Agency of Natural Resources hosts climate talk, emphasizes need for more EVs

Michael Bielawski/TNR

EVS COMING: While there are only about 4,000 electric cars in Vermont at this point, state transportation policy targets want that number to grow ten times over the next four years.

The Agency of Natural Resources this week hosted a virtual public forum about climate change in Vermont, and it focused in on discussions of the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) and carbon emission reduction targets.

Julie Moore, the secretary of the agency, co-hosted the event and provided an update on the Vermont Climate Council and its forthcoming Climate Action Plan.

Among the climate goals discussed were returning carbon emission levels to only 20 percent what they were in 1990 by the year 2050.

“We have to achieve a roughly three-and-a-half million metric ton reduction over the next nine years. So quite a bit a work lies ahead of us,” Moore said.

Jane Lazorchak, the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act director, who hosted along with Moore, said 45 percent of Vermont’s emissions come transportation, 30 percent from thermal heating, and 12 percent from agriculture. As a result, the state believes electric vehicles are a key component of reducing CO2.

“If transportation is emitting the most then we’ll be required to look and cut the most emissions from that sector,” Lazorchak said.

Another goal is to achieve “net-zero emissions by 2050 across all sectors,” which means that any remaining carbon output must be sequestered through methods such as planting more forests.

Lazorchak said she’d like to see more Vermonters get involved in climate policy.

“It’s also thinking about how we engage with the Vermont public all along the way to co-create the Climate Action Plan, so that we have the resulting buy-in that we need to implement such an ambitious plan,” she said.

In particular, the hosts mentioned using educational outreach to students to inform them about what’s taking place with climate change policy in Vermont and elsewhere.

Moore noted that the $7 billion fiscal year 2022 budget now before the governor includes large financial commitments to climate causes.

“There are about $65 million in total investments related to climate action, including $7.4 million for electric vehicle incentives and vehicle repair incentives; $20 million for community work around weatherization, with an emphasis on lower-income Vermonters and their homes; [and] $20 million to help with the development of community-scale renewable energy, particularly solar systems, as well as fuel-switching in individual homes and buildings.”

Moore acknowledged that pushing for more expensive green energy would be a challenge.

“It’s certainly one of the challenges facing the Climate Council,” Moore said. ” … The council will also be looking at the costs. A significant component of the work that we’ve contracted for is economic modeling to get at those numbers because it’s a very important point.”

She added that “changes in individual behavior” will be necessary for the state to reach its emission reduction goals, and that incentives can be used to help move things ahead.

Lazorchak said she expected to have useful data on costs by fall.

“It’s all been at the front and center of everybody’s minds right now, and that economic modeling, unfortunately, won’t be available until the fall. But we do have some preliminary analysis to fall back on and be thinking about from previous bodies of work,” she said.

Lazorchak noted the adoption of electric cars has been going slowly due to cost — low-end EVs start at around $30,000 for a new model — but the state’s target remains high.

“We currently have 4,000 EVs on the road, but by most numbers we need north of 10 times that by 2025,” she said.

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Image courtesy of Michael Bielawski/TNR

14 thoughts on “Agency of Natural Resources hosts climate talk, emphasizes need for more EVs

  1. Energy Action Network: EAN, prepared a report listing the measures required to “meet Paris by 2025”. That goal is mandated by the Global Warming “Solutions” Act, GWSA, and in accordance with the VT Comprehensive Energy Plan.

    EAN claims, without providing calculations, replacing 90,000 vehicles of the VT LDV mix, with 90,000 EVs would reduce CO2 by 0.405 million metric ton/y, or 4.5 Mt/EV/y

    VT-DPS/VT-DEC artificially reduced the VT electrical sector CO2 from 1,000,000, 810,000, 490,000, 190,000, and 130,000 Mt, for 2015 through 2019. These values are almost entirely based on paper power purchase agreements, PPAs, utilities are required to have with in-state and out-of-state power generators. VT-DPS/GMP declare, nuclear, hydro, wind, solar, biomass have zero CO2 emissions. Accordingly, GMP claims to be 95% CO2-free, because it has “paper” PPAs. See GMP URL

    GMP does not have to invest one dime to comply with “being politically green”, and legislators know it, go along with it.

    Plus, GMP rakes in, tax-free, oodles of our hard-earned money for its Canadian owners, by investing in solar/battery combos, and by leasing heat pumps, and leasing wall-hung Tesla batteries for playing “catch the peak games” by riding the subsidy gravy train, a la Warren Buffett, and playing the “forward-looking utility” role.

    A clever charade it has been for 20 years, is, and will be!!
    Closing down VTYankee, an embarrassingly low-cost competitor, was part of that game.
    Always follow the money, who gains, who loses, and the clever lies to make it happen.

    It is pure nonsense to talk of a “Vermont Energy mix”, or a “New Hampshire energy mix”, because electricity travels, as electromagnetic waves, at near the speed mpg light, i.e., 1800 mile in 0.01 second, i.e., from northern Maine too southern Florida in 0.01 second!!! The electrons largely vibrate in place at 60 cycles per second.

  2. The VT-DOT also wants to have electric school buses, even though the buses proved to be a highly
    inefficient way to reduce CO2 in Massachusetts at $2076/metric ton of CO2 in Massachusetts and $2160/metric ton of CO2 in Salt Spring Island, Canada


    New England has a pollution problem in its southern urban areas.

    Vermont, known for its cleaner air, has a minor pollution problem in Burlington and some of its other urban areas, i.e., no need to use scare-mongering to rush into expensively advancing Montpelier’s electric school bus goals.

    Governor and Senators Seeking More Electric Vehicles and Buses with Federal COVID Money

    The energy priorities of New England governments are driven by a self-serving cabal of RE folks. All is decided at high levels. Ordinary people rarely participate during government hearings, except those pre-selected to say the right things.

    The cabal has powerful allies on Wall Street, which is molding the minds of people by means of generous donations to universities and think tanks. Here is an example of the resulting double-speak:

    Vermont’s Governor: “Investing in more energy-efficient public transportation is important for our economy and environment,” the governor said. He added that the COVID money is enabling the transportation agency to replace as many as 30 buses and fund energy-efficient projects.”

    NOTE: Each $325,000 electric school bus reduces CO2 by about 10 metric ton/y, compared to a $100,000 diesel bus. Vermont has much better CO2 reduction options. See Appendix.

    The Vermont House Energy/Environment Committee, the VT Transportation Department, VEIC, EAN, etc., echo the same message, to “convince” legislators, people in the Governor’s Office, and Vermonters, to use COVID money and Volkswagen Settlement money to buy expensive electric buses to deal with a minor pollution problem in a few urban areas in Vermont.

    Such an electric vehicle measure would be much more appropriate in the over-crowded, down-town Boston Area and the Connecticut Gold Coast.

    The cabal urge Vermonters to buy electric buses at about:

    $750,000 – $1,000,000 per mass-transit bus, plus high-speed charging systems.
    A standard diesel mass-transit bus costs $380,000 – $420,000

    $330,000 – $375,000, per school bus, plus high-speed charging systems.
    A standard diesel/gasoline school bus costs about $100,000

    “Free” Federal COVID Money for Expensive Electric School Buses

    The Governor and bureaucrats are throwing COVID money, meant for suffering households and businesses, into another climate-fighting black hole.

    Spending huge amounts of capital on various projects that yield minor reductions in CO2, is a recipe for low economic efficiency, and for low economic growth, on a state-wide and nation-wide scale, which would adversely affect state and US competitiveness in markets, and adversely affect living standards and job creation.

  3. How many natural resources does it take to build an EV? How are these resources procured and from where? The Climate Change warriors with their I-Phones and EV’s – made of what and with what? Unbelievably, gullibly, stupid people.

    • Melissa,

      There are much less costly ways to reduce CO2, such as weatherizing, and building net-zero, and energy-surplus housing units by the thousands each year

      Europe and Japan have been doing that for at least 30 years, with great success.

      Many of the efficiency innovations have come from Europe and Japan.

      They are in an excellent position to take over the US efficiency-products market, due to rational forward thinking, not bureaucratic daydreaming, about action plans, zero emission (which does not exist), etc.

      The last thing Vermont needs is 10 to 20 times more EVs “by 2025 to meet Paris”.

      Such an effort would put Vermonters into the poorhouse.

      Where in hell would all the the electricity come from?

      Wind, solar, which cost 3 to 5 times as much as fossil, nuclear and hydro?
      Where is the grid to carry all that electricity?
      Where is the battery storage to absorb midday solar bulges?

      Mindless blathering by folks who will never see the forest for the trees.


    New data suggests that electric vehicles may not be an easy future substitute for the gasoline-powered fleet, as EVs currently travel less than half as much as the US fleet average.

    A team from the University of Chicago, University of California, Davis, and UC Berkeley combined billions of hourly electricity meter measurements with address-level EV registration records in California—home to about half of the EVs in the United States.

    They found that the arrival of an EV in a household increases household electricity consumption by 2.9 kilowatt hours per day—less than half the amount assumed by state regulators.

    Adjusted for the share of out-of-home charging, the electricity consumed translates to about 5,300 electric vehicle miles traveled (eVMT) per year—roughly half as large as EV driving estimates used by regulators and also half as large as vehicle miles traveled in gasoline-powered cars.

    They reported their findings in a working paper published on the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) website.

    There’s still so much we don’t know about the costs and benefits of EVs, so it seems appropriate to have some humility around this energy transition. Approaches that leave multiple technology pathways open are desirable; bans and mandates seem premature.

    —co-author David Rapson, an associate professor at the UC Davis Economics Department
    The takeaway here is not that EVs should never or will never be our future. It’s rather that policymakers may be underestimating the costs of going fully electric.

    —co-author Fiona Burlig, an assistant professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy


    The Vermont Department of Transportation making A BIG PUSH for EVs is at least 3 to 4 years TOO SOON.

    The EVs NEEDED by Vermonters just are not affordable.

    The EVs NEEDED by Vermonters are not marketed AT REASONABLE PRICES.

    A SMALL SUV, Tesla Model Y, 326-mile range, AWD, costs $52,000, plus destination, fees, taxes.

    A MEDIUM SUV, such as a Subaru Outback, if an EV with a bigger battery, would cost at least $60,000, plus destination, fees and taxes, more than DOUBLE the gasoline version, 550-mile range, costs $27,000, plus destination, fees and taxes.

  5. Here is the CO2 reduction on a lifetime, A to Z basis

    Above all, Vermont needs a gas-guzzler code, which would impose a fee on low-mileage vehicles.
    The more below 40-mpg, the greater would be the fee.
    Any vehicles with greater than 40-mpg, such as the 54-mpg Toyota Prius, would be exempt.

    RE folks would have everyone drive unaffordable EVs, that would not reduce much CO2 compared with EFFICIENT gasoline vehicles.

    On a lifetime, A-to-Z basis, with travel at 105,600 miles over 10 years, the CO2 emissions, based on the present New England grid CO2/kWh, would be:

    NISSAN Leaf S Plus, EV, compact SUV, no AWD, would emit 25.967 Mt, 246 g/mile
    TOYOTA Prius L Eco, 62 mpg, compact car, no AWD, would emit 26,490 Mt, 251 g/mile
    SUBARU Outback, 30 mpg, medium SUV, with AWD, would emit 43.015 Mt, 407 g/mile
    VT Light Duty Vehicle mix, 22.7 mpg, many with AWD or 4WD, would emit 56,315 Mt, 533 g/mile

    1) The above shows, the NISSAN Leaf, a SMALL vehicle, would have a CO2 reduction of 56,315 – 25.967 = 30.3 metric ton over TEN years (3 metric ton/y), if compared with an AVERAGE gas vehicle of the VT Light Duty Vehicle mix, which contains small and big vehicles.

    2) If the NISSAN Leaf were compared with my 30-mpg Subaru Outback, a vastly more useful vehicle than a NISSAN Leaf, the CO2 reduction would be only 17 metric ton over TEN years (1.7 metric ton/y).

    3) That is a much less than the EAN estimate of 4.5 metric ton/y, because it was based on an artificial 25 g CO2/kWh electricity, instead of using the 300 g/kWh of the NE rid, calculated by ISO-NE on a rational basis, plus it neglected: 1) the CO2 of MAKING the battery, etc., and 2) LIFETIME conditions.

    4) RE folks claiming EVs have no CO2 emissions is utter nonsense.

    • Addition to comment:

      Note, the above CO2 reductions are based on about 10,560 miles per year.

      It is likely Vermonters will drive EVs in a similar manner as Californians.

      That means the Vermont EVs will travel no more than 6000 mile per year, ON AVERAGE.

      Most Vermont folks with EVs are upscale-income folks.

      They use their EV as an extra car for mostly local trips

      Any dreams/notions the VT DOT has about a FLEET of EVs reducing so much CO2 strictly is wishful thinking.

      • Addition:

        1) The above shows, the NISSAN Leaf, a SMALL vehicle, would have a CO2 reduction of 56,315 – 25.967 = 30.3 Mt over TEN years (3 Mt/y), if compared with an AVERAGE gas vehicle of the VT LDV mix, which contains small and big vehicles.

        2) If the NISSAN Leaf were compared with my 30-mpg Subaru Outback, a vastly more useful vehicle than a NISSAN Leaf, the CO2 reduction would be only 16.3 Mt over TEN years (1.63 Mt/y).


        EAN estimated 4.5 metric ton/y, because that was based on an artificial 25 g CO2/kWh electricity, instead of using the 300 g/kWh of the NE rid, calculated by ISO-NE on a rational basis.

        EAN neglected: 1) the CO2 of MAKING the battery, etc., and 2) LIFETIME conditions.


        These URLs show, EVs are driven an average of 7,000 miles/y, compared to 12,000 miles for the US LDV mix. That difference holds for: 1) all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, 2) single- and multiple-vehicle households, and 3) inside and outside California. This means, as a fleet, EVs would reduce less CO2 than envisioned by RE folks’ dream scenarios.

        That means, any analyses by EAN, or VT-DOT, or Concerned “Scientists” (anyone can join), etc., using 12,000, or even 15,000 miles per year, would be GROSSLY in error and DECEPTIVE, because the HUGE investments to implement EVs,

        plus CHARGERS everywhere,
        plus additional generation with HEAVILY SUBSIDIZED, EXPENSIVE, VARIABLE, INTERMITTENT wind and solar,
        plus additional grid build-outs
        plus additional grid-scale batteries everywhere,
        plus a new battery materials supply chain

        This means, as a fleet, EVs would reduce less than 50% of the CO2 envisioned by RE folks’ dream scenarios.

        RE promoters of “GOING EV” are seriously deranged, if they keep spouting EVs have no CO2 emissions.

  6. How percent of the emissions are from interstate traffic? “Statistics are like a bikini. What they reveal is interesting. But what they conceal is essential.”

  7. I attended a meeting in Rutland a couple of years ago sponsored be Rights and democracy and I asked the question of those on the panel how many had electric cars because of the climate change and lo and behold none of the propaganda junkies had an electric car!

    We need to wake up in Vermont and kick these bullcrappers to the curb. We are being sold out by a bunch of liars that have ties to solar and more than likely electric vehicles. These slime balls don’t budge unless it benefits them financially. We need to clean out the Socialists and the Rinos from our done of gloom.

    We are losing our state to to a bunch of politicians that could care less about taxpayers. Just who are the Rinos that denounced Trump. Collamore, Burditt, Cisco (Cooper) Cupoli, Josh Terenzini….come on add your name to the list if you are proud of your stupidity. Hey you kissed Scott’s butt…but you sold out America. What a bunch of dummies.

  8. When State folks talk about CO2 reductions of EVs, they mean TAILPIPE REDUCTIONS

    However, CO2 reductions on a lifetime, A to Z basis, are much less.

    Energy Action Network claims a 4.5 metric ton per year tail pipe reduction, if a VT average Light Duty Vehicle is replace by an equivalent average EV.

    That number is much too high, because he uses a too low number of g/kWh for electricity. He should use the latest ISO-NE calculated value of g/kWh for the NE grid, because electricity travels at near the speed of light, from northern Maine to southern Florida, about 1800 miles in 0.01 of a second.

    Physically, there is no such thing as a Vermont mix, or New Hampshire mix.

    Also he does not take into account lifetime, A to Z conditions

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