Attorney general vows opposition to Scott if he challenges the Global Warming Solutions Act

Michael Bielawski/TNR

DONOVAN VERSUS SCOTT: Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan says he’s prepared to battle the governor on the controversial Global Warming Solutions Act.

Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan has issued a statement saying he will resist any legal efforts by Gov. Phil Scott to oppose the Global Warming Solutions Act.

At the November meeting of the new 23-member climate council created through the act, Secretary of Administration Susanne Young noted there could be a legal challenge to the law coming from the administration. Young said the governor’s office hopes the law can be clarified in the upcoming legislative session to address constitutional concerns.

The fallout from that meeting prompted Deputy Attorney General Joshua Diamond to produce a letter indicating that his office would oppose such legal challenges.

“As you know, the GWSA is a landmark law that addresses global warming, an existential threat to the health and safety of every Vermonter,” the letter states. “Media outlets have reported that the Governor is considering a constitutional challenge to the GWSA. I want to let you know that the Vermont Attorney General’s Office (“AGO”) will defend the GWSA if the Governor brings such a lawsuit.”

The letter indicates that if a legal challenge were to proceed, the attorney general’s office will not continue to have meetings with the governor’s office to discuss legal details.

“Given the threatened litigation, a meeting to discuss legal theories, defenses, and other approaches would not be appropriate,” Diamond wrote.

The letter argues that the GWSA, which recasts state carbon-fuel reduction targets into mandates, is constitutional. When the governor and lawmakers last negotiated the bill — which passed based on House and Senate overrides of the governor’s veto in mid-September — the governor had a list of demands for changes to the bill, which were never met.

One of the governor’s key concerns was that the climate council making up these new energy policies would not be accountable to the electorate and therefore unconstitutional. That’s in addition to concerns he had about the cost of carbon reduction to Vermonters.

Donovan argues that the people are behind the GWSA because elected-lawmakers voted it in.

“There is nothing wrong with holding government accountable to the will of its people,” he said.

A statement from Donovan’s office details further why he believes this to be true: “The Climate Action Plan [created by the Climate Council] will provide a framework for the Agency of Natural Resources to promulgate rules to achieve mandated reductions in greenhouse gas emissions,” it states. “The Vermont legislature overwhelmingly voted in favor of the GWSA, reflecting broad public support for this important law.”

At the conclusion, his office lists some more of the arguments they will put forward on why the GWSA is constitutional as is:

Because the GWSA requires that the Agency of Natural Resources – a part of the executive branch – implements the GWSA, not the Climate Council, there can be no usurpation of the executive branch’s authority.

The letter further points out that the Climate Council is not controlled by the legislature and is in fact chaired by the secretary of administration.

The governor’s legal counsel has since indicated that they hope to avoid litigation if possible.

In Diamond’s letter, he reminds of the ambitious energy policy targets set by the new law.  Specifically, by 2050, Vermont must lower CO2 emissions by 80% from what they were in 1990. Emissions must be 40% below 1990 levels by 2030.

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

43 thoughts on “Attorney general vows opposition to Scott if he challenges the Global Warming Solutions Act

  1. This guy needs his ears boxed. He’s not the VT government but an egotistical lawyer that needs to be controlled. The Legislature decides such issues and he can’t over ride them. Not required to be a lawyer in the SCOTUS, neither for DJ Donovan’s post. AG is a title only, anyone with common sense could perform better.

    He’s one of VT’s problem, self serving, egotistical, head liner grabber, rights violator. He and Scott make a pair.

  2. This bought and paid for puppet should be removed from office.
    He’s clearly NOT Working for the citizens of Vermont.
    In fact, his policies he supports would kill a great deal of Vermonters from driving them into great poverty and despair.

    When a few of these tyrants are removed from their jobs they’ll remember that they work for us.
    WE are the Boss, not them.

  3. A part of GWSA is to eventually OUTLAW gasoline/diesel vehicles and MANDATE electric vehicles, including TRUCKS.

    Here is a scenario at a very large truck stop.

    Power companies are wrecking power plants and simultaneously hyping electric vehicles.

    The politicized movement of demolishing reliable power plants, while pushing EVs (and heat pumps) likely would have significant impacts on the electric power system.

    Here are some back-of-the-envelope numbers

    The Tesla Model 3, a compact car, has a new and improved battery that can deliver 82 kWh.
    We are told we want to charge it during a 10-minute stopover at the non-existent charging station.

    A draw of 82 kWh in 10 minutes, equals a power level of 82/0.1666 = 492 kW, equivalent to 492/0.745 = 660 HP

    An 18-wheeler would have 8 of these batteries. It would draw power at a rate of 660 x 8/0.5 = 1,760 HP, if charged in 30 minutes.

    A giant truck stop, such as Iowa 80, would have, on any evening, several hundred trucks pull in to park for the night.

    In our utopian future, these will all be charging up, not fueling up, right?

    Iowa 80 advertises 900 parking places.
    Assume only 100 trucks would be charging at any one time.

    The power draw would be 176,000 horsepower, or 131 MW, equivalent to a small power plant.

    In this example, 492 KW would mean an electrical system charging at 700 amps and 700 Volts (or 492 amps at 1000V, or 1000 A at 492 V, etc.)

    These are utility or industrial-scale levels.

    In the real world only trained professionals, following detailed safety protocols, are allowed to touch equipment at these levels.

    We are going to let tens of millions of consumers hook up the family car to a power source capable of vaporizing a set of ordinary jumper cables?
    What happens when someone drives off without unhooking?

  4. All of these regulations and laws won’t prevent the earth from going through it’s normal cycles. They may delay the inevitable coming ice age by a generation, so, wouldn’t it be better to spend all this time and money to survive what will come rather than spend it on something that will postpone it for the next generation to deal with. It’s not about anything else but political power.

  5. Laughing out loud, what a joke. To impose such restrictions on a population of way less than one million is laughable. We are not even a spit in the bucket of what this world emits. But apparently it comes down to our state? This is nothing but a modern day scam to restrict and tax our citizens. TJ Donovan is a climate zealot and political whore who should stick to performing the job he was elected for and let our governor govern.

  6. Here is a write-up regarding CO2 reduction.


    If man-made CO2 emissions would instantly stop, about 50% of the man-made CO2 in the atmosphere would be absorbed by natural sinks in about 50 years, increasing to 70% by about year 100, with the remainder absorbed in about 25,000 years.

    In the real world, annual man-made CO2 emissions could only gradually be reduced, say 1% – 2% per year, first to decrease its upward trend to zero, and then reduce it.

    That phase likely would last about 10 – 15 years.

    That phase would start after a worldwide consensus is reached to finance and implement it, which likely would take several years.

    Any determined effort would be lasting for many decades.

    • Addition to comment

      Regarding the “determined effort” to transform the world economy to a low-carbon mode by 2050.

      This report, prepared by two financial services organizations, estimates the world capital expenditures at $100-TRILLION to $150-TRILLION, over the next 30 years, about $3 TRILLION to $5 TRILLION per year.

      For reference, world CAPEX for RE were $282.2 billion in 2019.

      Vermont’s share of the “determined effort” would be about $1.0 to $1.5 BILLION per year, as estimated by EAN in 2015.

      These numbers do NOT INCLUDE replacements of SHORT-LIFE systems, such as EVs, Heat-pumps, batteries, wind-turbines, etc., during these 30 years.

      Hydro plants have long lives, about 100 years.
      Nuclear plants have long lives, about 60 years
      Coal and gas-turbine plants have long lives, about 40 years

  7. Neil, I can’t comment under that one you gave me.
    On those antibodies.. I just read last night that if you have antibodies present, which many of us do, (see my link) that if you take this vaccine it could wreak havoc on your system.. could cause a cytokine storm.

    I think that we have a whole lot more herd immunity going on than we know. This was out there floating around earlier than we knew.

    Don’t forget, we over here in NH never played this game to the extent that you did.
    We’ve got a lot of places (businesses) where no one ever did anything different and no one is sick!
    So this story is all a lot of baloney and the proof of that is piling out now.

    This was all a plan to justify the mail in ballots. Mail In Ballots, which Jimmy Carter even said where the biggest place that fraud could happen.. what his commission did was show them how to steal elections! (on our dime). And this is aside from the financial aspect of this- the reset. The Elites have made a fortune and we’ve been wiped out.

  8. This just came up over here in NH, this should shed a whole lot of light on what we all have going on.

    Vermonters, I’ve got an idea that what we have all got to work on is opening up the eyes of the sheep.
    Print this stuff off an physically hand the paper to people if you have too. We’ve got to do everything and anything because a whole lot of people are not here doing the reading.

    People out there have got to wake up because what it all boils down to is that we are under attack.
    They want this region of the country, the other coast, to be just like California..
    It’s up to us all to stop this and the only way we can do this is to wake the people the heck up and tell them to get their boots on.
    The whole reason that this has advanced so is because we’ve been being lied to and then been asleep at the wheel. That, and the Uni-Party they we stupidly voted in traitors.
    We’ve Be Had!

    If we don’t get this this done, we are going to lose this whole region up here..
    *if we haven’t already, sometimes I wonder.

    • ** I bet your guy here is in cahoots with them down in Massachusetts!
      Can someone do this research and get it out there?
      This site should look into this.. find all these connections and tell us about it.

  9. …And there you have it…T.J. Donovan has become the puppet of the donor class; looking to advance his political career. He is no longer the advocate for the PEOPLE but rather the fixer for VPIRG, Sun Common, The Conservation Law Foundation, Gun Sense Vermont, et. al.

    The GWSA must be taken all the way to the Supreme Court and ruled UnConstitutional, if only to expose this man for being devoid of Constitutional Law.

  10. Willem Post has provided some very important data below highlighting the absolute futility and naiveté of the GWSA when it comes to mitigating climate change.

    Let’s unpack just one segment of what Willem has put forth: Information from the United States Energy Information Administration or EIA, an organization that can hardly be deemed “Climate Deniers”. An organization much more credible than the climate activists and renewable energy industry representatives who provided testimony to the legislature on the GWSA.

    The EIA projects world energy consumption will increase 28% from 2015 to 2040, going from 575 to 736 Quads ( A Quad is an incomprehensible one quadrillion BTUs used to measure energy consumption on a very large scale). The EIA reports that Vermont consumed .17 Quads of energy in 2018, this amounts to about 3/100 of 1% of world consumption…….Or as Willem tells us “Like a flea on an elephant” or in other words, Vermont is not a meaningful factor in mitigating climate change.

    Going forward, about 60% of world energy consumption growth is expected to come from China, India and other less developed countries with a high percentage of the world’s population, which are experiencing strong economic growth and high energy demand. Countries that also must rely on low cost energy sources such as coal in order to be competitive in the world economy.

    These countries likely would not have joined the Paris Accords if exemptions to energy use standards had not been provided. They can pollute, they will burn coal, they are burning coal, they will grow their populations, they will grow their energy consumption, they will grow their economies while the GWSA drives Vermont living costs up and competitiveness and economic health needlessly backwards.

    Yes, Willem Post has nailed it……. The GWSA is a poster child for futility and naiveté.

    • Peter,

      Thank you.

      Here is some more data showing what would be required for the WORLD to be in a very-low carbon mode by 2050.

      A VAST number of people, in and out of government, have absolutely NO IDEA regarding the transformation.

      Implementing Vermont’s CEP would be at least $1.0 to $1.5 BILLION PER YEAR FOR 30 YEARS, per EAN 2015 report.

      With VERMONT tourism and skiing in the tanks, where would any of that money come from?

      Here is an excerpt from this article:



      This analysis includes two scenarios: 1) 50% RE by 2050, and 2) 100% RE by 2050.
      The CAPEX values exclude a great many items related to transforming the world economy to a low-carbon mode.

      50% RE by 2050

      World CAPEX for RE were $2,652.2 billion for 2010-2019, 10 years
      World CAPEX for RE would be $24,781 billion for 2019 – 2050, 32 years; compound growth 5.76%/y

      US CAPEX for RE were $494.5 billion for 2010 – 2019, 10 years.
      US CAPEX for RE were $59 billion in 2019.
      US CAPEX for RE would be $7,233 billion for 2019 – 2050, 32 years; compound growth 8.81%/y

      100% RE by 2050

      World CAPEX for RE were $2,652.2 billion for 2010-2019, 10 years
      World CAPEX for RE would be $60,987 billion for 2019 – 2050, 32 years; compound growth 10.08%/y

      US CAPEX for RE were $494.5 billion for 2010 – 2019, 10 years.
      US CAPEX for RE were $59 billion in 2019.
      US CAPEX for RE would be $16,988 billion for 2019 – 2050, 32 years; compound growth 13.42%/y

      This more-inclusive report, prepared by two financial services organizations, estimates the CAPEX at $100-TRILLION to $150-TRILLION, over the next 30 years, about $3 TRILLION to $5 TRILLION per year.
      For reference, world CAPEX for RE were $282.2 billion in 2019.

  11. GWSA is about Vermont DOING ITS PART to fight global warming, according to RE proponents

    Most Vermonters know GWSA is BS.
    Even most legislators would admit, whatever Vermont would do is like a flea on an elephant’s a..


    In this article is a graph of CO2 ppm vs years.

    The CO2 graph shows increasing CO2 ppm versus years, despite various “fighting-climate-change” RE programs and $trillions of CAPEX for RE, during the past 10 years.

    The annual up/down CO2 ppm values, having a range of about 6 – 7 ppm, are due to world’s biomass growth of winter/summer conditions, i.e., natural variations.

    Mankind’s RE build-out efforts, PLUS efforts for scrubbing CO2 from the atmosphere (which have not yet been developed for large-scale use), would have to remove from the atmosphere enough CO2 to reduce the ppm from about 410 ppm in 2019 to about 280 ppm in 1850; pre-industrial. See note.

    Those efforts would be equivalent to about 6.5 x 20 = 130 ppm, i.e., 20 times the annual biomass effect!

    Such an effort would be far beyond human capability.

    The graph also shows, none of the very puny manmade RE efforts appear to have had NO EFFECT over the past 60 years.

    NOTE: What would we do with all the CO2 scrubbed from the atmosphere?

  12. GWSA essential is a big stick, wielded in a threatening manner, by Vermont’s RE interests, to hit Vermonters over the head to cough up lots of money out of their empty pockets, to implement the CEP, including highly subsidized wind and solar systems that produce EXPENSIVE, WEATHER-DEPENDENT, SEASONAL power, and that would do NOTHING regarding climate change.



    CEP Financial Implications: Almost no one, including most legislators, have any idea regarding the reductions of CO2 and the turnkey capital cost to achieve them.

    Here is a brief summary of the turnkey capital cost of Phase 1, i.e., reduce CO2 by at least 26% below 2005
    The below CO2 emissions reductions for Phases 1, 2, and 3 are based on the VT-CEP goals, as mandated by GWSA.

    Phase 1
    26%+ below 2005, i.e., (1 – 0.27) x 10.22 = 7.46 MMt, by Jan. 1, 2025, to “meet Paris”
    The Council would take about a year to develop plans, which means most of 2021 would have elapsed before any action.

    The actual CO2 reduction would be from 9.02, at end 2018 (latest numbers) to 7.46, Jan. 1, 2025, or 1.56 MMt, during the years 2022, 2023, and 2024, effectively a 3-y period.

    The turnkey capital cost would be about 1.56/2.28 x 13.70 = $9.37 billion, or $3.12 billion/y
    The CO2 reduction appears to be a physical and financial impossibility.
    See table 1 and Note.

    Phase 2
    40%+ below 1990, i.e., (1 – 0.40) x 8.59 = 5.15 MMt, by Jan. 1, 2030
    The CO2 reduction would be 7.46, Jan 1, 2025 – 5.15, Jan. 1, 2030 = 2.31 MMt, during the 5-y period
    No capital cost estimate was made.

    Phase 3
    80%+ below 1990, i.e., (1 – 0.80) x 8.59 = 1.72 MMt, by January 1, 2050
    The CO2 reduction would be 5.15, Jan. 1, 2030 – 1.72, Jan. 1 2050 = 3.43 MMt, during the 20-y period
    No capital cost estimate was made.

  13. I used to have a lot of respect for T.J. Ever since the covid thing I have lost it. You have to wonder if the state or someone else is paying him. The GWSA will pretty much destroy Vermont’s economy. Governor Scott is right to challenge this bill.

      • They themselves in Brussels have openly said that this is not about the climate but about destroying capitalism..
        Didn’t the people get that memo?

  14. Hey TJ…..

    Molly Gray doesn’t meet the constitutional standards to be our Lt. Governor…..

    She had to be a citizen and live here 4 years prior to election.

    Can you check that one out for us please?

  15. Does anyone understand what we’ll get with the GWSA in regards to measurably mitigating climate change? What does reducing CO2 emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 or 80% by 2050 levels actually get us?

    Or does anyone know what this whole thing is going to cost Vermonters? I’m unaware of anyone from Mitzi Johnson on down in the legislature that passed this bill telling us what we get and what it will cost. Do you know? Does the AG know? Does anyone know?

    The Attorney General tells us he’ll sue if the Governor challenges the GWSA. Maybe the AG’s law suit needs to challenge the GWSA as a fraudulent business practice that tells neither what the consumer will get or what it will cost.

    Suppose a private company was operating in Vermont, taking people’s money and not telling them what they’ll get in return or even how much money they’ll ultimately have to pay……..Alarms would be going off in the AG’s office.

    The Governor needs to sue and expose the GWSA for what it is……A fraud that neither tells the consumer what he will get or what it will cost.

    • GWSA will have no effect on the planetary climate:
      Ottmar Edenhofer, co-chair of working group 3 of the IPCC: “[…] One must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. […] One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore.”
      In pasting upon the Conservatives the Fascist label the Progressives are either following the Democrat practice of blaming upon the opposition whatever scam they’re engaging in themselves or they have no sense of the word’s meaning. In the ongoing analysis and review of the 2020 election we have a stark revelation of their level of probity. They are government syndicalists. The only societal distinctions Marx recognized were the working class and the ruling class. The Climate Council members are not of the working class.

    • GWSA and its 23-MEMBER COUNCIL

      GSWA converts the aspirational goals of the CEP, to mandated goals.

      In practice, the Council likely would be the sole decider how hundreds of millions of $dollars would be spent, each year, for decades, with no relief ever, because:

      If mandated goals are not attained, there would be mandated financial penalties, prohibitions (you shall do this; you shall not do that), fees and surcharges.

      The “Fight Climate Change” agitators, many of whom would stand to financially gain from the GWSA mandates, have failed to get a carbon tax enacted for five years.
      With GWSA, they will get a bonanza beyond their wildest dreams for decades.
      They labelled GWSA as “this year’s must-pass legislation”.

      GSWA has a 23-member Council. The Council make-up would include:

      1) Eight Government Secretaries and Commissioners
      2) Eight members appointed by the Speaker of the House
      3) Seven members appointed by the “Committee on Committees”, C of C
      The members of the C of C are the Lt Governor, Senate president pro tem, and a “third member” elected by the Senate
      See URL

      The Governor’s Secretary of Administration would be the Chairman.
      He/she has the power to call meetings.
      If he/she delays calling meetings, any 12 of 23 members could call a meeting.

      NOTE: The Governor would have only 8 votes, plus may be a few more, but likely not 5, i.e., the Governor could not override the 12 members calling a meeting.

      NOTE: The 23-member GWSA Council includes:
      Jared Duval, leading member of Energy Action Network
      June Tierney, Commissioner of Public Service, and member of EAN

      The action sequence would be as follows:

      Council would approve plans.
      VT Agency of Natural Resources, ANR, would write rules to implement plans,
      Council would approve rules
      Approved rules sent to the Governor’s Interagency Committee on Administrative Rules, ICAR
      ICAR is composed of Governor Appointees
      ICAR can reject the rules, i.e., the Governor can stop the process.

      What happens next likely would be lawsuits
      Any entity, such as the Conservation Law Foundation, could sue the state, if Council decisions would not reduce CO2 in accordance with GSWA/CEP goals.

      Legislators and Other Vermonters are Disenfranchised

      If mandated goals are not attained, there would be mandated financial penalties, prohibitions (you shall do this; you shall not do that), fees and surcharges
      If the Council would decide to impose the equivalent of a carbon tax, so be it.

      Legislators would not be allowed to vote on any plan, or any proposed rules.
      Legislators would not be voting on GWSA-related financial penalties, prohibitions, and increases in fees and surcharges.
      Legislators, and the people who voted for them, would be disenfranchised.
      Legislators would be “off-the-hook”.

      GWSA Likely is Unconstitutional

      On the face of it, GWSA has to be unconstitutional, because the Governor, and his administration, and Legislators, appear to have no effective say in any Council decisions.
      Such extremism could only come about due to the present, veto-proof control by Dem/Progs.
      This is Centralized Command and Control by the ruling Dem/Progs.
      It has nothing to do with give and take of Democracy.

      NOTE: Vermont is “lucky”, because it will have the California 14-y, GWSA-experience of rapidly increasing electric rates, and increasing gasoline and heating fuel prices, and rolling brown-outs/black-outs as a guide.

  16. Note Mr. Donovan’s use of the language of the day; “resist any legal efforts” That means he is determined to undermine the Governor’s “legal” efforts. How can he say that with a straight face? Isn’t his job to “resist” illegal activities, not legal ones?

  17. Governor Scott needs to proceed and bring litigation of this bill all the way to the VT. Supreme Court if necessary. You cannot allow a bill like the GWSA bill that will have major impacts on all Vermont residents, towns and businesses to be enacted through administrative rule making.

    The people who represent the the residents of Vermont need to be responsible and vote on implementing the results of the GWSA Committee’s study. This is what representative government is all about. Our representatives need to be fully accountable to the people of Vermont.

    • The only reason Chairman Phil vetoed the bill was because he knew there were enough votes to override his action. Don’t kid yourself. He’s a Democrat who infiltrated the GOP.

      • Am halheartedly beleiving this is too much even for Chairman Phil – after all he has to live here too and probably didn’t get a big enough bribe?

          • Hey Laura…..

            That’s been a question they’ve been avoiding from the very beginning and continue to avoid to this day. We should have been testing for antibodies from the very, very begining….but that would have exposed things. If everyone has already had it, there would be no concern would there?

            Sometimes what they don’t talk about is more important. This is basic science that would have been brought up by any scientist that took a few moments to think about how can we monitor this and know what is going on.

            It was not conveniently left out. The best propaganda is always true, it paints an intended picture that is very, very convincing.

  18. The people of Vermont did not push for the GWSA, it was all pushed by special interests… But I am sure TJ, a.k.a Planned Parenthood’s “Man of the Year,” is familiar how that all works here in Vermont law making.

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