Green movement dominates public hearing on carbon-infrastructure ban

Michael Bielawski/TNR

ALL GREEN – Environmentalists dominated in numbers a public hearing on a bill which would ban new carbon-fuel infrastructure – namely gas pipelines and large fuel storage tanks – which will likely raise the cost of energy and heating in Vermont.

MONTPELIER — About 60 Vermonters met at the Statehouse on Tuesday evening to voice their support for banning new carbon-fuel infrastructure in Vermont.

Their main audience was the House Energy and Technology Committee.

H.51 has been a hot topic in legislative committee rooms this session. If passed into law, it would prohibit new large-scale fuel storage tanks and natural gas pipelines.

Fuel industry representatives argue that limiting infrastructure restricts affordable and practical fuel sources for heat and electricity while new renewable technologies and energy sources are yet developing.

Proponents of a ban cite dire predictions of global warming as a crisis that must be addressed. It was this crowd that dominated the podium as speaker after speaker took turns arguing that society must move away from carbon-based fuels.

While many Vermonters don’t agree the earth is in crisis, that group had almost no representation at this public hearing.

Patrick Flood, of Woodbury, said he didn’t think H.51 goes far enough.

“In spite of all the talk, all the controversy, all the plans, we are still at the same carbon level that we were at in 1990,” he said. “We are not, I think, meeting our responsibilities to our children and our grandchildren. A lot of us are going to be gone, we’re not going to live through this. We’re not gonna have to deal with the traumatic things that are coming their way.”

Flood suggested that the wealthiest people in Vermont must pay more to save the climate.

“The Trump tax bill resulted in the top 20 percent of Vermonters getting a total of $350 million tax break — $350 million that they are not paying any longer,” he said. “So we have a choice: We can continue to do very little and leave the mess for our children for them to pay and deal with, or we can do what’s right and we can act now.”

JT Dodge, of Newbury, Vermont, was one of the only speakers to voice any clear opposition to the bill. He said Vermont is a small state and doesn’t contribute much to national CO2 levels.

“Vermont produces 0.01 percent of all of the country’s greenhouse gases,” he said. “Sure our carbon emissions have gone up since 2013 since we shut down Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon. What did we expect?

” … These types of proposals than ban Vermont’s fuel choices are aggressive and extreme, they present false urgency. Some legislatures have suggested that human extinction is on the near horizon. We hear about weatherization as a solution to converting to less common, less tested fuels.”

Daniel Batten, of Bristol, said his family is new to Vermont and came to the state in part to escape the perils of climate change.

“We felt that shifting to a northern state would give us, and particularly our daughter, an opportunity to establish ourselves as residents and get ahead of the others who will not have as much luxury in future decades,” he said.

He noted how Vermont, which now has a supermajority of Democrats and Progressives, seems to be leading the nation in its environmental agenda.

“We chose Vermont because we see the state as a beacon of hope for progressive leadership and environmental stewardship,” he said. “When we first visited in 2017, we saw an ocean of solar panels and we heard about how the state had banned fracking, things that seemed almost impossible in Virginia.”

Carrie Wiater, of Burlington, talked about her opposition to fracking, a form of detonating explosives in the ground to break up natural gas sources for extraction. The practice has produced an economic boost via abundant and cheap energy, but critics argue there’s too much land and water pollution associated with the process.

Wiater doesn’t want to see any more fracked gas coming into Vermont.

“Massachusetts gets more than half of its electricity from natural gas, yet methane may be just as harmful if not worse for the environment as CO2,” she said. “Fracked gas produces large quantities of methane, which has 84 times the warming potential as CO2 over a 1-year period. So why is it being presented as renewable and as a bridge fuel?”

After the event, Dodge spoke with True North about how the event was stacked in favor of the environmentalists.

“One thing we’ve realized is there’s a lot of wealthy lobby groups involved, and much of it is from out of state, but not all of it,” he said. “Groups like 350.org, VPIRG, VNRC, these are all multi-million dollar groups. If you look at Seventh Generation and you look at Ben & Jerry’s, these are also large billion dollar foreign corporations.”

He continued, “What I’ve seen here is it looks like we are pretty much overwhelmed with the level of organization that a lot of these groups have. These people are really involved — they are involved in the schools, they are educating our young people, so they are showing up here with the organization. I don’t fault them for being organized; it’s time that we get organized.”

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North Reports. Send him news tips at bielawski82@yahoo.com and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

 

Image courtesy of Michael Bielawski/TNR
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21 thoughts on “Green movement dominates public hearing on carbon-infrastructure ban

  1. You hit the nail on the head about organization. “They are in our schools”… and are brainwashing our kids. You have generations now of professional protestors for every thing liberal. They discount our constitution. They call the 2nd amendment obsolete. Want felons to have the right to vote and won’t use the word illegal when it comes to immigration.

    I had a number of these people work for me, professional engineers, etc. who if you constructively criticized them for not completing projects on time or within budget they would actually breakdown and cry. You wouldn’t see them for a few days as they needed to take some time off to commiserate. Going skiing or hiking was more important than working a weekend to solve a problem. They fell apart if you evaluated them anything but exemplary as they are used to everyone getting a participation award.

    We now have a state and a legislature full of them. Take a look at their profiles… how many are trust babies and have never held a real job. A whole bunch of little Bernie Sanders… rail against everything 365 days a year and milk the honest working taxpayers into non-existence.

    We must vote them out of office or we are doomed!

  2. Here’s another way to expose their con, it’s clearly not science.

    If the world is going to end in 12 years our coasts under water, how come the flood insurance, based upon science doesn’t reflect this? New York City should be declared a National flood zone with everybody required to have flood insurance and no further building.

    The exact same for the entire state of Florida!

  3. It’s time to STAY and FIGHT these tax and fee schemes.

    Fleeing the state of Vermont??
    Will you get chased from your new home when they begin the same games there?

    Our group is STAYING for this fight.
    If you agree carbon tax schemes will hurt Vermont’s middle and lower class, join me and so many other Vermonters to fight these Carbon taxation bills. We won’t be sidelined here.

    #NoCarbonTAXVermont

    • You are so right, there is no sense in. Moving, we must stand ground. Look what they did to Colorado ,trying to do in Texas and Florida.

      The political change is attempted across our nation, we are just at different stages. We do need to come together in Vermont. Great Work!

      • Bless your heart but you are in for a long fight and most likely won’t see then end of it in your lifetime.

        I have better things to do then run around with a target on my back for the greedy folks in the capitol of VT. Sometimes you need to know when to cut loose of a sinkin’ ship. Good luck to Y’all, you will need it.

  4. If these clowns in Montpelier would either spend time on improving the cost of living, cost of education, cost of everything else OR go home, we’d be much better off. Instead, they tread water exploring environmental issues which are meaningless.

  5. As much as we’d all like to see a more environmentally favorable technology that provides energy at a low cost, the eco-death missionaries seem to be so fanaticized that they are blinded to the possibility that the current global warming panic is anything more than a con to extract money from consumer pockets based on fear and bad science.

  6. 60 people looking for money and power showed up at legislature, anxious for the money and fame.
    Global warming has grabbed the money and attention

    550,000 Vermonters of all stripes stayed at work trying to afford an ever more expensive life in Vermont.

    At 75, we as youth were told to prepare for the “coming Ice Age.” Just a change in the BS.
    The coming “Ice Age” had the money and attention in the ’50’s

    • The new climate soldiers are embracing this as their new religion.Think of these people as one giant cult.Cults and religions have extremists that justify violence as a conduit to their goals.They will not accept that Vermont heats with oil.There currently is no substitute that competes with oil that packs the same bang for the buck.

      They don’t care

    • I was there too: insulating our cellar, installing grow lights and a wood burning stove! I joined the Union of Concerned Scientist (who signed up anyone on campus with a couple dollars to donate). My geologist husband went along to appease me but never stopped talking about the foolishness of my woodchuck den. I don’t have to tell anyone it never got used! How naive and gullible we were in our youth!

  7. The Batten character don’t bode well for the future, moved here because
    of our super majority Leftist Fascist and Regressive Progtarded legislature
    is ASSAULT Agendaing climatardism to the fore front. Just like the
    Anti American left nationally they don’t care about you only the
    AGENDA…

  8. If people don’t want to consume energy it’s kind of silly to move to Vermont, unless they are abominable snowmen. Like, how do we not freeze here?
    Sure there isn’t much fracking going on, but I haven’t heard about any natural gas wells here either.
    I bet you that the energy to manufacture all the solar panels installed in Vermont will never be produced by them in their life spans.
    “Green energy” is a racket, and sadly, many people have been so terrorized by this propaganda, they will follow any “green” agenda.
    It’s like Jonestown. Crazy.

  9. The Energy Environment and Energy Committee May have invited all these RE entities to their meeting to make it appear there is overwhelming support for banning fossil infrastructure.

    It is likely most real Vermonters think it is idiotic.

    • Addition.

      These Committee people cannot see the forest for the trees. They insist on no fossil fuel infra structure, unless it is electric for heat pumps and electric vehicles.

      Burlington Electric Department of Vermont Severely Curtailed Its Heat Pump Program

      According to BED, Efficiency Vermont’s estimated savings were grossly exaggerated. “BED is scaling back its 2018 – 2020 projections of HPs installed in the City of Burlington, VT, due to the results of a 2017 VT DPS evaluation report. See URL.
      https://publicservice.vermont.gov/sites/dps/files/documents/Energy_Efficiency/Reports/Evaluation%20of%20Cold%20Climate%20Heat%20Pumps%20in%20Vermont.pdf

      The VT-DPS evaluation report indicates:

      – The owners of the surveyed HPs had average savings of about $200/heat pump per year
      – The owners displaced, on average, only about 34% of their annual fuel oil, i.e., the other 66% of fuel oil was supplied by the traditional heating system.

      The VT-DPS report did not mention other HP financial impacts on owners, such as:

      – Annual loan payments to utilities, such as GMP. See table 1 and Appendix for details.
      – Annual maintenance contract fees, at about $150 per year, no parts
      – Cost for unscheduled outages, at about $150 per call, no parts
      – Amortizing the $5000 heat pump at 5% for 15 years requiring annual payments of $474 per year
      – Amortizing the $10000 traditional back-up system a 5% for 20 years requiring annual payments of $792 per year

      Instead of installing hundreds of HPs during the 2019, 2020, 2021 period, BED is now anticipating, i.e., making money available in its budget, to provide incentives for no more than 15 HPs during that period.

      Those few HPs likely would be in pre-selected, highly insulated/highly sealed houses to ensure 85 to 100 percent of displacement of fuel oil. Google Burlington Electric 2018 Tier 3 Plan, which BED is required to submit the VT-Public Utilities Commission every three years. The Plan describes the BED HP intentions for that period.

      NOTE: The BED intentions barely were mentioned by the VT mass media, because it does not bode well for the VT Comprehensive Energy Plan goal of 35,000 HPs by 2025. That goal was based not on any analysis, but likely on a number picked out of a hat by bureaucrats. See Appendix.

      • Addition.

        Weather Can Decrease an Electric Car’s Range by More Than 40 Percent: Report
        http://www.thedrive.com/news/26383/cold-weather-can-cut-an-electric-cars-range-more-than-40-percent-report

        If you thought driving an electric car in the freezing cold decreases range, just wait until you turn on the heater.

        If you thought riding an electric bus in freezing cold decreases range, just wait until the bus goes uphill with a load of passengers with the heater on.

        Any snow on the road will further reduce range.

        It’s no secret that cold and hot weather decrease the performance of a battery, regardless of the application.

        AAA Report: A new study by AAA confirms electric cars are no exception to reduced range in the cold, noting that it is especially exacerbated when owners crank up the heat to keep themselves warm.

        In an effort to be brand-agnostic, AAA used five different vehicles as their test subjects:

        • 2017 Tesla Model S 75D
        • 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf
        • 2018 Chevrolet Bolt
        • 2018 BMW i3s
        • 2018 Nissan Leaf

        Each vehicle was placed on a dynamometer (typically used to chart vehicle power output) in a climate-controlled environment. During each battery-draining run, the temperature in the room surrounding the vehicle was varied to understand the effects different climates would have on range.

        AAA obtained a baseline range reading on each vehicle at 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
        AAA tested each vehicle in 20 degree and 95 degree weather, with and without the use of the car’s built-in HVAC systems.

        COLD WEATHER

        In 20-degree weather, heater not on, the range decreased by an average of 12% from baseline
        In 20-degree weather, heater on, the range decreased by an average 41% from baseline

        “An EV would easily use almost double the amount of power for a 15-mile trip,” Jason Hughes, a member of the Tesla community known for modding his cars and refurbishing spare Tesla parts, told the Associated Press. “It’s definitely an issue. If you want to go somewhere far in the cold, you’re going to be using more power.”

        HOT WEATHER

        AAA found high temperatures decreased the range without the AC on, and decreased range even more with the AC on.

        In 95-degree weather, AC not on, the range decreased an average of 4% from baseline.
        In 95-degree weather, AC on, the range decreased an average of 17% from baseline.

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