a liberal state. I heard it was it was a conservative state years ago!
    Regarding climate change, I am a retired physicist/physics/science teacher who is tired of all the B.S. on this topic! Real climatologists have explained the reasons why it is totally false! The Left (Marxist) needs to sell this because it is part of the plan to control the citizens of this country and destroy the U.S ! Read the “45 goals of Communism” anywhere online! (it is an eye opener) You will find that most of them have been achieved! (Wokism is only one part of their plans)
    Thanks everyone for making me feel that I am not alone in Vermont!


    • Welcome to the battle field Andrew! We all have the blue State blues and many of our brotheren around New England are experiencing the same. The antidote to the despots is mock them, ridicule them, do not comply to lies, and remove all support and consumerism from their corporate sponsors and co-conspirators.

  36. Imagine being a fly on the wall the day that Ms. Burke realizes that all that she believes isn’t true. Good Golly Miss Molly.

  37. I had a coworker get an electric car that couldn’t function or hold a charge in cold weather .It was a disaster .Another way to control “We the People “. If you want an electric car buy one .When they are so amazing others will see it and buy too.Thats how buying and selling works.Not forcing people to do what you think is right .

    • The Epoch Times has, along with VDC, become a daily read… for a variety of reasons. And it indulges reader commentary too – a missing attribute in most MSM publications.

      One of the comments in the above referenced link is particularly salient. It quotes H. L. MENCKEN – 1880-1956 American editor and essayist.

      “The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it. Power is what all messiahs really seek: not the chance to serve.”

      It appears to accurately describe Rep. Mollie Burke.

      I would also like to thank Melissa Casey for her link to Vermont’s public records request process. I firmly believe that the more readers use this process to research these issues, the more attentive frivolous lawmakers like Rep. Mollie Burke will be. Gaslighting is a two-way street after all.

  38. This is the poisoned ideology that threatens the existence of our founding principles everyday. This communists ACTUALLY believes she has the right to take your freedoms from you to secure her deluded perception of the future. This communist believes it is acceptable to rule personal choice. This communist is the enemy of America, wearing the clothing of a climate hero. These communists need their ideologies exterminated once and for all.