Gov. Scott signals he will veto global warming bill

state of Vermont

Vermont’s carbon reduction goals versus actual emissions

By Guy Page

At his press conference Friday, Gov. Phil Scott indicated he will veto H.688, the Global Warming Solutions Act. When asked by WPTZ’s Stewart Ledbetter if he plans to veto the carbon reductions mandate bill approved 102-45 on Wednesday, he said, “I don’t see any solutions. All I see is mandates,” and an unelected board of 23 who will devise and implement a carbon emissions reduction strategy.

“I don’t think it is good government,” Scott said. It remains to be seen if opponents of the bill can turn at least three of the 102 yes votes to a no. One hundred votes will override a veto.

Gov. Scott also said he believes Amtrak service will begin in the next 2-3 months. Public transportation is way down, about 50%, but there has been discussion recently about resuming Vermont’s passenger rail service, he said.

Guy Page

In a related story, House Transportation Committee Chair Curt McCormack (D-Burlington) told Vermont Daily recently his committee will push hard next year to developer a package of “incentives” to reduce single-car commuter traffic, a large source of Vermont’s carbon emissions. He acknowledged that public transportation ridership has been way down this year but that there has been an uptick in this summer.

The 2021 budget has a long way to go before becoming law, Gov. Scott cautioned a reporter asking about the House’s preliminary approval yesterday of a $7.15 billion package that includes about $220 million for higher education, and does not raise taxes or draw on state reserve funds. It does heavily leverage current federal Covid dollars, but in a manner acceptable to the federal government, Scott said. The bill needs to survive final reading of the House (likely given its overwhelming positive vote), and then must go through the Senate budget process. Any changes must be reconciled by both Houses before it comes to his desk for a signature, he said.

Asked to comment on a universal mailed ballot lawsuit filed by several prominent Republicans against Secretary of State Jim Condos, Gov. Scott said that while he believes mailed ballots are safe, “there are some elements of their lawsuit that are interesting” — especially third parties being allowed to collect ballots and bring them in, he said. “We’ll see how the lawsuit progresses. We’ll be watching.” He repeated that the Legislature had taken him out of the election decision-making process, and that the results are up to Secretary Condos.

Vermont Daily struck out on getting answers to both of our questions. Neither ACCD Secretary Lindsay Kurrle nor Gov. Scott could provide figures on how many “zombie” homes are unoccupied and in foreclosure, and thus are unavailable to potential renters and buyers in a state with the second lowest vacancy rate in the nation. However, Secretary Kurrle pledged to provide more information — look for it in Vermont Daily. Also look for information on which allegedly racist books are being pulled from school libraries by racial equity workers in Vermont schools, a practice reported in the Vermont media but with which Education Secretary Dan French said he was not acquainted.

No reporters asked about the anniversary of 9/11. After all of the reporters’ questions were over, he commented on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attack and the unity America experienced in its aftermath. “We’d all be a little bit better off if we could get some of that spirit back,” he said.

Before signing off, Gov. Scott gave reporters this teaser: a “special guest” will be featured on next Tuesday’s program. More info to come by Monday night, he said.

Cambridge author writes memorial to slain African-American child Secoriea Turner

George Putnam, Cambridge selectman, lifelong Vermonter, and former Yankee Farm Credit exec, has written about the eight-year-old girl shot and killed by rioters at an Atlanta Wendy’s. Here’s an excerpt:

“All of the following people are black: Secoriea Turner, her parents, Rayshard Brooks, Keisha Lance Bottoms, Rodney Bryant, George Floyd. Yet there are lessons here for all of us, of all races, even here in mostly white Vermont where we never heard of George Floyd or Rayshard Brooks or Secoriea Turner until their tragic deaths made the news.”

The essay appears on Putnam’s blog, “The Switchel Philosopher.”

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

7 thoughts on “Gov. Scott signals he will veto global warming bill

  1. THE GLOBAL WARMING SOLUTIONS ACT A DECADES-LONG BURDEN ON VERMONT
    https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/the-global-warming-solutions-act-a-decades-long-burden-on-vermont

    The Vermont House passed the bill of the Global Warming “Solutions” Act, GWSA, and sent it to the Vermont Senate, which also passed it. 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”.

    In Vermont, the only thing that makes any sense is to stop “emulating” California, immediately scrap GWSA, and concentrate on:

    1) Energy conservation
    2) Energy efficiency
    3) Building net-zero-energy, and energy-surplus houses and other buildings, by the thousands, each year. See Appendix
    4) Provide incentives to buy vehicles that get more than 35 mpg, EPA combined; the more above the limit, the greater the incentive.
    5) Charge annual fees, paid at time of registration, on existing and new vehicles that get less than 25 mpg, EPA combined; the more below the limit, the greater the fee.

    The above 4 items would save money for Vermonters, and make the state economy more competitive
    Most of the other energy measures is just expensively subsidized hogwash that would not make one iota of difference regarding climate change.

  2. HOWEVER, THERE IS A SMALL HITCH

    In reality, the CO2 reduction of the EAN plan would not be achieved, because the analyses are flawed.

    EAN, with help from VT-DPS:

    – Used fudged emission data for electricity, grams CO2/kWh
    – Did not consider upstream CO2 for heat pumps and electric vehicle analysis
    – Did not consider embodied CO2 of electric vehicles
    – Did not determine the amortizing cost of the short life assets.

    That means:

    EAN claimed a CO2 reduction per EV much higher than in reality.
    EVs compared to 30 mpg vehicles, such as a Subaru Outback, have a CO2 reduction of about 2.13 Mt/y, much less than the 4.50 Mt/y claimed by the flawed EAN method.
    EAN would need 90000 x 4.50/2.13 = 190,141 EVs to achieve its CO2 reduction of 0.405 MMt/y, at end 2025
    http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/vermont-co2-reduction-of-evs-is-based-on-a-misrepresentation

    EAN claimed a CO2 reduction per ASHP much higher than in reality.
    ASHPs, in average Vermont 2000 ft2 houses, have a CO2 reduction of about 2.389 Mt/y per ASHP, much less than the 4.111 Mt/y per ASHP claimed by the flawed EAN method.
    EAN would need 90000 x 4.111/2.389 = 139,385 ASHPs to achieve its CO2 reduction of 0.37 MMt/y, at end 2025
    http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/vermont-co2-reduction-of-ashps-is-based-on-misrepresentations

    The EAN-claimed energy cost savings per heat pump and per EV were overstated, as confirmed by the CADMUS survey
    https://publicservice.vermont.gov/sites/dps/files/documents/2017%20Evaluation%20of%20Cold%20Climate%20Heat%20Pumps%20in%20Vermont.pdf

    Additional explanation is in this URL, which also shows turnkey capital cost estimates:
    http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/response-to-energy-action-report-2019-to-reduce-co2-in-vermont

    EAN performed the flawed analysis to:

    – Bamboozle legislators to get them to vote for GWSA (“all we need is this and that, and we will get these fabulous results”)
    – Bamboozle/befuddle the rest of Vermonters, who will be suffering GWSA-induced headaches for decades to come, and who would see no discernible effect on the Vermont climate….

    NOTE: I sent this and other articles to VT-DPS, VT-PUC, VT-ANR, and VT Media, who likely will not read them.
    I almost never receive a comment!!

    Artificial Emissions of Vermont Electrical Sector

    The CO2 reduction from 9.99 MMt in 2015 to 9.02 MMt in 2018 was artificially “achieved” by basing the CO2 of the Vermont electrical sector on power purchase agreements, PPAs, utilities have with owners of in-state and out-of-state electricity generating plants.

    All utilities, which draw almost all of their electricity supply from the NE grid, must have such agreements, per ISO-NE requirements, as otherwise they would be stealing from the grid.

    EAN/VT-DPS concocted an artificial value of 34 g CO2/kWh, based on PPAs, about 8 times less than NE grid CO2/kWh, to “evaluate” the CO2 reduction of heat pumps and electric vehicles to make them look extra good!!! Sheer chicanery. See Appendix and URLs

    http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/vermont-co2-reduction-of-ashps-is-based-on-misrepresentations
    http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/vermont-co2-reduction-of-evs-is-based-on-a-misrepresentation

  3. VERMONT’S GLOBAL WARMING SOLUTIONS ACT, A DISASTER IN THE MAKING
    https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/vermont-s-global-warming-solutions-act-a-disaster-in-the-making

    Vermont has a Comprehensive Energy Plan, CEP. The capital cost for implementing the CEP would be in excess of $1.0 billion/y for at least 33 years, per Energy Action Network annual report, not counting financing and replacements of short-life systems, such as EVs, heat pumps, battery storage systems, etc. See URLs.

    http://eanvt.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/EAN-2015-Annual-Report-Low-Res-Final.pdf
    https://outside.vermont.gov/sov/webservices/Shared%20Documents/2016CEP_Final.pdf

    Most legislators have not a clue regarding the reductions of CO2 and the turnkey capital cost to achieve them.
    This article has some background numbers regarding GWSA.
    This article includes observations regarding the Energy Action Network CO2-reduction plan for the 2020 – 2025 period
    https://www.eanvt.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/EAN-report-2020-final.pdf

    In 2006, the Legislature passed a law that called for CO2 reductions:

    25% below 1990 by 2012, i.e., 8.59 – 2.15 = 6.44 million metric ton.
    50% below 1990 by 2028, i.e., 8.59 – 4.30 = 4.29 MMt
    75% below 1990 by 2050, i.e., 8.59 – 6.44 = 2.15 MMt

    Vermont Gross Emissions, actual

    9.00 MMt in 2012
    9.99 MMt in 2015
    9.76 MMt in 2016

    See fig. 1 of URL
    https://dec.vermont.gov/sites/dec/files/aqc/climate-change/documents/_Vermont_Greenhouse_Gas_Emissions_Inventory_Update_1990-2015.pdf

    Vermont Gross Estimated Emissions for 2017 and 2018

    9.41 MMt in 2017
    9.02 MMt in 2018

    See page 18 of URL
    https://dec.vermont.gov/sites/dec/files/aqc/climate-change/documents/_Vermont_Greenhouse_Gas_Emissions_Inventory_and_Forecast_1990-2016.pdf

    US Gross Emissions

    About 6,700 MMt in 2018
    Vermont emissions are just a tiny fraction of US emissions.
    https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions

    Enforcement of CEP, courtesy of GWSA mandates

    Emissions in 2028 SHALL be 4.30 MMt, or 50% below 1990
    Emissions in 2050 SHALL be 2.15 MMt, or 75% below 1990, aim-low target
    Emissions in 2050 SHALL be 1.72 MMt, or 80% below 1990, aim-medium target
    Emissions in 2050 SHALL be 0.43 MMt, or 95% below 1990, aim-high target

    See fig 16 of URL
    https://dec.vermont.gov/sites/dec/files/aqc/climate-change/documents/_Vermont_Greenhouse_Gas_Emissions_Inventory_Update_1990-2015.pdf

    ENERGY ACTION NETWORK CO2 REDUCTION PLAN FOR 2020 – 2025

    EAN listed the measures required to reduce CO2 from 9.76, in 2016 to 7.46, in 2025, for a reduction of 2.281 MMt.

    The CO2 result would be 8.59, in 1990 – 7.46, in 2025 = 1.13 MMt below 1990, or 13% below 1990

    However, GSWA mandates emissions of 4.30 MMt by 2028, 50% below 1990, just three years later, which surely is a physical and financial impossibility.

    Capital Cost Estimate

    I made a turnkey capital cost estimate of the EAN plan, because EAN did not, but should have.

    EVs: 90,000 x $40000/small EV = $3.6 billion; installation rate 18000/y vs about 750/y, at present
    High-speed in-house chargers: 90,000 x $2000 = $0.18 billion

    “Deep” retrofits: 90,000 x $30,000/housing unit = $2.7 billion
    ASHPs for space heat: 90,000 x $5,000/housing unit = $0.45 billion; installation rate 18000/y vs about 2900/y, at present
    ASHPs for DHW: 90,000 x $3,000/system = $0.27 billion; installation rate 18000/y vs about 1000/y, at present

    Wind turbines: 250000/(8766 x 0.30) x $2.5 million/MW = $0.095 Billion
    Solar systems: 700000/(8766 x 0.14) x $3.5 million/MW = $0.57 Billion
    Expanding/augmenting of the grid: $0.1 billion
    Fortress Vermont to deal with excessive DUCK-curves, due to midday solar surges.
    Energy storage: $0.9 billion
    Curtailment payments: $0.3 billion

    Hydro power plants: 50000/(8766 x 0.40) x $6 million/MW = $0.086 billion

    The turnkey capital cost would be exceeding $9.25 billion, during 2020 – 2025, about $1.85 billion/y.

    NOTE: EAN-proposed solar build-outs would be from 438.84 dc, at end 2019 to at least 1000 MW dc, at end 2025
    Solar is the most expensive electricity on the Vermont grid. It would not be smart to have more of it.
    It requires about 3.5 acres per MW, and is charged to the utility rate base at 11 to 21 c/kWh

    NOTE: Current cost shifting to rate payers for solar production of 473,686 MWh, at end 2009, was about $64 million.
    The cost shifting would be at least $130 million, if solar production were increased by 700,000 MWh during the 2020 – 2025 period. See table 4 in URL and Appendix
    https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/the-global-warming-solutions-act-a-decades-long-burden-on-vermont

    Amortizing Short-Life Items

    EVs, heat pumps, battery storage systems, etc., have lives of less than 15 years.
    Amortizing the cost of the short-life assets, $5.7 billion, at 3.5% over 15 years, would require payments of $489 million/y for 15 years, more than offsetting the EAN estimated energy cost savings of 800/5 = $160 million/y, during the 2020 – 2025 period.
    https://www.myamortizationchart.com

    Vermont’s existing RE spending is about $210 million/y, including Efficiency Vermont.
    The additional spending, during 2020 – 2025, would be about 489 – 160 = $329 million/y, per EAN plan
    Annual costs are higher, because the amortizing of long-life items is excluded.
    https://www.eanvt.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/EAN-report-2020-final.pdf

    • Ronald,

      The tax is paid to the government, but the worst part is not losing your hard-earned money, but the Dem/Progs decidIng how your tax money will be distributed to worthy causes, i.e., their pet projects, that, in to-to, cement their continued command and control forever.

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