The Latest Carbon Tax Rigged Deal

January 21, 2019

by John McClaughry

This week the House Energy and Technology Committee, chaired by Rep. Timothy Briglin, Democrat of Thetford, is holding four days of hearings on the decarbonization study. This study, for which we’re paying $120,000, was done by a national organization called Resources for the Future. It’s aim is to explain how Vermont can somehow drive up the price of gasoline, diesel fuel, heating oil, propane and natural gas to the point where Vermonters can’t afford using those fuels any more, and will find some other way to heat their homes and get to work and school.

The first four days of hearings will include testimony from electric utilities and state officials. Then on Friday the afternoon will be devoted to invited testimony from seven groups collectively called “Energy Advocacy Groups.”

Here’s who the Committee has invited: the  Energy Action Network; the Energy and Climate program of the Vermont Natural Resources Council, the Vermont Public Interest Research group, VPIRG; Capstone Community Action;  Vermont Business for Social Responsibility, and  Energy Independent Vermont.

Notice anything interesting about this lineup? These groups are the carbon tax spearhead in Vermont .They’ve worked furiously for four years to peddle the carbon tax, the ESSEX Plan, and numerous variations. Now the committee wants their views on this latest boondoggle study, but not the views of the organization that has led the charge against a carbon tax, the Ethan Allen Institute. This is another rigged deal.

John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute. 

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Devon Craig January 22, 2019 at 12:29 am

This is the most regressive tax ever !!! Designed to hurt the people at the bottom of the economics rung ! . And it will not amount to anything as a fix to the purported “ climate change “! Totally feel-good legislation which will be the last nail in the Vermont coffin !


David m. Lawyer January 22, 2019 at 12:56 am

The state of liberalism (Vermont) wants to jump on the bandwagon withall their liberal buddies around the country because of their misguided belief that one, it (climate change) actually exists, and two it will end our dependency on fossil fuels. Whether one believes in God or evolution the earth has undergone several climate changes all without today’s pollution.

I don’t believe anyone can argue that we are highly dependent on fossil fuels. The only alternative the liberals can currently come up with is air, electric and of course solar. All these sources are expensive on start up and can take up to years before you can realize a savings. An example is electric cars they can only travel short distances and then recharging has to occur. So long distance commuting and travel is pretty much out of the question.

A carbon tax would definitely generate an enormous amount of income for the state but to what purpose? The burden on the individual finances along with taxes already being paid in Vermont would be unbearable.

In a perfect world given the fact that all this works and Vermont is able to keep its current population . We all know it’s dwindling because it’s becoming more and more expensive to reside in the green mountain state. Do we as a state really believe that if we cut back dramatically on the use of fossil fuels, which will not happen, do we really believe that Vermont alone is going to turn climate change around. Highly unlikely, being realistic it would take a world wide effort to accomplish such a feat. Do we really think the world, including our own country, will join hands and sing combyya (sp) ?


Pat Liebrecht January 22, 2019 at 6:26 am

The real agenda is to line the pockets of these “green” energy companies who are dependent on government subsidies for there survival. This is more government corporatism.. picking winners and losers in the marketplace. What these government bureaucrats fail to take into account is this was done on a larger scale by the Obama administration to help the green companies. Billions were squandered away… Solyndra and other were either shell companies set up to take the money and run or they were not feasible. The result was the lost of billions of taxpayer dollars. Now Montpelier was to try the same thing by financing this on the backs of the people last able to afford it.


Roger Joslin January 22, 2019 at 2:12 pm

Are there any plans to hear the other side of the story. I can’t believe that the legislature can move a bill without public input. This is just the same tactics that were taken when they did the Northern Forrest Lands Study. I was one of 2 people that were not environmentalists out of 20. Also, the state appointed a father to the board and his son to the advisory committee. Rigged or what.


Ritva Burton January 22, 2019 at 3:09 pm

Someone, please make this go away! Vermonters cannot afford a carbon tax!


Joe O'Donnell January 23, 2019 at 6:46 pm

This is a rigged deal.Left-wing Democrats (the VAST majority of the Democrat caucus in Montpelier,) “Progressives” and “Independents” aligned with the Democrats and/or “Progressives” have determined they’re going to cram this massive tax increase down the throats of the (ever shrinking) “working class” in this state. The “non-working class”-those dependent on welfare, section 8, food stamps, and other government give-aways will, no doubt, receive “subsidies” to off-set rising costs. The “wealthy,” (that is:tax-payers making more than 40 thousand a year, in the eyes of many leftists in the state house,) will shoulder most of the burden, along with all the private employers in the state. The exodus of well-educated young people and reasonably well-off retirees from this state is just beginning.


Allan Morrie January 26, 2019 at 3:42 am

Your absolutely right. I for one will be looking to get out of Vermont.


Ted Robinson January 26, 2019 at 12:44 am

I’m starting to wonder if I should sell my place here and bail out before this crap is passed and nobody will want to buy here. Last one out don’t worry about turning the lights out……………… will have been dark for some time.


Deanne January 26, 2019 at 1:34 am

Lots of good comments here about John’s article. I don’t live in Vermont, but I hope you will all go speak up if they open the floor to Vermont residents.

I’m sure this is being pushed by people who stand to do a lot of business if this gets passed, much/most of it government-subsidized. They (anyone that may benefit financially) should be FORBIDDEN to go to the meetings due to conflict of interest, not invited as special guests…


gdp January 26, 2019 at 2:45 pm

Has EAI compiled a list of interested anti-carbon advocates to testify before the Committee? Have they been presented to the Committee to call? It is a matter of due process of law to conduct hearings to determine the necessity of legislation, whether there is an evil requiring address, its actuality, its substance, its extent, whether the evil is already being addressed through available alternatives, whether the evil can be addressed given available resources, the practicality, and whether the evil either should or can be addressed in the least restrictive manner respecting the exercise of right, meaning that it cannot be cured by simply enabling and promoting the exercise of right, like that of caring husbandry of natural resources mindful of risk. The failure to properly craft legislation from due process of law making, and there to multiple readings to ensure timely digestion and understanding, is at the heart of the present malaise of government corruption.


Marion Clegg January 26, 2019 at 5:23 pm

I’m addressing those that are talking of leaving the state. We cannot leave the state we have got to stay and FIGHT! You will not find any other state that is heading in the right direction and if they are they won’t be for long. Again I say the answer is to fight. I blame the churches for not telling their people if this nation & state are to remain ONE NATION UNDER GOD the church has got to get involved. Whether you know it or not WE ARE God’s hand and His voice. What kind of people do we have in our state government? Do they actually represent the people of this state? I don’t think all of us have become Socialists! Did you know we had a group move in our us that have set up an office in Burlington and call themselves Democrat Socialists? They are in all of our states and they don’t call themselves a “Party”, Check them out ~ We have to vote people in that are concerned about the status of the people here. Parents need to be involved in their children’s education, cost of living, etc. and we need leaders that function as parents to what is going on in the state. Where do we stand in some of these issues with other states? Even our governor needs to be more concerned then he is.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

About Us

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.

Latest News

VT Should Borrow Tax Exemption from Bernie’s Fatherland

July 15, 2019 By David Flemming What public policy has the best chance of convincing 20-somethings to stay in Vermont? A) Adopting a $15 Minimum Wage B) Passing...

Behavioral economics shows who’s responsible for rise in racism (if there really is one)

August 14, 2019 by Rob Roper Many news stories and opinion pieces in the Vermont media are opining about a rise in racism around our state and perhaps...

Statewide School Choice an Imperative as Schools Push Political Agenda

August 12, 2019 by Rob Roper For the past year or two, Vermont public schools have become increasingly, overtly political in the indoctrination of students to a political...

When the Rules Don’t Apply to Progressives

August 8, 2019 by Rob Roper So, Google hosted a three day summit on climate change in Sicily. Attendees, including the likes of Barak Obama, Leonardo DiCaprio, and...

VT Unaffordability Overshadows Unique Benefits

July 7, 2019 By David Flemming Wallethub completed an extremely compelling survey which looks at the “best states for Millennials.” Vermont didn’t do too shabby, coming in at #13...