Remarks from the Anti-Carbon Tax Rally

January 10, 2019

by Rob Roper

This is a loose transcript of remarks made by Ethan Allen Institute President, Rob Roper, at the January 9 Anti-Carbon Tax Rally in Montpelier. 

It’s kind of chilly today, huh? How many of you feel like paying an extra dollar a gallon for home heating fuel during our

Photo courtesy of Shayne Spence

long Vermont winters?

How many of you drove here today? How would you feel about paying an extra 40 to 90 cents per gallon for gasoline, and more for diesel?

That’s what’s at stake with the Carbon Tax. It is regressive tax that harms the poor and those who live in rural communities the hardest. It is a terrible policy – period — but particularly bad for a state like Vermont that is rural, struggling with affordability, and, I don’t need to point out, cold! So, why, year after year, do we have to deal with this idiotic policy proposal? Every time dies its inevitable inglorious death this unwanted, economy-killing thing seems to dig its way out of the grave in January like some kind of zombie apocalypse.

Elections have been fought over the issue. Governor Scott has promised to veto it. A promise we all expect him to keep. So, why is this even still an issue?

Here’s one reason…

Two employees of Sun Common, the VPIRG for-profit spin-off that feeds on renewable energy subsidies, plus the wife of the company’s president now serve in the Vermont House. Mike McCarthy of St. Albans, Becca White of Hartford, and Kari Dolan, the new House rep from Waitsfield, is the wife of Cach Curtis, President of Sun Common. Revenue from the carbon tax will funnel either directly or indirectly into their coffers. Do you think these folks will be considering their constituents’ best interests when this comes up for a vote?

Now, think about this for a second…. This company, Sun Common, of about 100 employees now has more representation in the Vermont House than any single district in the state! More than a 9000 plus, two-member district like, for example, Williston. More than than the 22 Northeast Kingdom towns represented by Connie Quimby and Paul Lefebvre combined!

Is this what Democracy looks like? I think not! What this is is a special interest, crony socialist attack on the Vermont taxpayer. THAT IS ALL THIS IS.

Proponents of the Carbon Tax will say No, this is about climate change and saving the planet. No, it’s not. A Carbon Tax – either statewide, or regionally, or even nationally — will have NO impact on the climate whatsoever. That is what the science says.

You can believe whole-heartedly in climate change and mankind’s role in it, but there is no reason – no science – to believe this tax is a solution. What does the science say about what a Carbon tax would do to, say, stop the next Tropical Storm Irene? It will do Nothing.

And here I want to call out the Vermont press corps. I can’t recall a single time in the past five years that the Vermont press corps has asked advocates of the carbon tax what impact this policy will have on future climate trends. Our press allows these people to say things like “Can you imagine a Vermont without snow? Or without Maple Syrup, or fall colors? Or that extreme weather events are costing us millions! The implication is that if we pass this carbon tax it will be a solution. This is fraud. If a private company advertised like this it would be sued for fraud. But never… NEVER… do our reporters ask these carbon tax zealots what impact – if any – the policies they are advocating for will have on future climate trends or weather events.

Why not? Is it because you don’t want to be the ones who show that this emperor has no clothes? This is journalistic malpractice. Vermonters deserve to know what they are getting – and not getting – for their taxpayer dollars, and it is your job to hold them accountable. Do it.

And for our Vermont legislators, you need to do your job too. The debate over a Vermont carbon tax has been going on since 2013. That’s plenty of time for all sides to make their case. It’s time to put an end to it. Put it to a vote. Both the advocates for this policy and the opponents deserve closure on this. So, put it to a vote. This year. This session. Yes or no.

If the Carbon Tax is a great idea that will, as the advocates promise, somehow be an economic boon for our state… save the ski resorts, maple syrup, and fall foliage… ensure that Vermont will never suffer another adverse weather event… then why wouldn’t you enthusiastically vote for it. Proudly sign your name on the dotted line in a roll call vote. You’ll be a hero.

But, if in your heart of hearts you know this a job killer that will ultimately hit the poor the hardest, using their tax dollars to subsidize the wealthiest Vermonters who can afford to drive Teslas and install heat pumps, and make Vermont an even more unaffordable, uncompetitive place to live, work, and play…. Then vote NO. Not just NO, but HELL NO. And put this thing to bed.

Put this annoying distraction behind us so that you can concentrate on getting our economy moving in the right direction again. Putting our young people to work. Fixing our education system that has been mangled by Act 46. The things most of you ran on. Honestly, I didn’t see many your campaign ads last October saying elect me and I’ll pass a carbon tax.

That’s because you know that a Carbon Tax is bad policy for Vermont. Whether you call it a Carbon Tax, or Carbon Pricing, or a Carbon dividend, or some other clever name, this is nothing but a stew of bad policy and corrupt politics. Say no. Vote No. And do it now.

To see a video of this presentation, CLICK HERE

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute. 

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

mike January 11, 2019 at 10:28 pm

Rob.you’re right on. As I’ve been saying from the beginng of this carbon tax boon dogle,follow the money and let the light shine in.

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Deanne January 12, 2019 at 2:22 am

It’s too bad we can’t give the climate change fanatics and those with carbon phobia a spot to congregate where they could make the laws they like without dragging the rest of us down with them. I would not like to see Vermont given up to them, but they seem to be migrating that direction, sorry to say…

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Nancy January 12, 2019 at 4:44 am

If their aim is to empty Vermont of middle class workers….they are achieving their aim……

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gdp January 12, 2019 at 10:37 am

Well said. Certainly Vermont can raise a majority to reject carbon taxation and repeal acts 250 and 60 cum 46, all of which are measures designed to impoverish and deprive rights in order to establish total state control of the means of production – and thought. German theorists in the 19th Century posited the ‘state’ over a constitution, to the marginalization and denigration of individual right. That idealistic cum ideological abstraction continues to drive those ‘Luddites’ in their society breaking quest, whether in ‘tree worship’ or indoctrination, under the concocted labels of ‘environmental protection’ or ‘education’, neither of which have been effectively demonstrated in practice, beyond small, particular and specific application, more suitable to local/private control than distant regulatory command.

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Thaddeus Cline January 12, 2019 at 2:57 pm

Vprig is a nonprofit so let’s get our facts straight. There are over 1,900 jobs in renewable energy in Vt. And that is growing despite the price of solar panels going way up thanks to Trumps China trade differences.
We just had a hurricane or did you forget? And now many more invasive species are here including poison ivy . Despite what your cult says it is and will be climate change that’s causing it . And you only make the price of everything go up when you don’t do anything. The one group of people coming here are young professionals and there’s one thing they come for . And that’s sane community that understands where the problems are and what to do about them . Those that do well in this state have good educations . And they will continue to push education that’s better . But when they see such poor miss information pushed by polluting companies as your are very clearly pushing they will not move here or stay here.
Continuing to say it’s okay for dangerous people to have guns . To try and keep people from knowing they are safe because you want anyone to buy and sell guns and ammunition and gun parts without background checks . Only keeps people with education and money coming here and staying here.
There’s a big reason so many people are not just democrats but progressives in the state house and this state and it’s because they speak truth to power . And that power they are speaking to is the company’s that want less regulation and less checks and balances that keep this state safe . It’s companies that don’t pay there fair share . And they work threw you to keep people ignorant. You children and grandchildren will be asking how you couldn’t see what needed to be done as people have to move to higher ground in this state because of your lack of safe energy. All ready rich professionals are in fact moving to high ground. Florida has many other wise very conservative mayors and congress people doing what they can to stop climate change . They know first hand from the floods they get what’s happening. But for whatever reason you can’t even look at pictures. You either don’t want to or your news sources just don’t show you .

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Tim Lavigne January 12, 2019 at 3:42 pm

Thaddeus, so tell me what me paying more in a Carbon Tax is going to do to stop Climate Change? HHMMMMM
Let these NON Profits sell there Solar Panels without the subsidies and see how that goes. I am sick of being taxed to pay for others good feeling on stopping something that does not exist

I live in Saint Albans and Mike Mcarthy better listen

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Thaddeus Cline February 1, 2019 at 8:54 am

Your not being taxed to help others your being taxed to help you . So again get your facts straight.
The price of doing nothing will come back to bite all of us . The longer we wait the more it will cost latter . Thousands of jobs will and have been added to Vermont’s work force because of improving low income people’s homes . And the lower your income the more it costs for all your energy needs. The solar industry is growing and will continue to grow . The state house is working to help low and middle class people able to afford better homes and transport. I know I go to there sub committee meeetings . The well being of Vermonters is there top priority as you would know if you talked to the legislators and groups that are working on these subjects .

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Rob January 12, 2019 at 3:53 pm

Thaddeus, “we just had a hurricane.” Actually Irene was a Tropical Storm, and it occurred in 2011, eight years ago. But, we have been having hurricanes, tropical storms and floods forever. “We have more invasive species…” At what point in Earth’s ecological history have plant and animal species been static? Never. The climate and the geography of our planet is always changing. What will passing a carbon tax of 40 to 90 cents on gasoline do to change that? Do you have an answer? If the answer is “nothing”, which it is, then what is the benefit of imposing the tax? Simple question… As for guns, nobody wants dangerous people to have guns, which is why the second amendment community in Vermont supported H.222 in the last legislative session. However, you need to explain how taking the second amendment rights away from law abiding citizens does anything to make our state safer. I think truly educated people see that Vermont is — NOW — the safest state in the union according to FBI statistics because of the liberty of our gun laws. If educated people want to live in “safe” places with restrictive gun laws, let me suggest Chicago.

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Thaddeus Cline February 1, 2019 at 9:00 am

It’s the lack of sensible gun laws that cause the largest problems this state has when it comes to guns .
Woman are threatened by the poor laws we have . And that’s why our legislators Worked to change them . People come to this state because of the poor laws to trade drugs for guns because they are so easy to get.
You try looking at the faces of the kids and woman who have suffered from guns and then tell them we need to keep things the same .

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William Hays January 15, 2019 at 12:54 am

The contest for “State Idiot of 2019” is over. Thaddeus Cline is the winner!

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Ralph January 12, 2019 at 4:02 pm

If Thaddeus is a product of the Vermont Education establishment, then God help us all.

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Beth January 13, 2019 at 2:18 pm

Thaddeus,tell me why my three wage earner,well educated children are leaving this state for better jobs,pay and lifestyle then?

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William Hays January 15, 2019 at 12:57 am

Maybe your kids didn’t have ‘Birth-to-Pre-K” educations and benefit from the wonderful “Head Start” program and free university education.

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Thaddeus Cline February 1, 2019 at 8:55 am

They are not again get your fact straight . More young well educated families are coming into the state then leaving

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