Gov. Phil Scott OK with ‘Liberty and Justice for All’ street mural; pans Global Warming Solutions bill

By Guy Page

Gov. Phil Scott is fine with gubernatorial candidate John Klar’s plan to paint “Liberty and Justice for All” in big red, white and blue letters next to the Black Lives Matter mural on State Street.

“It sounds very patriotic and fitting for the Fourth of July,” Scott said when Vermont Daily asked his opinion about Klar’s proposal during his Wednesday press conference. “I wouldn’t say it’s inconsistent … with Black Lives Matter — it’s almost one and the same.”

If the City of Montpelier consents and then approaches his office with a request, Scott said “we would consider it.”

Proposed addition of “Liberty and Justice for All” to existing “Black Lives Matter” street mural on State Street, Montpelier, in front of Vermont State House. This Google Earth photo, included in John Klar’s June 29 application to the Montpelier City Council, was photoshopped by Bradford Broyles

Montpelier Mayor Anne Watson and Councilor Conor Casey on Wednesday said they haven’t yet seen Klar’s application. A completed special event application to the City of Montpelier was emailed to Vermont Daily on Monday. The application requests that State Street between Taylor and Baldwin streets, just west of the existing BLM mural, be closed off between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Friday, July 3.

The Klar campaign is hosting an Independence Day celebration 10 a.m. Saturday, July 4, on the State House lawn. “Celebrate the founding of our country with live music, speakers, select readings from the founding documents and more!” the campaign Facebook page says. The event is not being organized by the campaign, but by others, a campaign spokesperson said Tuesday.

Global Warming Solutions Act in jeopardy

Scott said he opposes current Global Warming Solutions Act legislation because it allows the state of Vermont to be sued for not meeting carbon reduction goals. H688, the GWSA bill, establishes a regulatory structure to require carbon emissions reductions across the Vermont economy. If the state fails to meet the steep reduction targets, the law allows not-for-profit groups to sue the state to force compliance.

During the press conference, Scott was asked whether he would veto H.688 if it reaches him. He said he thought consensus had been reached, but in the current versions, the power to sue and the funding are “problematic.”

Covid masks, and more job woes

Vermont will soon begin a public education campaign to encourage wearing masks in public, Gov. Phil Scott said at his Wednesday press conference.

He doesn’t think mask requirements are helpful — they just invite pushback from citizens who resent being told what to do, Scott said. “I would rather educate, lead and inspire people to do the right thing,” he said. Human Services Secretary Mike Smith said the campaign will feature paid social media and “earned” (free) media. The budget has not yet been determined.

Scott expressed skepticism when told by VTDigger editor Colin Meyn that Sen. Patrick Leahy said today 1,111 U.S. Customs and Immigration Services employees in Vermont are scheduled to be furloughed. He said he is unaware of the exact figure, but would be surprised if it’s that high. The revelation was clearly unwelcome news to Scott, who said that 40,000–50,000 Vermonters are already unemployed, and that businesses relying on Vermonters’ paychecks are suffering. Like the U.S. Post Service, USCIS is funded by user fees, not tax funding. Between the pandemic and the federal government’s immigration restrictions, revenue is down.

U.S. Supreme Court decision about private schools in Montana may open the door for some public funding of religious education. It could mean that public money funding private education must be extended to religious private education.

Education Secretary Dan French said he hasn’t had an opportunity to evaluate the SCOTUS decision, but said Montana’s constitution and government structure is different than Vermont’s. An Associated Press story today referenced an Alliance Defending Freedom suit arguing that Vermont public education money dispensed to private institutions should not be permitted to discriminate against private religious schools. State education officials have prevented parochial school high students from participating in some “early college” programs eligible to other private school students.

There will be no press conference Friday, July 3. Beginning next week, press conferences will be held twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays at 11 a.m.

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

Image courtesy of U.S. Department of State

9 thoughts on “Gov. Phil Scott OK with ‘Liberty and Justice for All’ street mural; pans Global Warming Solutions bill


    EAN Members Eager for GWSA and “Fortress Vermont”: EAN is eagerly urging the Vermont Legislature to pass the Global Warming Solutions (Spending) Act. That act would turn aspirational goals of the CEP into mandated goals.

    The capital cost of GWSA would dwarf “meeting Paris”. That would be sweet music for EAN members. They would have expanding, heavily subsidized businesses and job security for decades at everyone else’s expense, despite knowing their RE scam would not be making one iota of difference regarding Vermont’s climate and the world climate.

    EAN Members Eager to “Meet Paris”: EAN eagerly urged the Vermont legislature to “meet Paris” a few years ago, because that would be good for: 1) RE businesses of members, and 2) would display proper “virtue signaling”.
    However, no entity, including EAN, made a capital cost estimate of what would be required to “meet Paris” at that time, or since.

    – 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.


    “Meeting Paris”: In 2019, EAN made estimates of what it would take to “meet Paris”, i.e., reduce CO2 from 9.76 million metric ton, at end 2016, to 7.46 MMt, at end 2025, or 2.281 MMt.

    About 0.405 MMt from 90,000 electric vehicles, EVs
    About 0.370 MMt from 90,000 air source heat pumps, ASHPs. See Note and pages 3, 4 and 5 of URL

    All of Europe (550 million people, excl. Russia) is not “meeting Paris”, and neither are China (1.4 billion people), India (1.4 billion people), etc.

    Capital Cost to “Meet Paris”: The measures are a multi-billion-dollar wish list of EAN members with a cost exceeding $14.626 BILLION during 2020 – 2025, about $2.925 BILLION/y.

    Amortizing the cost of the mostly short-life assets (EVs, ASHPs, battery storage systems, etc.), at 3.5% over 15 years, would require payments of $1.255 BILLION/y, more than offsetting the EAN energy cost savings of 800/5 = $160 million/y, during the 2020 – 2025 period.

    Existing spending is about $210 million/y, including Efficiency Vermont.
    The spending to “meet Paris” during 2020 – 2025 would be about 14 times greater.

    EAN Savings and Capital Cost Estimate: The EAN report states undefined energy cost savings. It lacks a capital cost estimate to “meet Paris”.

    Why does EAN not provide the spreadsheet that calculated these energy cost savings, as part of its glossy report?
    Why does EAN not provide a capital cost estimate of outlays by: 1) Vermonters, 2) the federal government, 3) state government, and 4) local governments. for each year of the 2020 – 2025 period?


    The subject of this article was just a few paragraphs in a prior article. However, the Vermont House passed the Global Warming “Solutions” Act bill, GWSA, and sent it to the Vermont Senate. The bill, if enacted, would convert the aspirational goals of the Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan, CEP, into mandated goals, with penalties. GWSA has been called “must pass this Session”.

    Vermont Business Climate

    Vermont has a very poor private enterprise business climate. Forbes, et al., rate Vermont near the bottom. There are too many onerous taxes, fees and surcharges, and rules and regulations, that have caused businesses to not grow in Vermont, to leave Vermont, or not even come to Vermont.

    Vermont’s population is stagnant. Ambitious, younger people leave, older, more-needy people stay. Well-paying, steady jobs, with decent benefits, are hard to come by in Vermont.

    GWSA to Subsidize Job Creation in RE Sectors

    GWSA would require major increases in the current levels of various subsidies to all sorts of RE businesses for decades; an expensive way “to create jobs”. GWSA would be a poor substitute for private enterprise job creation, which has proven so difficult in Vermont.

    Annual spending on RE would have to increase from the current $210 million/y (includes EFFICIENCY VERMONT) to about $1.0 BILLION PER YEAR, to implement the Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan.

    If the RE subsidies were “freebie” federal subsidies, they would subsidize and grow RE businesses, and create jobs.
    However, federal subsidies increase and decrease, and come and go.

    If the subsidies were “state” subsidies, such as for heat pumps and electric vehicles, they would have to be extracted from Vermonters and tourists, which would create jobs in the RE sectors, but would destroy jobs in almost all other sectors. That would further worsen and prolong the adverse conditions of the “Virus economy”.

    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 RE proponents.

    As part of GWSA, if the ANR measures do not sufficiently reduce Vermont’s carbon dioxide, CO2, any Tom, Dick and Henry 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 one litigious brouhaha after another; Vermonters becoming more and more oppressed and impoverished in the pursuit of impossible climate goals and Vermont becoming less and less attractive as a place to live. GWSA would be decades of torture of Vermonters to achieve nothing.

    • The US economy recovered 7.5 million jobs in May and June.

      The US unemployment rate decreased to 11.1%, at end June.

      It is on a downward trend to 7% by November!!!

      Some self-serving, scare-mongers (who call themselves “journalists; in fact, they typically cry FIRE in a full theater), employed by the fake news MEDIA, had been predicting it would soon be 20%, just to make things look as bad as possible.

      Now they have to EAT CROW.

      See graphics and data in URL

  3. Whatever happened to restrictions on defacing public property??? While some of these slogans may be acceptable to some, what about those who take offense. They have rights as well. Unfortunately, if the PC crowd approve, everything is groovy. So much for equality.

  4. GWSA is problematic?

    It will be a decades-long economic burden on Vermonters.
    It will lead to more command and control by government over the economy
    It will lead to great expansion of all sorts of government programs
    It will impose coercive culture changing on Vermonters, with penalties for noncompliance

    • And–It won’t do a damned thing to change the current flow of Earth’s nature and periodic warming process that was started at the conclusion of the last Ice Age more than 12,000 years ago, when the ground under the road currently painted with ‘Black Lives Matter,’ and maybe soon with ‘Liberty And Justice For All,’ was under a layer of ice TWO MILES THICK! The warming continues to this day.
      But of course, the dim witted progressive liberals who are adamantly pushing the useless and destructive mandates of GWSA have never bothered investigating our planet’s science and past history. Probably examples of the declining quality of our educational system?

  5. Street art is one thing. That the U.S. Supreme Court Validates Parents’ Rights
    Monumental decision affirms the right of parents to direct the education of their children
    …. is another entirely.

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The decision of the Supreme Court in favor of the plaintiff in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue validates a parent’s constitutionally protected right to direct the education of their children.

    “For many families, Espinoza not only provides the potential for expanded opportunities for them to educate their children, including the choice of religious education, but also the right to decide what they believe is the most effective way to do so.”

    The constitutionality of School Choice has been affirmed by the nations highest court…..again.

    Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, 536 U.S. 639 (2002), was another. In a 5-4 decision of the United States Supreme Court upheld an Ohio program that used school vouchers. The Court decided that the program did not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment even if the vouchers could be used for private, religious schools.

    If you really want to ensure our Constitutional Republic, now is the time for School Choice. Isn’t it about time our students learned what our Republic really is?

    • Re: “Education Secretary Dan French said he hasn’t had an opportunity to evaluate the SCOTUS decision, but said Montana’s constitution and government structure is different than Vermont’s.”

      Every State has differing constitutions and governing structures. But Mr. French misses the point entirely. Regardless of these differences, no State is has the authority to breach U.S. constitutional discrimination protections. Montana funds private schools with tax credits. Vermont funds private schools with ‘tuitioning’ vouchers. No longer can any State, regardless of their funding mechanisms, discriminate against private schools because they are ‘religious’.

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