‘Affordable Heating Act’ passes 5-0 in Senate committee

By Guy Page

Senate Bill 5, the Affordable Heating Act, was approved unanimously by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee this morning.

The bill is a reprise of the Clean Heat Standard the Legislature passed last year only to be vetoed by Governor Phil Scott. It imposes a sales fee on fuel dealers and distribute some of the proceeds to weatherization and other non-fossil fuel energy initiatives. Supporters claim it will save money in the long run because electricity — at least now — is often cheaper than fossil fuels. But critics say the cost of transitioning from oil, propane and natural gas heat to electric-powered heat pumps places an undue burden on lower-income Vermonters.

This morning’s vote was unanimous, despite committee member Windsor County Senator Richard McCormack’s recent expressions of concern about the bill’s lack of clarity. McCormack this morning told the Vermont Daily Chronicle that social media claims that opposed the bill were overblown.

After weeks of committee testimony and wildly varying claims on the pricetag to consumers, what S5 will cost still appears uncertain. Jared Duval, a Vermont Climate Council member and official of a renewable power organization, said the Scott administration estimate of 70 cents per gallon of heating fuel is too high.

Guy Page

Myers Mermel, president of Ethan Allen Institute, explains why he believes the so-called ‘Affordable Heating Act’ will cost Vermonters even more than Scott administration estimates.

Myers Mermel, President of the free-market Ethan Allen Institute, told the committee Wednesday that reaching climate goals on time will require far more than an added 70 cents per gallon. “It will take 28 years to enact climate measures if only seventy cents is passed through as a fuel surcharge. The actual upfront costs will require the pass through of a surcharge of four dollars and four cents per gallon to achieve compliance in only five years,” Mermel said.

And it will have a disastrous, inequitable economic impact on poor Vermonters, he claimed.

“Once begun, the Carbon Doom Spiral will punish low- and moderate-income Vermonters with higher and higher fuel charges and no greater ability to fund changeover renovations,” Mermel said. “There will be no promised price protection for them. And as renovations lag, climate goals will be missed. The “carrot and stick” approach will be just sticks with no carrots. This new heat standard will increase income inequality and will become a new system which oppresses low- and moderate-income Vermonters. The Affordable Heat Act will increase, not diminish, suffering.”

The bill is likely to go to a Senate finance committee for its spending and taxation implications before it goes to the full Senate for discussion and vote.

Guy Page is publisher of the Vermont Daily Chronicle. Reprinted with permission.

Image courtesy of Guy Page

22 thoughts on “‘Affordable Heating Act’ passes 5-0 in Senate committee

  1. There are only two way to explain these people in the legislature; they are either complete nuts incapable of rational thought and decision making, or they are communists. And the people who have voted them in, have the same lack of working brains.

  2. I think its time to stop pretending this will be stopped by rational thinking. Nut cases don’t respond to rational thoughts. And little by little the same thing is taking place at the federal level. — People need to plan now how they will heat their homes, or get out of the communist states and move to America.

    • My next door neighbor, a life-long Mainer and Vermonter, now about 50, is in the process of moving her entire family to the North Carolina shore. One of her children is attending the U of Florida, the others will follow

      Her husband has his own company, has set up a subsidiary in NC, will close operations in Vermont and NH over a period of 3 years.
      He is making big bucks

      Vermont is losing such enterprising people and will never get them back.
      Vermont will compensate by setting up another government program

      • Add me to that list. I left several years ago, after majority of my life in VT…from high school on. I wanted the “dream”…but it all turned very bad in the last decade. VT is on a bad fiscal trajectory, but then multi billions $ of free Covid money saved them from soon disaster.. Those billions will be gone soon…wasted on Social, Gender, Sex & Climate Change (all worthless of producing anything – except you “feel good”).

        I save into tens of thousands by leaving VT for good. Everything is less out of VT. I am only on this earth ONCE and the only way we could retire early & comfortably was to get out VT….I saved $13,000 alone, just in property taxes..and our two nice Soc Security checks? TAX FREE now – screw VT stealing our Soc Security :)…and I made sure that I never, ever sold any of my long term capital gains stocks…UNTIL I was out of VT for good, and a “proof resident” of another very LOW tax State. THEY got my tax $. VT should miss mine – and others retirees, a llife time accumulated, taxable assets. Why does VT deserve to steal so much of it? We earned it, not the Hippie Birkenstock Climate nuts running PC VT. Wake UP all…as the Legislature finds fewer easy way to tax you more , but never cut spending)….they will soon consider going full bore Communist….the “Wealth Tax”. if so, sell your house now & get out…cuz’ NO ONE will want to buy or be a resident, in VT – once VT goes Socialist to Communist.

        • Willem…another major reason to get out of VT now…is doctors and healthcare. It’s getting really bad in VT, just as we reach “olden years”. I have a handful of VT doctor friends…all at retirement ages. The Hospitals BEG them to stay on a few years past 65 because there are few doctors wanting to come to VT. VT is all Socialist & Enviro politics and all health needs to be free….”Tax The Rich” (they don’t pay enough)…Thus…Doctors are evil because they are “rich”? And one Doc I knew left VT after barely three years because he was HORRIFIED at what his kids were being taught. VT schools purposely DUMBED DOWN his kids to the lowest common denominator…for “equality” of outcome and PC indoctrination.. Just as they will be dumbing down all VT healthcare later on, when no providers want to be here.

          We were astounded of our health care from VT. It was largely bad and wrong. We now go to a Mayo Clinic….they are in MN, FL and AZ now. It is best in class Specialty care…and primary…they could not believe some of the VT doctor things we had over 30 years…all wrong.. When current doctors in VT retire, there will be very few coming in…and a crisis will ensue…it’s almost here already…shortages in heath care, VT.

      • So can’t blame people. However, what this also does is literally give up a state in the United states to foreign control. They will have won an entire state, and everyone is very naive to think it’s not happening across the nation.

        Look how they flipped Colorado.

        It’s not dem vs repub…..it’s american vs NWO/uniparty/corporatist….

        It’s western civilization against the Godless corrupt, soulless,heathen NWO.

        We need a providential intervention.

        • The whole trick is “democracy”. Get enough people to vote against the rule of law and you have mob rule, no longer a republic.

          Then you can pass laws that say the. State can operate on your child without your permission. They are now owned by the. State.

  3. Quotes from a fine Op-Ed I saw today…of the insanity Cult of Climate Alarmists…and they will destroy VT with their zealous pursuits:

    ““The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”
    — Winston Churchill, Oct. 22, 1945

    “Their preferred stalking horse in their pursuit of egalitarian misery is the specter of a climate apocalypse. Since the apocalypse, in their telling, is gonna be, well, apocalyptic, that means the defense against it must be just as all-embracing….. they are content to bankrupt America (think Vermont) in the pursuit of a cause they believe ….But there is no confidence among climate fanatics that the battle can ever be won, without the surrender of abundance…..But our apocalypse-haunted climate socialists of today have made a religion that they do not even acknowledge as being a religion. Like the most intolerant zealots of the past, they believe they have the only truth and will override forcibly all who contradict them — for the sake of saving them and everyone else.”

    • End of the world vibe has been used by leaders for thousands of years to control the populace.

      What does end are corrupt governments, on a regular basis, they defy natural law, economic, science and God’s law, you would think we’d know by now, but we don’t.

      When you address being a good steward, rather than arguing about the plan, how much it costs etc. one quickly realizes, it was never about the environment, it was always, always will be about controlling people and taking their money.

      We can be good stewards, better stewards and suddenly they have no argument. That is their Achilles heal, but we fall for the trap of arguing about their plan, they say we don’t care about the environment and label us, frame us as not caring. So they win automatically, people say we are unreasonable and we are not.

      We should be jumping up and down about the Ohio toxic nuking ot the town and now our state.

      See how quiet they are about this. People are going to die in big numbers because of this. It’s some serious damage. If people truly cared about the environment, this would be not only national news 24/7, but world news.

      Crickets, they don’t care.

  4. When you are ideologically and deeply committed to a cause you feel is right, as is the case with these Senators on climate change, you end up not examining the evidence, thinking rationally, or being willing to consider the possibility of being wrong.

  5. Find the time to watch “How to Think About Climate Change” a presentation by William Happer at Hillsdale College a couple of years ago.

  6. Think of the soon mass rush $ to buy wood stoves if this bill passes. And what about coal stoves? Pellet stoves? Heating oil at $6 or $7 a gallon will leave people with no choice… burn wood. Burn anything that fits in it regardless.. Wood prices will rise….and with increased wood stove use… increases smoke pollution in the air…and such smoke pollution causes atmospheric Global Warming? Which is what they seek to address anyway? Make oil expensive, unusable?….but force more people to burn atmosphere and thus the climate harming….wood? i’d like to know how many Legislators, looking to halt fuel oil use….THEMSELVES pollute the climate – with wood stoves? I’d venture it is a safe bet Sen. MacDonald is a big wood-stove-polluting-burner? Maybe VTdigger will ask him 🙂 Someone should.

    • Oh, and besides to ask Sen MacDonald how many cords of wood he may (or may not) burn a year in his home (thus a climate-change-polluter)…..He has before put in his bio that he is a “farmer” as well….that he has raised Beef cows on his land.. Uh-Oh…How come he is exempt from the ire & venom of the rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth, KGB style Enviros. Because if Sen MacDonald has & raises cows….his cows fart & created methane gas – which they say causes global warming :)….Someone needs to ask about why he produces methane gas-climate-change- farts ?…….Delicious 🙂

  7. See how clever they are with their names?

    This is of course the only thing people read or see and think, they are doing a great job.

    • Hi Neil,
      No one asks them the basic questions: “Affordable for WHO?”

      What does affordable mean to these people?
      We saw what “Two Weeks To Flatten The Curve” meant..

      • They are in over their heads, they want them to make this argument, that way they can frame the Ethan Allen Group, and Republicans as anti environment,,,,,and they win hearts.

        Then like you elude, suddenly when they have control of all the money and every facet of your life, they will declare global warming is cured! Which of course we will be because it was never a problem to begin with, but conveniently changes our environment from free to communist, a different environment entirely, much , much colder I might add.

        • And yet it’s us on the right that are demanding answers and accountability for the Chernobyl-Like crisis in Ohio- as the people that banned plastic bags are silent.

          I’m following that crisis in Ohio closely. The media in both NY and Hartford CT is reporting that there is a strange smell and debris landing on car windshields etc..I’m about 90 miles from CT/Albany NY where I am in NH, yet I see nothing in our news here or in Vermont about this cloud of toxic acid rain floating above us.
          Why are the people that want to ban gas stoves silent right now?

          Things are getting bad Neil and I’m not one to go wobbly very fast or easily.
          The silence here on this cloud of pure toxic poison is deafening.

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