Scott Reiterates Opposition to Carbon Tax/TCI

November 15, 2019

by Rob Roper

Vermont is one of a dozen states contemplating entering into a regional cap and trade scheme for gasoline and diesel, the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI), the objective of which would be to lower CO2 emissions by making these fuels more expensive for drivers, thus discouraging their use. This is very similar to a plan advocated for back in 2016 by then Democratic gubernatorial candidate Sue Minter. At that time, her opponent, Phil Scott, blasted the proposal as just another form of Carbon Tax.

Scott was absolutely right. TCI is just another Carbon Tax in a different box with a different bow. However, there has been some speculation as to whether Scott’s position has shifted now that the idea has moved from the theoretical to the very possible. At his latest press conference, the governor put most if not all of that speculation to rest.

According to True North Reports, Scott said, “Most of the states in the Northeast, and it’s a number of them, they have a seat at the table to learn more about the initiative — we have to be objective about this. But suffice to say, my feelings haven’t changed on a carbon tax. If that is all it is, a carbon tax, then I’m not supportive of that.”

Well, it is a carbon tax. TCI would put an artificially high price on the carbon emissions of gasoline and diesel with the purpose of reducing fuel consumption. That’s a carbon tax. The mechanisms may be a little more complicated (and, in our opinion, purposefully confusing to obfuscate that fact that it is a Carbon Tax) than a straight forward carbon tax, but it’s a carbon tax.

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

John Mahaffy November 15, 2019 at 7:35 pm

I dreamt only a year or so ago that a governor — was it Scott? — swore on a stack of Bibles . . . a stack of something, anyway, or maybe a pile of it, that he would, b’gawd, veto anything to DO with guns! So, with that fairly fresh in my mind, I have to wonder if he’s maybe just kidding. Again.


Weiland A Ross November 16, 2019 at 2:49 pm

The carbon tax is really a blivet. Every month in my Green Mountain Power Bill is a flyer asking for donations to help subsidize the cost of heating fuel for low income households.
O.K., if taxing carbon is so good for VT. how do they reconcile the benefits of the tax with the need to ask for contributions to aid several thousand families? Related to this, but separate, there was a symposium starring Rep. Kathy James et al regarding the climate change issues. Part of this involved electric cars. When audience members pointed out that AAA advises that when the temp. falls below 20 degrees these cars lose 20% of their mileage. They were scoffed at by the climate warriors. Stiffing this tax is going to be a full time job!!


Carol D. November 16, 2019 at 6:08 pm

This is a nation on wheels and everything brought into Vermont arrives in a truck and most are diesel. Interstate truckers will try and make sure NOT to fill up in Vermont and if they do, all it means is that the cost of the goods they are bringing into the state will rise and once again the underpaid lower and lower middle class folks will feel the pinch more than the more affluent. For truckers who operate within the state, they’ll have to increase the cost of their product and services, so how does all this help the average Vermonter? Just another mandate that makes New Hampshire smile.


Lesley Bienvenue November 16, 2019 at 9:11 pm

Outlaw the product. Taxing it states we support it if you pay enough. Prohibition again!!!!


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The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.

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