Ashe, Johnson commit to fully funded Global Warming Solutions Act

By Guy Page

Expect the Vermont Senate to fully fund the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) when the Legislature returns in August, Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe, D-Chittenden, said on an Energy Action Network (EAN) zoom call Wednesday.

H.688 would establish regulatory authority for the state of Vermont to enforce carbon reductions in virtually every arm of state government and its decision-making. It would also allow civil suits against the state if it fails to reach 90% carbon emissions reduction by 2050. The Senate declined to approve the $1 million set-up cost in June but will restore funding when it reconvenes to set the budget for the final nine months of the 2020-21 state budget.

Wikimedia Commons/Orca Media

Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe, D/P-Chittenden

At his press conference Friday, Gov. Phil Scott said he would only support the bill if changes were made, including removal of allowing private lawsuit of the state for not meeting carbon emissions goals. But if that change isn’t made, “I’m not in favor of it,” he said. He said he doesn’t know if House Speaker Mitzi Johnson, D-South Hero, would have the 100 votes needed to override his veto.

On the EAN call, Ashe said the Senate’s previous unwillingness to fund H.688 was just a matter of timing. “With a level of effort of new staffing that was required, we wanted to make sure we understood better before committing the dollars,” Ashe said. “So we are going to fund it, to get the work done. It’s just we were saving it for the full year budget when we come back.”

The General Fund faces a $400-plus million revenue shortfall, due to the pandemic. The Education Fund is an estimated $80 million in the hole. Unless the next federal government “recovery” package includes the $3 billion for Vermont state and local government approved in a recent U.S. House bill, lawmakers will be forced to raise taxes or cut spending or both.

Large new expenditures, therefore, are being viewed with skepticism by some lawmakers. But no such reluctance exists for Ashe, or for Johnson, who told the EAN listeners: “We are going to be acting on it,  absolutely we absolutely will get it to the governor’s desk.” The only question is whether its funded within H.688 itself or in the full state budget. She characterized GWSA as “holding Vermonters accountable.”

If Scott chooses to veto H.688, Johnson noted there were 105 supporters in the House vote in February — more than the 100 needed to override. “We’ll be looking carefully to those people who thought it was a good idea in February and will continue to think it’s a good idea in September.” They’ll have to justify it if they now think otherwise, she said.

Ashe also addressed other climate legislation:

  • Park and ride spaces are up 35% over the last two years, thanks to work done “very quietly” in the Transportation bill.
  • S.220 has passed the Senate and is under review in the House. It embeds “energy and environmental instruction in the licensure process,” Ashe said. It sets education and licensing requirements for all the licensed professionals (plumbers, electricians, landscape architects) “whose work can have a helpful contribution to our meeting our energy goals…the second half of the bill is almost all new continuing education requirements and licensure requirements so that people really understand how their work impacts our collective challenges.”
  • S.267 would require all Vermont electricity be generated renewably and instate. It’s been discussed in Senate Finance but not voted out. Ashe reluctantly told the listening group of enthusiastic renewable power advocates that forcing Vermont to go to 100% instate renewable power would cost too much: “The, uh, I mean, and we can have a discussion about this, I’ll just say the challenge has been the, uh, claim, the, uh, assertion, or uh, characterization of the bill is one that’s going to have very, uh, upward impacts on rates for utility payers.”

Ashe is correct — enacting just two of the five steps outlined in S.267 would raise Vermont electricity costs by $1.2 billion over five years, VELCO studies show.

Read more of Guy Page’s reports. Vermont Daily is sponsored by True North Media.

Images courtesy of TNR and Wikimedia Commons/Orca Media
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15 thoughts on “Ashe, Johnson commit to fully funded Global Warming Solutions Act

  1. Well these dreamers have the money. So our voices need to be heard. Talk to your friends, family and post why they are a bad choice to continue in off – be polite or people will ignore your post. The more hate we show towards them, instead of calling them out and backing concerns with facts, the more votes they will have. Afterall they have all the money in the state.

    • They certainly have most of the legislators in their pockets, who help them pass the mandates they need, and the generous subsidies they need, to implement the CEP.

      GWSA mandates implementing the CEP, plus there will be punishments if you don’t comply; command and coerce.

      The Dem/Progs will have all sorts power/control to direct the state economy to NIRVANA.

      ALL IT TAKES IS YOUR MONEY, LOTS OF IT, OR ELSE.

      VOTE YOUR POCKET BOOK IN NOVEMBER
      VOTE OUT THE CULPRITS IN NOVEMBER

  2. These guys are absolute dreamers. If they want to make a change in the behavior of country’s where there is a real climate issue, I respectfully suggest they start with China. Then after they get that one squared away in say 100 years if ever, they can move on to the next violator, that is of course if they don’t end up in a forced labor camp or worse. Just a thought. Another more practical suggestion, hown about checking with the folks who will suffer the most from this legislation??????

    • Mike,
      These guys are not RE dreamers.

      They are hard-nosed business people, who want as much State mandates and subsidies as possible to have thriving RE businesses for decades.

      They full well know, whatever they do has about as much effect on the climate as a flea on an elephant’s ass.

      They do not give a damn about high electric rates or Vermont’s competitiveness, because those costs are paid by ratepayers, taxpayers, and added to government debt.

      James Moore of SunCommon is a perfect example.

      He wants 20% IN STATE SOLAR GENERATION BY 2025, because that is good for his business.

      He has EAN, VEIC, VELCO, VPIRG, and poorly informed/naive Legislators to help out.

      They are Vermont’s RE Mafia, shaking down Vermonters, with mandates, for self-serving purposes.

      It has absolutely NOTHING to do with climate.

      Ashe is merely a useful tool to them to be kept in office with “campaign contributions”

      Moore and the rest, do not give a damn that:

      1) Net-metered solar is charged to the utility rate base at a legacy cost of 21 c/kWh
      2) Standard Offer solar is charged to the utility rate base at a legacy cost of 20.5 c/kWh

      • “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive… [because] … those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” C. S. Lewis

  3. The movers and shakers of this GWSA need to be voted out, out , OUT!!!!

    There is no other answer Willem P. , myself and many others have said it all over the course of the last year or so.

    It is time for the voters to act, in a fashion that will save us from ourselves. That means cleaning House in the Legislature and Governors’ Office. The Progressives have not shown us anything only massive debt, which will only compound if they return to the puzzle palace, and then we all pions will be on the street.

  4. Sounds like Communism. VT could be the first state to have it’s own, in house, home grown, civil unrest. Who needs ANTIFA to start fires and looting when there’s EAN, ANR, GWSA, and VELCO. Isn’t this what the second amendment was intended for.

  5. OK, here’s the deal, gang.

    Anthropogenic climate disruption is a farce. Our contribution to CO2 levels is essentially the same as an annual fart in the Superdome.

    Yep, CO2 levels rise and fall. Here’s the thing that’s not being told: CO2 increases lag temperature increases. That’s just a fact. If CO2 levels fall too much below where they were during the Maunder Minimum (Google it), plants don’t grow. The planet’s atmospheric CO2 levels are pretty much self-regulating and have more to do with solar cycles than anything. Again, Google it.

    That anyone is taking this any more seriously than the COVID-19 scam / plandemic is mind boggling.

    Taking care of the environment is great. We should worry about plastics getting into the ocean and heavy metals into aquifers. Not this.

  6. 1) Capital Costs to Implement the Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan

    In 2015, Energy Action Network, EAN, an umbrella organization for RE businesses, etc., had estimated it would take at least $1.0 BILLION per year for 35 years to implement the CEP by 2050, not counting many $billions for financing costs and replacement costs of short-live systems (wind, solar, batteries, EVs, heat pumps) during these 35 years.

    2) Brief Summary of GWSA

    The Agency of Natural Resources, ANR, led by Peter Walke (who is a member of EAN), has to create the rules and regulations, and penalties for non-compliance, which would be subject for review by a “Council of Wise Men”, i.e., mostly appointed RE proponents.

    As part of GWSA, if the ANR measures would not sufficiently reduce Vermont’s carbon dioxide, CO2, as scheduled, any entity, such as the Conservation Law Foundation, would be allowed to sue the state government, with lawyer’s fees reimbursed, if the suit is upheld in Court.

    As part of GWSA, the legislature would play no role other than vote to provide the money, extracted from more and more impoverished, already-struggling, Virus-unemployed Vermonters, to implement it all.

    I foresee:

    1) A growing bureaucracy embroiled in one litigious brouhaha after another
    2) Vermonters becoming more and more oppressed and impoverished in the pursuit of impossible climate goals
    3) Vermont becoming less and less attractive as a place to do business, to visit, and to live.
    4) GWSA inflicting decades of torture of Vermonters to achieve nothing regarding the climate, other than “feel-good/virtue-signaling”.

    3) EAN, VEIC, AND VELCO MAKING A SELF-SERVING JOINT ATTACK TO GAIN THEIR OBJECTIVES
    https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/the-global-warming-solutions-act-a-decades-long-burden-on-vermont

    All three entities want to build out solar from 438.84 MW dc, to at least 1000 MW dc, by 2025 (seven years sooner than required by the CEP), even though solar:

    – Is, by far, the most expensive electricity in the portfolio of Vermont utilities. Table 3 shows some of solar costs shifted onto ratepayers, taxpayers and added to government debts. See Appendix.
    – Imposes the greatest threat to the stability of the grid, due to ever-larger DUCK-curves, as has happened in southern Germany and southern California. The more solar, the larger the DUCK-curves.
    – Would make the use of EVs and heat pumps much more costly.

    NOTE: The CEP goal is 1000 MW dc, by 2032

    4) EAN, VEIC, and VELCO Goals of 1000 MW of Solar by 2025 are Self-Serving and Unrealistic

    Their goals appear to be extremely dubious with:

    1) The Federal EV tax credit having been cancelled
    2) The solar Investment Tax Credit expiring in 2022
    3) The multi-year recession and high unemployment due to the virus economy.
    4) ASHPs Marginally Effective for Reducing CO2 in Average Vermont Houses. See ASHP URL
    5) EVs Minimally Reducing CO2 Compared with Efficient Gasoline Vehicles. See EV URL
    6) The recent FERC PURPA update to ensure proper competition, i.e., no sweetheart deals.

    Major increases of taxes, fees and surcharges on ratepayers, taxpayers, and adding to government debt to pay for their self-serving, dubious claims, likely would not be a palatable option.

    • Addition.

      CONFLICT OF INTEREST

      – The membership of EAN includes ten prominent members of Vermont Department of Public Service, VT-DPS: June Tierney, Riley Allen, Ed McNamara, TJ Poore, Anne Margolis, Andrew Perchlik, Maria Fischer, Phillip Picotte, Ed Delhagen, Kelly Launder.
      – June Tierney is the Commissioner.
      – Andrew Perchlik is on loan to the Legislature to shepherd the GWSA and $1.2 billion “Fortress Vermont” bills to ensure they contain all the bennies for EAN members.
      – Perchlik manages the Clean Energy Development Fund that donates taxpayer money to renewable energy programs.
      – No wonder VT-DPS resorts to artificial/political CO2 calculations regarding Vermont’s electrical sector, and EV and ASHP programs.
      https://www.eanvt.org/about/people/network-members/

      • Addition.

        Subsidized Solar Profiteers Aided and Abetted by Legislators

        James Moore of SunCommon, politically well-connected, wants to build-out solar for solar’s sake, because he makes good money installing solar systems. He does not care about:

        1) Net-Metered solar and Standard-Offer solar being charged to the utility rate base at up to 21.7 c/kWh, whereas such solar is worth to a utility about 8.5 c/kWh; N-M and S-O are the most expensive energy sources in the GMP electricity supply mix. See Appendix
        2) The capital cost of expensive grid extension/augmentation to physically connect solar systems and expensive battery storage to subsequently deal with their output variations. See Solar Coddling Services.
        3) Ratepayers, taxpayers, etc., paying through the nose, while they are being told various fables/fantasies about Vermont fighting climate change. See explanation of cost-shifting in Table 4.
        4) His subsidy-fueled solar job creation causing increased costs, decreased job creation, and anemic growth in other sectors.

        Free Solar Coddling Services: James Moore does not care about midday, grid-disturbing, DUCK-curves, and grid-disturbing downward output spikes due to variable cloudy weather.

        Owners of other generators, mostly gas turbine plants, are required to rapidly decrease their outputs to let his unruly, unreliable, expensive, solar onto the grid, starting around mid-morning, and then they are required to rapidly increase their outputs to fill the void, as solar nods off to go to sleep, starting late-afternoon/early-evening (a period with peak demands, mind you), until about mid-morning the next day.

        A rational person would think it a miracle, solar, being such a troublesome, mostly absent “worker”, is getting all these subsidies and free coddling services.

  7. GWSA is off the charts beyond rational.
    https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/the-global-warming-solutions-act-a-decades-long-burden-on-vermont

    “S.267 would require all Vermont electricity be generated renewably and instate”.

    That would be the existing 6 billion kWh/y fed to grid, plus electricity for about 200,000 heat pumps and about 200,000 electric vehicles.

    Net-metered solar electricity is charged to the utility rate base at a legacy cost of about 21 c/kWh
    Standard-Offer solar electricity is charged to the utility rate base at a legacy cost of about 21 c/kWh

    New England WHOLESALE rates have AVERAGED less than 5 c/kWh starting in 2009, ELEVEN YEARS!!!!, courtesy of low-cost gas and low-cost nuclear.

    HEAT PUMPS

    I just installed 3 Mitsubishi heat pumps, each with 2 heads
    Total TURNKEY capital cost $24,000; I can assure you, it was total STICKER SHOCK

    The units are expected to have a useful service life of 15 years
    Amortizing $24000 at 3% for 15 year would require payments of $2058.86 PER YEAR

    That is equal to about 75% of my current annual propane cost.

    How in hell is that going to save me money, if I will have an ADDITIONAL 8000 kWh PER YEAR, at a cost of $1600 PER YEAR?
    GMP loves me for buying all that electricity, EXPENSIVELY GENERATED IN STATE

    VPIRG, EV, GMP, VT-DPS, VT-PUC, EAN, VELCO, and VEIC, and especially Legislators, and especially VOTERS, should note these numbers, because tens of thousands of Vermont households will be MANDATED to do the same, per off-the-charts irrational GWSA.

    VOTERS, YOU CAN STOP THIS NONSENSE IN NOVEMBER

    I expect to displace about 800 gal of propane.
    The other 400 gal will be used by my existing propane system for:

    1) Domestic hot water
    2) During the colder days of the year, when the heat pump output likely would be inadequate, and the coefficient of performance would be 1.1 or 1.2, i.e., similar to heating my house with electric heat on the colder days.

    Instead, I would TURN OFF the heat pumps, and use my traditional propane system to heat the house on those colder days.

    I now have TWO heating systems, each being amortized, and each with a $325 service contract.

    Also, I have two propane stoves, which require no electricity, to prevent the house from freezing, in case of a power failure.

  8. H.688 would establish regulatory ” authority ” for the state of Vermont to enforce carbon
    reductions in virtually every arm of state government and its decision-making !!

    So to all Vermonters hold on to your wallets, liberals need you money to fund this nonsense,
    Vermont legislators working for the people or an agenda ??

    Vote all the carpetbagges out of the state house, foolishness is going to cost you and
    your family.

    • I applaud your endeavor to dispute madness with reason and facts, but you are attempting to fight the dogma of a fanatic and powerful religion (understand them as that), succinctly expressed by Biden’s “We accept [doctrinal] truth over facts.” Remember da Vinci and the Copernican heliocentric universe – or Heaven’s Gate, which is more contemporary. If the AGW acolytes cannot be banished from the seat of power, your option is to leave. If they let you. They are zealots, Bolsheviks. Their quest for control is obsessive. Its achievement is vital, dominant over the survival of the state, over the well being of the people. It is the overwhelming incentive that drove them to seek office – to wield control, to make the world they way they know it should be. You are speaking heresy.

    • They do import people on a regular basis. Having 4 year residency is really not a tough requirement, but notice how there is little challenge for Molly Gray. Molly should not be eligible for running. We need people who are concerned and vested in Vermont enough to actually live here and deal with the issues at hand. Yeah, “She’s a Vermonter”…..but when you get all your money, power and prestige and then move back and expect immediate acceptance for high paying, politically power positions with eyes toward higher positions and sudden support from all those in the entire borg….well. wouldn’t that be a carpet bagger, just of a different sort.

      It’s about power and control the party will through out and discard anyone not immediately expedient to their cause. Tim will be sacrificed on the alter questing for power and control, which is their only and true allegiance.

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