Coalition of groups in New England states form opposition to gas-powered engine bans

A coalition of New England policymakers held a virtual press conference Thursday morning to discuss how transportation policies in California are tied to 15 other states including Vermont, and will mandate that no gas-combustion engines may be sold after 2035.

In Vermont, groups are concerned about a 2006 Vermont law that ties the Green Mountain State to California’s carbon emissions standards for transportation. Prior to 2020, that’s meant setting higher miles-per-gallon efficiency standards for gas engines. But California Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2020 signed a law that 100 percent of in-state sales must be “zero-emission” vehicles by 2035, and that policy now has implications for other states.

Wikimedia Commons/Chris Yarzab

GASOLINE: The cost of gas keeps going up, but forcing electric cars on to consumers is not the answer, according to several organizations across New England.

At the press conference, Chip Ford, of Massachusetts-based Citizens for Limited Taxation, said this development is another example of public representatives creating new bureaucracies that bypass  voters.

“There are more unelected bureaucrats who are eroding states’ sovereignty, and it eliminates transparency and eliminates any accountability to citizens whatsoever,” Ford said. “It allows elected representatives to dodge difficult votes.

He said citizens don’t support “auto-pilot” laws that impose new costs on citizens without their input.

“We don’t think that this is a good idea, we don’t think that one size fits all, and one of our justices of the Supreme Court noted that our states are our laboratories for democracy,” Ford said.

Nick Murray, a policy analyst for the Maine Policy Institute, said that in Maine the public has lost control over major policy-making decisions.

“[It’s] the unelected bureaucrats at Maine’s Environmental Protection [Agency] — because of their routine, technical rule-making process, Mainers are not allowed legislative input on that.

He suggested that rural and poor populations will be hardest hit by these policies.

“Continuing to follow California will impose a substantial burden on our low- and moderate-income Mainers especially,” he said. “Living in rural areas means that we put more of our paychecks into fuel, that’s just the way it is.”

Meg Hansen

Meg Hansen is president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

Meg Hansen, president of Vermont’s Ethan Allen Institute, commented on how it’s not economically feasible to replace combustion engines by 2035 due to the lack of any affordable alternative.

“Technology bans and mandates cannot succeed in the absence of affordable alternatives,” she said. “Banning gasoline-powered vehicles cannot and will not force a transition to zero-emission vehicles because EV technology is not affordable or easily available at present. Electric vehicles have miles to go before they can compete in the market without the aid of government subsidies and tax credits.”

Hansen suggested that such policies assume that electric cars will become economically viable, but that such assumptions are speculative.

“Simply commanding that internal combustion engines become obsolete by an arbitrary year like 2030 or 2035 achieves nothing but political points,” she said, adding that record-high inflation is already hurting Vermonters.

Mike Stenhouse, CEO of the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, also spoke at the press conference about the impact on his state.

“It is not limited government when our state is beholden to oppressive standards by another state,” he said. “… And we helped motorists dodge a bullet last year when we dodged the TCI (Transportation Climate Initiative).

“The answer is to have states craft their own energy policies, to move away from costly green policies. And we call today on state lawmakers to begin the process, to begin the debate to decouple ourselves from California’s costly emission standards.”

Chris Herb, president of the Connecticut Energy Marketers Association, said letting other states dictate regulations for Connecticut is detrimental to residents.

“The norm for adopting these types of regulations is let the legislature conceive of and pass this law. Allowing a king of another state to dictate to the people of Connecticut the types of cars that they have to drive, and limiting consumer choice, is something that is not in the best interest of the state of Connecticut.”

He said consumers should have freedom over such decisions.

“If you are required to buy an electric vehicle, there’s more to it than just plugging it in when you get home,” he said. “It requires a home-owner upgrade to their electrical service that comes with a hefty fee, specialized charging equipment … this is about low- and middle-income families who don’t have the ability to afford what it actually takes.”

Other organizations that have joined the coalition include the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance and The Gaspee Project in Rhode Island. About 27 groups in all belong to the coalition.

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

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Erum Patel, Wikimedia Commons/Chris Yarzab and Meg Hansen

12 thoughts on “Coalition of groups in New England states form opposition to gas-powered engine bans

  1. This can of worms as noted above, is an exact replica of the situation we are in at our home in Rutland County. We have had a heat pump out of service for going on two years now because there is a huge shortage of plumbing and heating professionals who want to work on these things, and we haven’t even scratched the surface in terms of % of conversion that Efficiency Vermont is looking for. They continually promote and advertise with our dollars, but are no where to be found when there are problems like ours that have been looming for two years. Oh they will give you a list of names to contact, but any list we have received is not up to date, the contractors if you are lucky to get one to return the call, are mostly booked for 3-4 months out, or they do not work on the brand that the homeowner has in place. Then, E V will not respond, either. They ( E V) were hatched by the same ” we take your money but provide very little in exchange” crowd in the Legislature, which has seen to it that every town has an Enhanced Energy Plan in place to cover the bases, for what? Just Hot Air, that’s all because nothing is going to change until the people know what the costs are for me, which will come with electrical up grades to the grid and beyond. When was the last time there were any firm figures given on that subject and where is the money coming from? How much will it take? When does the work start? All of these unknowns and we are to be converted by some time in the 2030’s????? Who in their right mind is going to believe anything these nummies tell ya’, after the performance up to now? We have two outdoor units, and four indoor room units, only two of which have operated for the last year and half. It was the biggest waste of money and mistake we ever made. NEVER AGAIN!!!!! And this is just one tiny portion of the total hit we are about to have thrust on us, because the looneys do not want nuclear, can’t control it and the money goes out of state; petrol is no-no for the same reasons, and Hydro-Quebec gets the cold shoulder because they can’t control that either. It all comes down to control and money, everything else is down the list a ways. And then straight answers???? None from EV, that is our experience.

  2. Qui bono?
    Follow the money to see which unelected vested interests are wagging the climate change dog onto Vermont’s neck with a jackboot sheathed in furry lambs wool.

  3. “Just ten months ago, the International Energy Agency (IEA) released a report warning that dependence on China is an inherent risk in the Biden administration’s forced energy transition. “The rapid deployment of clean energy technologies as part of energy transitions,” the IEA wrote, “implies a significant increase in demand for minerals.” China, which the Biden administration deems “our most serious competitor,” has a dominant presence in the production (and more) of mineral resources required for the energy system President Biden champions — one anchored by wind, solar, and battery technology. While it is a major producer of many of the minerals in question, China’s processing and refining prowess is its key advantage. China processes more than half of the world’s cobalt, lithium, and the class of rare-earth elements (REEs) that includes neodymium, dysprosium, praseodymium, and terbium.

    “Wind energy, despite its simple appeal, demands significant quantities of scarce minerals. IEA shows that offshore and onshore wind power requires twice as much mineral mass per megawatt of electricity generation than nuclear power and more than five times as much as natural-gas power. The rare-earth elements that wind turbines require are the components upon which the risk from China weighs most heavily. China produced 60 percent of the world’s REE total in 2019 and held a 90-percent market share in REE processing. IEA describes China’s position vis-à-vis REEs as “dominance . . . across the value chain.”

    “The solar-panel situation is not much better. Copper is an important component for deploying photovoltaic solar power, and China is the world’s leading copper processor, with a market share of 40 percent. It is also the world’s third-largest copper producer, and the largest outside of South America. China is dominant in the production of solar panels themselves as well. According to the Bloomberg NEF solar-research division, China now produces 80 percent of the polysilicon and 98 percent of the wafers and ingots that are used in panels worldwide.

    “Batteries are what, in theory, would make wind and solar viable as lead contributors to a power grid. Without batteries, wind and solar are undermined by their intermittency, generating only at nature’s whim. As IEA describes, China is the central global actor in battery production. Minerals crucial to battery performance, longevity, and energy density are largely under the control of Chinese interests. China’s position in the lithium, cobalt, and graphite supply chains is, from a geopolitical perspective, dangerously strong. According to IEA, more than half of global lithium chemicals are produced in China. Chinese companies like Tianqi Lithium also hold large stakes in South American producers. In lithium hydroxide, China’s presence is even greater; China produced four-fifths of the global total in 2019.

    While the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the global hub of cobalt mining, China processes 70 percent of global production. Moreover, IEA notes, “China has influence over many assets in the DRC through foreign direct investment. It is estimated that one-third of China’s imported intermediate products are from mines or smelters in which it has a stake.” China accounts for more than two-thirds of global graphite production, currently the top choice for the anode in lithium-ion batteries.”

    • Tom……Your comments above scream out for a response from the Vermont legislature. Your comments need to be directly and publicly addressed by the leaders of the Vermont legislature who are pushing the Climate Change agenda. The information you raise has been repeatedly pointed out by other sources and cannot be ignored.

      Gov Scott needs to lead the political charge in getting the legislature to address these issues……The Governor’s lead needs to be followed and reported on by all of Vermont’s media to insure that all problems related to climate change policy are fully disclosed to the people of this State.

      Michael Bielawski……..As a key media reporter in Vermont, can you get the ball moving to insure that those in the legislature responsible for climate change policy respond to the issues raised by Tom Licata?…….What could be more important?

  4. Vermont will mandate that no gas-combustion engines may be sold after 2035,
    when I mention the “gaggle of fools” in Montpelier, this is the icing on the cake
    with this agenda-driven madness, can anyone give me one plan the liberals have
    brought to the table that has actually come to fruition, just one !!

    So all these do-gooders that are going to save the state and the country when on 3%
    are buying electric vehicles and there are no power sources available can could even
    support 10-20%, so by 2035, it’s an agenda pipe dream and fools in Montpelier are
    buying it.

    All the current EVs on the road today will have had to have their ” lithium ” batteries changed
    once or twice, so where do these get disposed of ?? but don’t worry they’re good for the environment, correct…….. just fine product of “China ” and the do-gooders won’t care if these batteries are produced in a coal or fuel manufacturing facility……. agenda-driven hypocrites !!

    Do-gooders, how about getting a handle on China, Russia, India to save the planet, Vermont
    we have enough trees for our concern and they don’t cost a dime …….Fools In Charges.

  5. And nothing will be done in Vermont to stop this train wreck. People here just don’t know, don’t care, too busy putting food on the table but they won’t even be able to do that once all this crap happens.
    Again, I ask, when will the working poor in this state realize that this is all being done and they will be the hardest hit? When will people realize you can’t drive in the deep marbly snow here with an electric vehicle, getting up all the dirt roads in the state with steep grades? How to heat your home when you cannot afford to retrofit it with heat pumps that don’t work well in temps below 10 or so degrees? This will kill people here for sure. I guess that is what the Left wants.

  6. When your EV batteries wear out and they have to be replaced, how much would that cost? Batteries & labor = $$$$$$$ Can these batteries be rebuilt? Will the owner be required to pay a disposal fee? All hidden costs of owning an EV. Will the EV rust out in ten years like most of the cars sold in VT today? As long as I’m living in VT I’ll never buy a new vehicle. Especially one that costs as much as an EV.

    • I have seen credible estimates on EV battery life of about 10 years with current replacement costs of approximately $10,000 to $15,000 depending on size, etc.

  7. Where are the exotic materials coming ‘from’ for these half a billion ultra powerful car batteries., These are not lead acid at $100 a pop – wouldn;’t get you to the neighborhood grocery.
    Not every car has a nice driveway, or wonderful garage. Will you string your cord across the lawn? sidewalk?
    down the stairs, across the street?
    Electricty is not magic fairy dust, It is limited, expensive, we hate nuclear electric generation.!
    Basically some loud leaders hate everything about modern living – as they enjoy it to the hilt.

  8. The captain of the Felicity Ace says he cannot confirm the source of the fire that sunk the ship but that the lithium batteries greatly complicated fighting the fire. Further, the resources and the processes that go into their manufacture are not ecologically sound. The cars are not economically competitive. How about holding off on these requirements until those issues are resolved? In the meantime, buy a Diesel while you still can. I’m driving one that’s thirty six years old, aside from one replacement of glow plugs, replacement of valve cover gaskets the motor has never been worked on at all, still starts reliably and has never left me anywhere.

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