The clean heat standard, which narrowly failed to become law in 2022, may return with a new name: the “Affordable Heating Act.” But Gov. Phil Scott says it will still be “a duck.”
Speaking about the topic on The Morning Drive radio program Tuesday, Scott said a new name won’t change the reality about what the failed legislation proposes.
“If [lawmakers] move forward with that and call it by a different name, and if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck,” the governor said.
He reiterated his stance that policies such as the clean heat standard should properly belong to the elected officials in the legislature, not unelected bureaucracies.
“If they bring it forward, again depending on what they do, if they have the Public Utility Commission, if they just punt it over to them and let them deal with it and then they just sign off on it, that doesn’t work for me,” Scott said. “… Debate it within full view of the public and let them get involved and weigh in on it as well.”
Who has the bigger mandate?
The governor also suggested he has a mandate from the voters to push for accountability on the clean heat standard.
“I believe I won every single district,” he said. “In some cases, I probably received more votes than the individual representatives and senators. … I have concerns about this, and we’ll work through this, but I will make it clear as I did before, if you’re going to do this, it’s got to come back to the legislature.”
Governor endorses new nuclear technology
Speaking about a new “nuclear fusion” energy technology breakthrough that has made headlines, Scott said it could be a “game changer.”
“This is a game changer, this is really exciting,” he said. “This is a way to bring safe nuclear power to the fold. And I’m looking forward to that. But again, that nuclear power is still electric, so that is good, we need base power like that.”
Vermont Yankee, a 600-Megawatt major energy source was shut down in 2014, creating a massive energy vacancy. The plant supplied 71.8% of all Vermont power production when operational.
Are turbines/solar panels feasible for baseload?
To put Vermont Yankee’s power output in perspective with the popular green tech alternatives, an average industrial-scale wind turbine costs between $2.6 and $4 million to produce and has a capacity of 2-3 megawatt output. This means it would take hundreds of such installations to replicate Vermont Yankee’s outputs.
A caller on Tuesday’s radio show made a similar assessment of the latest solar technology, stating that replacing Vermont Yankee with solar power would require a solar panel large enough to cover all of the land of Chittenden County.