Scrap the “decarbonization” study

April 12, 2018

by John McClaughry

During the week of April 2 one or more newspapers in the state published a third of a page ad titled “An Open Letter to Governor Phil Scott”. The five signers urged the governor to support spending  $120,000 for another “decarbonization” study. The ad says “paid for by Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc.”

The “decarbonization” study that the signers want us to pay for is needed to build support for a carbon tax, on our heating oil, gasoline, diesel, natural gas, and propane. The signers hide behind “decarbonization” because they don’t want you to acquire the knowledge that they are urging a $240 million carbon tax, called the ESSEX Plan.

Three of the five signers of ad are co-authors of the ESSEX Plan. One, the CEO of Ben & Jerry’s, is the employer of another Essex Plan co-author. The fifth ad signer is the CEO of Seventh Generation, the corporation that sponsored and paid for the ESSEX Plan, which employs yet another of the ESSEX plan co-authors.

These corporate carbon tax boosters, so far unable to push their plan through the legislature, are desperately trying to keep their issue alive by getting the legislature to throw $120,000 into another study that will assuredly tout all the wonderful benefits Vermont can enjoy by enduring their pet carbon tax proposal.    The House put this in its appropriations bill, which the Senate is now working on. It richly deserves to be deleted.

John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

bruce Eugene Elmore April 12, 2018 at 1:32 pm

this has to be the most stupid idea is business unfriendly…difficult for rural vermonters that live on the edge already….I don’t know why more people aren’t leaving vermont for new hampshire..thank you putting this out for us common people


Leon Dunbar April 14, 2018 at 7:57 pm

Why should the tax payers pay for a useless study on program that will run busniees out of the state snd raise the cost of living yet again. People need to think about the true cost. There is nothing that doesn’t come into this state or moved around eithout trucks. This tax would infact hurt vermonters to the amount 1000.00 of dollars each year.


Milton Eaton April 15, 2018 at 8:03 pm

Vermont does not need to waste $120,000 to restudy the mirage of the “Essex Plan” to again overlooks its detrimental economic effects. Thanks John for identifying the source and backers of this proposal. Every Vermonter needs the least expensive, convenient, reliable energy. With lower energy costs we can address the large polluters in Vermont – like road dust and burning biomass. Petroleum fuels have been greatly improved recently, and with current burning control, is only a small contributor to the limited quality problem in the State. Contact your legislator and the Governor.


Deanne April 17, 2018 at 1:21 pm

I often wonder what is going on under the surface of different issues, and this is a good example of what I suspect is all too common – people stirring the pot on an issue, getting other people to jump on board and become genuinely concerned about it, yet the agitators are lining their own pockets or will somehow benefit financially (get paid to do the study). It doesn’t surprise me, but it does bother me.


Willem Post April 19, 2018 at 8:57 am

The Essex Plan is a plot hatched by a few RE insiders, who used to have political clout under SHUMLIN, BUT NOW HOLD THE STORT END OF THE STICK.

Their insistence on burdening Vermonters with a UNILATERAL carbon tax borders on the obscene.
Such a UNILATERAL carbon tax would crucify the near-zero, real-growth Vermont.
Such a UNILATERAL carbon tax would primarily boost the RE sector and companies of Blittersdorf and others.
Such a UNILATERAL carbon tax would aggrandize the already-bloated state government even more and would lead to many additional and expanded socialist-style, do-goder, government programs to distribute the carbon tax funds to the lower income households, which would further boost the votes for the Dems and Progs.


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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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