Despathy: On S.5 claims, Gov. Scott is right, Sen. Rebecca White is wrong

This commentary is by Alison Despathy, of Danville. She has a clinical nutrition practice in St. Johnsbury.

Senator White’s claim — Governor Scott is spreading misinformation about S.5 the Affordable Heat Act – lovingly called the Affordable Heat Act by Senator White. White specifically states “Governor Phil Scott isn’t being truthful about the legislative process around the Affordable Heat Act and over the years he has made many false claims.”

Senator White’s Instagram video was posted on the Vermont Democrats account on April 28, 2023 and can be accessed below.

Fact Check Results — Based on extensive research and analysis by thousands of Vermonters actively engaged in opposing S.5 and speaking up about the danger of this bill—The finding is that Governor Phil Scott got it exactly right.

Further this conclusion confirms that the video attempt by Senator White at honesty and transparency is false.

Senator White’s Myths

state of Vermont

Sen. Becca White, D-Windsor

Myth 1 —  “The Affordable Heat Act does not force any individual person to do anything — period.”

Truth — If you don’t listen and act upon what your “experts” and social engineers — the legislators who voted in favor of S.5– have determined is the best plan then you will pay more for heating fuel — period. Regardless of the fact that heating fuel is still essential for most Vermonters to heat their homes at this time. Please note – even if you do listen to these “experts”, you will still pay more for heating fuel because you will likely still need heating fuel. These heat pumps are supplemental systems unless you are loaded and can afford a whole new system.  There are also additional costs such as heat pump cleanings and increasing electric rates.

Important note:  it is not apparent if the legislators looked into homeowner’s insurance and the limitations within the market for heat pump systems as a primary heating source, especially in older homes.  Please check with your provider before making rash decisions that may result in limited options, higher costs and safety risks due to inefficient, unreliable heating systems.

Myth 2 — “This isn’t a tax on Vermonters. No single individual will be saddled with the cost of implementing this bill. Fossil fuel dealers and importers will be responsible for the costs associated with the Affordable Heat Act and they will also be responsible for the pollution that they need to reduce over time. So, it’s a win win.”

Truth —  It is actually a lose-lose situation. Local fossil fuel dealers have been providing reliable products to their customers for generations. They take their work seriously and care greatly for the communities that they serve. For decades, they have already been engaged in the process of installing high efficiency heating systems and heat pumps when appropriate and as the technology evolves and is financially feasible. It is not the dealers’ fossil fuel pollution; it is the consumers’ pollution—they are the users of this still necessary product.  If the fossil fuel dealers stop delivering fossil fuel at this time, Vermonters will freeze.  Punishing and charging fossil fuel dealers to “pay” to continue to distribute their necessary products is cruel and will result in higher costs to Vermonters for heating fuel. The fossil fuel dealers cannot take this added financial burden on alone, a portion will need to be passed to consumers.  Attempts at determining this cost impact have been thwarted and ridiculed by many democrats.

Myth 3 — “This bill requires an extensive and detailed studying to figure out how the cost will affect Vermonters and how much we will save and how it will be implemented.”

Truth — S.5 the UN-Affordable Heat Act is fundamentally flawed because of the funding structure and clean heat standard design. Regardless of how much more money is spent or how many studies or reports are done – this bill does not have the capacity to serve or solve – that is the issue. Unfortunately, many legislators are finding false hope and comfort in this “study”. As soon as we set up the carbon credit structure —aka the Clean Heat Standard— we have created a bogus trading market on the backs of Vermonters that can be and is exploited globally by corporations. This is already apparent in the bill in that Vermont Gas Systems is heavily favored. S.5 forces Vermont into that market. It literally sacrifices Vermonters, our thermal sector and Vermont businesses in order to build a market that will not serve the people or solve real environmental issues. This global carbon market is already full of massive fraud and is abused by corporations to sell “green” agendas and increase profits based on false narratives. Many Vermont legislators are falling prey to vague talking points and propaganda instead of looking at the concerning details of this bill and where, how and why it originated.

Conclusion: Governor Phil Scott is spot on in his analysis. His explanation and clarity shed light on the inherent problems with S.5. His primary concerns represent those of many Vermonters around the state who have been trying hard to communicate with their elected representatives. Thank you, Governor Scott, for hearing the people and choosing to veto S.5.

Zealotry and ideology are dangerous for all – especially when practiced by elected officials.  An inability to take in new information and engage in meaningful conversation is a disservice to Vermonters. The practice of collaboration and a willingness to listen and learn from others is essential to the democratic process. Sacrificing Vermonters with destructive legislation despite the best of intentions and hopes only creates more problems. Please reach out to your local legislators and implore them to uphold the Govenor’s veto and ensure their NO vote on S.5.

Images courtesy of Becca White Facebook and state of Vermont

7 thoughts on “Despathy: On S.5 claims, Gov. Scott is right, Sen. Rebecca White is wrong

  1. This is obviously not going to work and only make it harder for those struggling already! What about the people who rent and pay for their own heat. Landlords are not going to pay the thousands of dollars to change the system of use in their buildings. Why do they care cause they don’t pay for the heat! It will fall onto the renter! Gov. Scott is right and I hope this gets vetoed!

  2. I am not in favor of this bill, though I generally lean pretty far left. But when I read the comments from the right I realize how far down we have sunk as a state and nation. Instead of constructive debate we get disparagement and name calling. Real problems will never be solved this way.
    I have been a residential homebuilder for 40 years with an emphasis on energy efficiency and green practices. In the last10 or so we have installed many heat pump systems where appropriate and none of our clients unhappy. It helps if you are situated where solar can contribute to the high electric demand and cost. I heat with a combination of oil radiant heat in the floors and wood stove.
    I don’t think this bill has been thought out or explained well enough to be passed now, and intend to talk to my representative about it.

  3. What a F^king bold face liar she is, saying the democrats are transparent and upfront with the taxpayers when in reality this UN Affordable boondoggle has been rushed thru closed door sessions. While they did invite professionals to speak they closed their ears to the truth that was being told to them. If we had a honest new’s seeking media the lies of the left would be plastered all over the front page every day which would backup the Governors consensus that this will only hurt already struggling Vermonters while doing absolutely nothing to better the warming hoax that fills their every day…I can only hope the sheep who vote these lying leftist agenda fascist in wake up and start voting them out.

  4. I am not for this so called affordable s.5
    Please allow the governor’s veto to stand
    We cannot continue to allow a bunch of I won’t categorize them. To continue to push this state of which I am 5th generation to push there agenda for our small over taxed state any longer.
    I’m a proud (anti Bernie) Independent voter and there are many of us just remember elections are ahead

  5. So if you listen to Becca White’s slanted views on this bill, we live in a wonderful world, to
    bad the truth stays hidden, S.5 is a boondoggle and will only help those promoting this scam

    Go read Becca White’s bio, and you’ll see if she saving the state or padding some companies
    pockets…………..what a plan, pretty sad !!

    Vermonter’s better wake up.

  6. I’ve been in the building trades for 35 years now, with a considerable education and first hand experience in alternative heating systems. The past 21 years have been spent as a building/home inspector and consultant. I would place my knowledge on this subject far above that of most people alive today, including many heating contractors.
    “Heat Pumps” are NOT, in any way, a viable technology for regions of extreme cold such as the Northeast. This technology is 100% reliant on the outdoor temperature to “pump heat” from and is used primarily in the warmer south and where it is used in the north, is limited in it’s use to the warmer, “shoulder seasons”. Once the outside temperature goes below forty degrees F, the reversed air conditioning condenser relies heavily on electric heating coils to keep the outdoor unit from becoming a block of ice. Yes, heating coils on a chunk of metal outside… Below thirty-two degrees F, the heat pump aspect of the system is switched off and it heats the home only with auxiliary electrically powered heating coils. i.e., it switches to 100% electric forced air heat, no heat pump involved.
    This technology sees little to no use in lower latitudes like northern New Jersey and Pennsylvania, due to a rank inefficiency when the real cold weather hits. Purporting it to be a new, highly efficient alternative heating system for Vermont winters is nothing but a groundless and absurd marketing ploy.

    • Great post! “Reality” to a Liberal is simply Fairy Dust & Unicorns. Liberals need to WAKE up….as one old Vermont resident did….David Mamet. He “woke” one day and realized that all that the Liberals were telling him…was a lie. He is now uber-conservative…he explained the Liberal mindset succinctly…and Sen. Rebecca White personifies classic ignorance…All liberals “pretend” that heat pumps work no matter what the temperature 🙂

      “In order for democrats, liberals, progressives et al to continue their illogical belief systems they have to pretend not to know a lot of things’

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