January 10, 2020

By David Flemming

On January 9th, the House Committee on General, Housing, and Military Affairs considered the $15 minimum wage bill from 2019. Rep. John Killacky (D-Chittenden) began by saying, “I read (the 2019 report) ‘Women, Work and Wages in Vermont’ and the results were striking. Statewide women earn 84% of what men earn. Let’s get a pay raise for Vermonters (by passing the $15 minimum wage).” Killacky’s 84% number is based on hugely generalized statistics that leave a lot of relevant information out.

According to a Vermont Business Magazine article which borrows from a much more rigorous Paydata report, “overall, women in the US earn 79 cents for every dollar earned by men; when comparing compensation for all women versus all men (what PayScale calls the uncontrolled pay gap). However, in Vermont, women earn more – 87 cents for every dollar earned by men. Additionally, when PayScale controlled for various factors such as experience and job title (ie comparing apples-to-apples regarding compensation) to determine how much a woman makes compared to a man doing the same job, Vermont came out on top again.”

The article continues “women tend to spend more time out of the workforce, which hurts their career. In 2018, we studied this issue and found that when a worker leaves the workforce, they incur a wage “penalty” upon their return. Workers who took a break for 12 months or longer experienced an average wage penalty of 7.3% relative to a similar worker who did not take a break. Women take more breaks and longer breaks than men, primarily for taking care of children and aging family members, and bear the brunt of this “time-off” penalty….Nationally, this ‘controlled’ pay gap shows that similarly qualified women earned 2% less than men who do the same job. But, in Vermont, the uncontrolled pay gap essentially disappeared and women and men in the same roles were paid the same amount.”

So there you have it. Vermont women earn 100 cents on the dollar if you take into consideration their work preferences, better than the 98 cents on the dollar that American women do. Without understanding this fact, a $15 minimum wage will do more harm than good. While $15/hour might give women already working a small bump in pay, other women will be prevented from returning to the workforce if they been out for a long while, because they can no longer produce $15 an hour worth of labor. Those women will earn 0% of what a man makes.

A lower minimum wage ensures that employers can afford to give women time to get back on their feet in the workforce, giving them higher wages as they return to peak productivity. A lower minimum wage gives women the flexibility they need.

David Flemming is a policy Analyst at the Ethan Allen Institute

Anne McClaughry is the Ethan Allen Institute’s treasurer and served on its Board of Directors

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January 8, 2020

by John McClaughry

Shawn Shouldice is the longtime Vermont representative of the National Federation of Independent Business, and she’s concerned about a legislature that seems to have little interest in anything that would be a boost to Vermont’s small businesses.

“As the legislature convenes in Montpelier,” she writes, “there are many legislative initiatives that will increase the cost of doing business and hinder the owner’s ability to operate and to succeed.” She explains that over half of the Vermont workforce is employed by small businesses (63.3%), and there are 77,615 small businesses in the state. She says “expanding paid leave funded with a payroll tax, artificially increasing Vermont’s base wage, double-digit property tax increases, fuel taxes [TCI] and higher health insurance premiums” mean trouble for these businesses.

“With more and more Vermonters seeking greener pastures, placing more financial pressure on the state’s small businesses is endangering job creation and the ability for workers to meet their financial needs,” said Shouldice.

Vermont’s small businesses aren’t asking for subsidies. The exception is renewable energy small businesses, which need subsidies to stay alive. Shouldice wants lawmakers to focus on policies that spark economic growth rather than adding cost to already hard pressed local companies.

That’s not a call for a chance to feed at the public trough. Most small businesses just want to be left alone to sell their goods and services to the public. That’s a thought that legislators need to get through their heads. Alas, many haven’t.

John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

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                                                                                  January 6, 2020

Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI)

On December 17 the Georgetown (Law School) Climate Center revealed its long-awaited Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) draft Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) (https://www.transportationandclimate.org). Gov. Phil Scott will soon be asked to sign Vermont into TCI, that advocates say is the most important climate change initiative of 2020.

TCI is a multi-state regional agreement to drive up the price of motor fuel (gasoline and on-road diesel). It proposes to start at five, nine or seventeen cents per gallon, and escalate upward from that, with no declared maximum.

The backers of TCI believe that “climate change poses a clear, present, and increasingly dangerous threat to the communities and economic security of each [participating jurisdiction].”  The MOU says that the participating states will “need to implement bold initiatives to mitigate the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector,” which produce 40% of human-caused emissions.

TCI will drive down those transportation sector emissions by driving up the price of gasoline and diesel fuel so that Vermonters will drive less, drive smaller cars, use electric vehicles, walk, ride bicycles, use public transportation, move closer to school and work, and so on.

TCI will accomplish this with what it calls a “cap and invest” system. TCI will set a cap, or limit, on carbon dioxide emissions from burning motor fuel. The cap will be tightened down year by year, requiring motor fuel to be made ever more expensive. Distributors of motor fuel – of which there are eighty in Vermont – will be required to purchase “allowances” in a TCI-managed auction market to match the motor fuel they have sold in each reporting period. TCI will create and issue as many “allowances” as it deems necessary to create higher fuel prices that will reduce fuel use and thus reduce CO2 emissions.

Motorists, including those driving passenger cars, pickups, SUVs, vans, school buses, delivery trucks, contractor vehicles, milk tankers, ambulances, snowmobiles and motorcycles, will pay for the “allowances” when they buy the higher-priced motor fuel at the pump.

TCI will distribute the revenues raised from the sale of its “allowances”, after covering administration and legal costs, among the participating jurisdictions according to a formula not yet determined. The states are supposed to use these revenues to “strategically invest in programs to help their residents transition to affordable, low-carbon transportation options”. Paying people to buy electric cars, and building charging stations for them, is a recommended use of the funds.

By increasing gasoline prices by from 5 to 17 cents per gallon the first year, and higher amounts in succeeding years,, the TCI plan will clearly be regressive, hitting working people and the poor hardest, especially in Vermont’s rural areas. The MOU states that participating jurisdictions are “committed to investing in and mitigating the impacts [caused by the higher fuel prices] on low-income and disadvantaged communities…vulnerable to the impacts of a changing climate”, which suggests that the TCI revenues would be used to subsidize those persons.

The TCI’s “reference case” model projects that, without TCI, CO2 emissions from the 12 states will decrease by 19% from 2022 to 2032. If TCI is implemented, the model projects a 20% to 25% reduction over that decade. To achieve this, TCI would extract $56 billion from motor fuel users in the 12 states to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by a little more than 5 percent over those ten years.

Because the idea of the carbon tax has become unpopular in Vermont, the TCI advocates declare that TCI is not a carbon tax. However, the mandated purchase of TCI “allowances” will indisputably add an increasingly punitive government-mandated cost, payable by motorists at the pump, on the carbon content of gasoline and on-road diesel fuel. That cost is a tax on carbon.

TCI expects that each state legislature and governor will enact legislation to enforce the TCI “allowance purchase” requirement on its motor fuel distributors.

An unresolved question is whether, even if Vermont does not join TCI, TCI can still impose the tax on fuel sold to Vermont distributors at regulated terminals in Massachusetts and New York, who would then pass the cost on to Vermont distributors and through them to retail customers at the pump in Vermont.

Another unresolved question is whether TCI can require Vermont distributors to buy allowances with respect to motor fuel brought in from Canada.  Quebec is a party to a cap-and-trade plan with California. The Federal government is suing to terminate it as beyond the power of a state government.

Finally, the composition of TCI’s governing body, and the formula for distributing allowance revenues among the participating jurisdictions, remain to be determined.

On December 17 New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu announced that his state would not participate in TCI, which he described as “a financial boondoggle” that would force drivers to “bear the brunt of artificially higher gas prices.” Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has supported TCI as a source of revenues [collected from motor fuel users] for improving public transportation. Vermont Governor Phil Scott has adamantly opposed any carbon tax.

The TCI working group is soliciting public comment through their website HERE. Make your voice heard!

 

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January 6, 2020

by Rob Roper

WDEV’s morning host, Dave Gram, likes taxes and doesn’t like it when people refuse to call a tax a tax, which, he feels, demeans taxes. This led to a clarifying exchange between himself and Rep. John Killacky (D-S. Burlington) on December 31 over the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI), which is nothing more than a regional carbon tax on motor fuels. Here are the transcript highlights:

JK. The other big dance [in the upcoming legislative session] is going to be this regional pact, the

Rep. John Killacky

Climate Initiative.

DG. The Transportation Climate Initiative.

JK. The governor has now put out a draft MOU to have Vermont join with eleven other states and the District of Columbia to do a cap and trade on carbon emissions. It’s a really interesting idea. Some people are calling it a carbon tax. I don’t think of it as a carbon tax. It’s a regional thing, and what happens is the money that is going to be taken out of this will be invested back into green energy and a green economy here in Vermont. And, if these other states do it surrounding us and Vermont doesn’t do it, the money will be invested in Maine and New Hampshire [Note: NH has already pulled out of the program.] and different places, so, it seems to me– but to get twelve states to agree is going to be interesting and to get our state – I think the legislature and the Democrats seem see the validity and the importance of this. The governor – he put out the draft, so I think he’s testing the waters on this….

DG. I’m going to give you a little push back on this tax thing. I’ll tell ya. I’m somebody who likes to keep language as clear and simple and direct as possible. That’s what I’ve always pushed for in my work as a reporter and also these days on the radio. I like to call things what they are…. I think shying away from that word sort of leaves a lot of voters with the impression that you’re trying to dodge something. I’m saying, if it is a tax, if we need to have a tax…. Why can’t we call things what they are?

JK. Well, you know Dave, I don’t mind calling it a tax. I think the distinction I hear, and maybe it doesn’t change that in your framework it could a tax, is that it’s invested back into the state. That this money isn’t just –

DG. That’s all the taxes that we pay! I pay taxes and it’s invested back into public safety. It’s invested back into (Talking over each other)

JK. Okay, then, I-I don’t disagree with you.

DG. When people hear people say, uh, it’s not a tax, it’s a fee or some other magical formula where, yes, you’re going to pay more money but we’re going to get all these benefits. I thought that’s what other taxes are….

Yes, that is what all taxes are, and TCI is a tax. A $20-$90 million carbon tax (5¢ – 17¢ per gallon) on Vermont drivers.

Proponents of TCI, like Rep. Killacky and many others, have been traveling the state in advance of the legislative session to peddle the notion that TCI is not a tax because the money raised will be “invested” in government programs with the full expectation that we, dumb citizens, will buy actually buy it. This is perhaps one of most absurd and disingenuous arguments ever put forward by elected officials (which is saying something), and Gram demonstrates just how easy it is to blow this argument out of the water. Thanks for that.

Here’s the full interview, with the relevant bits found between 1:20:00 – 1:25:00.

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute. 

If you have an opinion about TCI, they are asking for public input. Make your voice heard HERE.

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January 2, 2020

by Rob Roper

Bill Schubart perfectly encapsulated the elitist, totally-out-of-touch mindset of Vermont’s carbon taxers in his latest VT Digger column in which he congratulates himself for heroically purchasing an electric car and supporting Vermont’s participation in the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI), the left’s latest carbon tax scheme.

Much of Schubart’s piece focuses on why electric vehicles in their present state of development don’t make a lot of sense in Vermont. They perform poorly in cold weather, which we have an abundance of, and they don’t have sufficient range to be practical in a rural state, especially for work. But, no fear, Schubart is morally up to the task of living with and around these shortcomings, writing what to my mind is the money-line of the piece: “…if it’s freezing cold and I have a round trip to Montpelier [from Hinesburg], a stop at Red Hen Bakery in Middlesex for a quick charge, a latte and a croissant isn’t much of a price to pay for doing my part.”

What part? Apart from virtue signaling, Schubart’s EV purchase and support for TCI accomplish precisely nothing in regard to climate change while inflicting unnecessary pain on a lot of people. This is immoral. According to TCI’s own analysis, if the region did not adopt TCI, carbon emissions would drop by 19% over ten years anyway. If we adopt the mildest recommendation (5¢ tax), that number will go to 20%. Almost imperceptible. If we go whole hog (17¢ tax), the number goes to 25%. A 6% very minor regional change with no perceptible climate impact on a global scale whatsoever, but at a cost of over $50 billion – that’s with a “B” – in regressive, highly disruptive taxes on working people. Some of that money will be used to subsidize electric vehicle purchases, leaving owners like Schubart with more disposable income to spend on French pastry and fancy coffee. Not a particularly equitable arrangement.

Schubart opines, I imagine wiping buttery crumbs from his lips with a silk handkerchief, “It’s disheartening to hear special interests and climate deniers [he earlier made specific reference to EAI] froth on about their temporal material interests.” Yeah, temporal material interests like driving to and for work, getting our kids to school, going to the grocery store, etc., all of which you want to make more difficult and more expensive just so you can feel good about yourself without actually having to accomplish anything.

I’m happy for Bill Schubart that he can afford the time and money to nibble croissants, sip lattes, and indulge in fantasies that he’s heroically saving generations from future fire, floods and famine during the time it takes his $40K car to charge, but these are not luxuries most working Vermonters can afford. Forcing this burden upon them – especially when doing so will have no impact whatsoever on the problem you claim to want to solve — is nothing more than self-indulgent cruelty. It’s certainly not something to break your arm patting yourself on the back over. This is what folks like Bill Schubart don’t understand or care to contemplate.

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute. 

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By John McClaughry 

On December 17 the Georgetown Law Center revealed its long-awaited Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). It will be open for on-line comments until February 28. At some point after that Gov. Scott will be asked to sign Vermont into TCI. Presumably the legislature would have to enact some provisions to make it enforceable on Vermont fuel dealers.

Here are twelve questions and answers that will explain what TCI is and expects to do.

Q: What is TCI? TCI is a multistate regional agreement to drive up the price of motor fuel (gasoline and on-road diesel). It proposes to start at five, nine or seventeen cents per gallon, and escalate upward from that, with no declared maximum.

Q: Why do the TCI backers want to drive up the price of motor fuel? Because they are convinced that “climate change poses a clear, present, and increasingly dangerous threat to the communities and economic security of each [participating state].”  The MOU says that the participating states will “need to implement bold initiatives to mitigate the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector,” which produce 40% of human-caused emissions.

Q: How will TCI drive down those emissions? By driving up the price of gasoline and diesel fuel so you will drive less, drive smaller cars, use electric vehicles, walk, ride bicycles, use public transportation, move closer to school and work, and so on.

Q: How does TCI drive up motor fuel prices? It creates what it calls a “cap and invest” system. TCI sets a cap, or limit, on carbon dioxide emissions from burning motor fuel. Every distributor of motor fuel – of which there are eighty in Vermont – will be required to purchase “allowances” to match the motor fuel sold in each reporting period.

Q: So, motorists, including passenger cars, pickups, SUVs, vans, school buses, delivery trucks, contractor vehicles, milk tankers, ambulances, and motorcycles will end up paying for the allowances?  Yes, of course they will.

Q: What does the state get for imposing these costs on motorists? TCI will distribute among the participating states some fraction of the revenue from its sale of “allowances”, according to an as yet undetermined formula. The states are supposed to use these revenues to further drive down gasoline and on-road diesel use, and “help their residents transition to affordable, low-carbon transportation options”. Paying people to buy electric cars, and building charging stations for them, is a recommended use of the funds. However, the states can use what they receive for anything their legislature desires.

Q: How many “allowances” will TCI issue? As many it sees fit. TCI will invent them out of thin air, and motor fuel distributors will be required to go into TCI’s auction market to buy enough of them with real money to match their motor fuel deliveries over a preceding reporting period. The cost of these “allowances” will be included in the price you pay at the pump.

Q: Won’t this plan hit hardest on working people and the poor, especially in Vermont’s rural areas? Of course. It’s regressive.

Q: How much will the preferred TCI scenario reduce carbon dioxide emissions from motor fuel? Drew Cline of New Hampshire’s Josiah Bartlett Center analyzed the TCI economic model. He found that the “reference case” used by the Georgetown Climate Center to project what would happen from 2022 to 2032 if states did not implement the TCI would likely be a 19% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. If TCI is implemented, emissions are projected to fall by between 20% and 25% over that decade. So TCI will produce an additional emissions reduction of between 1 and 6 percentage points on top of a presumed reduction of 19 percent. In short, TCI would extract $56 billion from motor fuel users to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by a little more than 5 percent over ten years.

Q: Will that reduction of emissions actually reduce “climate change”? Certainly not measurably. Probably not at all.

Q: Wait a minute. Isn’t this TCI “cap and invest” scheme just another carbon tax in a fancy package, designed to make it look like it’s not a carbon tax?  Yes, of course.

Q: Gov. Phil Scott has steadfastly promised to veto a carbon tax. Won’t he reject the MOU, as New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu has already done, and veto any legislation to force Vermont fuel dealers to buy those funny money TCI allowances that will drive up the price of gasoline and diesel fuel for all Vermonters?  As of now he won’t say, so if you don’t want to see the TCI drive up your fuel prices year after year, it wouldn’t hurt to encourage him to strengthen his resolve.

John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

 

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by Rob RoperRob Roper

The Vermont legislature returns in January with a long list of daunting challenges, all with potentially astronomical price tags for Vermonters, who are already some of the most highly taxed people in the United States.

Among this list includes a projected 6% increase in property taxes to fund an education system already topping $2 billion to serve a declining population of less than 80,000 students. The system is so dysfunctional that former House Education Committee Chair, Dave Sharpe (D-Bristol) recently claimed legislators were “hoodwinked” by special interests into supporting Act 46, the 2015 school district consolidation law that was supposed to lower costs by increasing efficiency. That has not worked out.

The Green Mountain Care Board recently authorized rate hikes of 12.4% (Blue Cross Blue Shield) and 10.1% (MVP) for people with Vermont Health Connect insurance plans, and approved a 59% increase to $1.42 billion for OneCare, the state’s latest healthcare cost-containment boondoggle. One suspects considerable hoodwinking here as well.

Also of concern is the state’s $4.5 billion in unfunded pension liabilities for teachers and state workers. To put this cost in some perspective, every Vermonter – man, woman, and child —  is currently on the hook for over $7000 (a number that is growing quickly) to pay for these benefits, and feeding this beast will consume 14% of the state’s general fund in 2020. (In 2018 that general fund expenditure was nearly $200 million, and this is an annual obligation over the next twenty years.) If this is not addressed, public employees risk losing some or, in an unlikely but not impossible scenario, all of their benefits.

Act 64, the water quality law passed in 2015, is about to hit businesses, municipalities, public schools and even some individual residences full force with stormwater regulations and fines with associated costs and taxes that will run into the hundreds of millions of dollars over the next few years, and billions over the next decade. This has the very real potential of bankrupting many Vermont businesses.

These are costs already on the books. Here’s what we have to look forward to.

Leaders of the majority party seem poised to pass a minimum wage increase, which by last estimate, on top of the increased costs to employers and consumers, will require an estimated $86 million for Medicaid over five years either in tax increases or program cuts.

And, they seem resolved to pass a mandatory Paid Family Leave program which will come with a new payroll tax taking an estimated $76 million per year out of working Vermonters’ pockets, just to start.

If this weren’t enough, in what one legislator described as what will be “our banner legislation” for 2020, many lawmakers want to entangle Vermonters in the latest carbon tax scheme called the Transportation Climate Initiative or TCI. This multi-state collaborative would amount to a proposed 5, 9 or 17 cent per gallon tax on gasoline and diesel fuel, at a total cost to Vermonters of an estimated $20 to $90 million, a number that will grow annually ad infinitum.

These are just the big ticket items. Who knows what nickel and dime tax and fee increases they have in store, like plastic bag taxes, new and increased professional licensing fees, etc.

In all seriousness, how do our representatives expect us to pay for all of this? There are only about 320,000 taxpayers in Vermont. This ever-growing burden on so few shoulders is crushing. It has to stop. It would be one thing if we were getting our money’s worth out of all this, but the existing programs outlined above, apart from being wastefully expensive, are all examples of gross mismanagement. Can we realistically expect any better from the proposed programs?

A recent news story out of Rockingham, Vermont, described a community discussion billed as “Attracting and Retaining Young People” in which one person described as an “older resident in work jeans and boots” summed things up very well. “Our taxes are absolutely nuts,” he said. But, “There’s so much potential.”

There is so much potential in Vermont. This is a wonderful place, but these taxes and regulations are smothering the people who try to live her. As long as our taxes remain “absolutely nuts,” and the money is poured into programs that do not work as intended or promised, that potential sadly cannot and will not be realized.

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute. 

 

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December 31, 2020

By David Flemming

It is becoming more and more clear that the fight against the TCI will be a fight between the legislative/bureaucratic elites and everyday working Vermonters.

David Van Deusen is the newly elected president of Vermont’s chapter of the  AFL-CIO, an alliance of private sector labor unions with around 12 million members nationwide. While he is not against all green energy proposals, he views the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI) as being horrible for Vermont’s working class.

Deusen lambasts the TCI: “…a bold social project needs to be funded through progressive taxation and other creative means which do not regressively put more burdens on low income & working class people… Any scheme which seeks to price working people out of driving a gas-powered vehicle (without having a comprehensive public transit system & affordable electric cars readily available first) will not result in workers driving less. Rather, such moves will do nothing more than take dollars out of the pockets of working people; money which we desperately need…. we cannot sustainably create such a society by breaking the backs of working people in the process….charging the working class more money to get to their job? I fail to see how any friend of Labor could stand by such a proposal.”

This puts the TCI in an entirely new context. If the government officials nod their heads to the TCI, they will label themselves as “enemies of labor.” And not just from Vermont’s union membership, but from all low and middle income Vermonters who are not part of any union, but will bear the gasoline tax equally.

The choice of whether or not Vermont should join the TCI is easy. On one side, legislators eager to get Vermont’s rural working class out of their cars on the promise that, someday, somehow, the worker’s sacrifice will give them a reliable busing network.

On the other side: labor unions, Vermonters struggling under the burden of more taxation, and common sense. Choose wisely.

David Flemming is a policy analyst at the Ethan Allen Institute

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December 31, 2019

by Rob Roper

Commenting on David Van Deusen’s, the president of the Vermont AFL-CIO, article condemning the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI) as regressive and anti-worker, John McCormack, founder of the Louise Diamond Committee to Protect Next Generations, wrote:

“Yes, TCI increases gas price while providing off-budget funds for transportation options without increasing State taxes.”

Uh… yeah.

Get used to this level of obfuscation and disinformation over the next couple of months as advocates push for this latest version of a Carbon Tax, which will add as much as 17 cents per gallon to gasoline and diesel purchases.

Let’s translate:

“Off budget funds” – A tax that politicians don’t want to call a tax. The way TCI works is a private organization, authorized by participating states, will force motor fuel suppliers to buy “carbon credits” for gas and diesel they sell above some determined amount. This artificial cost (eg. 17 cents a gallon) gets passed along to the customer (you) and comes out of your wallet — just like a tax. The money raised from selling these carbon credits is the redistributed by TCI into the treasuries of participating states – just like a tax. From here, the money gets spent on government projects – just like a tax. In case this isn’t clear, TCI is a tax.

“Transportation options” – Pet political projects, in this case the subsidization of some individuals electric vehicle purchases, municipal purchases of electric busses, etc, and building electric vehicle charging stations. In a nutshell, this is where government forces you, every time you fill up the ten year old pick-up truck you use for work, to help pay for the environmental lawyer down the street’s new Prius.

“Without increasing State taxes.” – As noted above, this is a tax. It is a government imposed cost on a product, paid for by the consumer with the money that goes into the state treasury to be spent on state projects. That’s a tax. Specifically, this is a Carbon Tax — a tax imposed for the specific purpose of reducing carbon emissions. Politicians and activists telling you anything else – and there will be plenty – are not honest.

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute. 

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December 18, 2019

by Rob Roper

Advocates for the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI) will argue that the pain they intend to inflict on Vermonters via a 17¢ per gallon Carbon Tax on gasoline and diesel is necessary to combat climate change. Their theory is by making gas and diesel too expensive for people to afford, people will be forced to find alternatives (or give up driving), and this will, in turn, lower Vermont’s carbon footprint and stave off climate change.

But by how much?

According TCI’s own data, if the New England/Mid-Atlantic states considering this pact DID NOT join TCI and pay the Carbon Tax, carbon emissions would still drop by a projected 19 percent regardless. If the states did sign on to TCI and pay the Carbon Tax, those emissions would drop to somewhere between 20 and 25 percent. That’s only a 1 to 6 percent difference over the course of a decade, 2022-2032.

And what would that very minor deviation cost?

The 1 percent impact option (7¢ per gallon), again according to TCI, will cost people in the region $1.4 billion ANNUALLY, or $14 billion over that ten years. The 6 percent impact option (17¢ per gallon) will cost drivers $56 billion.

The biggest question, of course, is what impact on future climate trends would moving the needle from a 19 percent CO2 reduction to 26 percent in these dozen states at the staggering cost of a $56 billion Carbon Tax have? So little as to be imperceptible.

TCI isn’t so much an actual public policy with meaningful goals achieved at reasonable costs – a well thought out and careful use of the public’s dollars for the public’s benefit — as it is a form of mass torture inflicted on the heretical population by the high priests of Climate Change. No thanks.

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute. 

 

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