House Minority Leader McCoy: ‘GWSA contains several seriously concerning and unresolved issues’

Editor’s note: House Minority Leader Pattie McCoy, R-Poultney, issued the following statement Wednesday regarding the Global Warming Solutions Act, H.688.

Vermonters are struggling at a level unheard of since the Great Depression. The effects of a global pandemic and economic crisis have not only taken its toll on state budgets, but more importantly, on the personal budgets of everyday Vermonters trying to make ends meet. The focus of the Legislature during our upcoming session should be to address these incredibly urgent key matters.

state of Vermont

House Minority Leader Patricia McCoy, R-Poultney

Unfortunately, Legislative Leadership is still intent on addressing unrelated priorities like the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA), which exposes the State of Vermont to massive legal liability. There is no reason this matter cannot wait until January when the new Legislature convenes. Yet, Democratic Leadership insists on tackling this issue now at the inherent expense of other priorities like COVID-19 relief, all while Vermonters continue to struggle. Every minute we spend debating the GWSA is time we do not spend investing in relief for Vermonters or balancing the budget.

Further, the GWSA contains several seriously concerning and unresolved issues. These include creating a new cause-of-action that allows lawsuits to be filed against the State of Vermont, as well as forming a new Climate Council that threatens both legislative and executive authority. This unelected council would be able to implement an overarching climate plan without the will of the Legislature, removing any connection between the Council and the people of Vermont.

Additionally, the GWSA ignores the tremendous strides Vermont has taken over the past several years to address climate change, clean energy, carbon emissions, and environmental preservation, as well as the proposals to tackle these challenges that have been ignored by Legislative Democrats and Progressives. A list of these implemented and proposed initiatives is included below.

Legislative Leadership should take some time to seriously reflect on whether the provisions of the GWSA truly represent the best interests of Vermonters, and whether or not now is the time to be spending time, energy, and resources hashing out this issue, when we are in the midst of a global pandemic.

Image courtesy of state of Vermont

23 thoughts on “House Minority Leader McCoy: ‘GWSA contains several seriously concerning and unresolved issues’

  1. The results of GWSA are obvious and all are negative, none beneficial to Vermont. Impact on the Vermont climate will not even approach the negligible stage. Its high cost will be borne by Vermont citizens, will hurt businesses and encourage their departure. Qui bono? A LOT of money will change hands and, given the utter pointlessness of this legislation, I cannot but suspect a big piece of it will be under the table.

  2. Another aspect of the D’s thinking is this: They are probably going to lose some seats in Nov, maybe enough to make a difference in the realm of stupid stuff being proposed. Vermonters are better informed than they were 2 years
    ago, and it may spell trouble for the majority.
    Any Bets?

  3. Perhaps what is being done is to make a bill so impractical and unrealistic that Governor Scott will have to veto it and then the whole thing can be used as a campaign issue against him. He then will be charged with being unwilling to address climate change even though this is not a issue with a solution within Vermonts borders.

    • Another aspect of the D’s thinking is this: They are probably going to lose some seats in Nov, maybe enough to make a difference in the realm of stupid stuff being proposed. Vermonters are better informed than they were 2 years
      ago, and it may spell trouble for the majority.
      Any Bets?

  4. Vermont=Kalifornia East=North Korea

    Guess we’ll soon be seeing rolling blackouts too. Looong winter ahead.

  5. 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 houses and other buildings by the thousands each year
    4) Using high-mpg vehicles

    The above 4 items would save money for Vermonters, and make the state economy more competitive

    All of the rest is just expensively subsidized hogwash that would not make one iota of difference regarding climate change.


    Is not it amazing, after EAN, VEIC and VELCO advocated solar build-outs that are totally unrealistic, the VT House comes out with a Bill to increase solar build-outs?

    This section has information from this Seven-Days article, which contained some interesting information.

    The Bill mandates utilities buy 20% of their electricity supply, about 1.2 BILLION kWh/y, from in-state RE sources which effectively means solar, because the other RE sources are barely growing.


    – Is, by far, the most expensive electricity in the portfolio of VT utilities, such as GMP. See Appendix.
    – Imposes the greatest threat to the stability of the grid, due to ever-larger DUCK-curves, as have happened in southern Germany and southern California
    – Would make the use of EVs and heat pumps prohibitively expensive.

    The Bill appears uncomplicated to lay people, and some legislators eager to please Vermont solar businesses, but is far from it, according to energy systems analysts at VT-DPS and GMP, who oppose the solar expansion for various reasons.

    – Vermont had installed 364.24 MW ac, or 438.84 MW dc, at end 2019, per ISO-NE/VT-DPS, which had a legacy capital cost of about $2 billion.
    – In 2019, solar electricity generation was about 475,248 MWh, or 475.25/6000 = 7.9% of supply to utilities, or 475.25/5600 = 8.5% of consumption via wall sockets.
    – Vermont installed solar would need to increase to about 20/8.5 x 438.84 = 1033 MW dc, at end 2032, per House Bill. See Note.
    – The additional capital cost would be about (1032 – 438.84) x $3 million/MW = $1.781 billion, or $137 million/y for 13 years, excluding:

    1) Grid extension/augmentation to connect solar systems and deal with solar variability
    2) Increased connections to nearby grids to minimize disturbances due to solar
    3) Any storage to deal with midday DUCK-curves
    4) Any inverter replacements in about year 12 and O&M

    Historically, items 1, 2 and 3 have been charged to ratepayers, taxpayers, and added to government debt.
    If they had been charged to owners of solar systems, they would be a lot less eager to have solar.

    NOTE: Legislators, and pro RE-entities, usually offer the “easy-talk/hand-waving” option of “we do this and that, by that date, and Vermonters will save lots of money, and save the climate”.
    However, the experts at VT-DPS and GMP have no choice, but to evaluate the A to Z picture of cost and physical implications of increased solar on:

    1) Electric rates, c/kWh
    2) Stability of the grid
    3) Expansion/reinforcement of the grid
    4) Substations on grids with solar systems needing to be arranged to receive and send power.

    If they did not, all hell may break loose, such as costs/kWh going through the roof, and the grid becoming unstable, especially on sunny days and variable-cloudy days, at some future date.….

    Wind/Solar Lulls

    Some Bill proponents likely do not realize, Vermont (and New England, and Germany and Denmark, etc.) often has wind/solar lulls (extended overcast periods, with rain or snow, and little or no wind) of up to 5 to 7 days, i.e., the combined wind/solar output that could have been expected, for that time of year, is, in fact, less than 15% of expectations. Sometimes, a second lull follows the first one a few days later.
    Where would the shortfall come from?
    Traditional generators in nearby states?

  7. EAN, VEIC, and VELCO Goals of 1000 MW of Solar by 2025 are Self-Serving and Unrealistic

    Their goals appear to be extremely dubious with:

    1) The Federal EV tax credit having been cancelled
    2) The solar Investment Tax Credit expiring in 2022
    3) The multi-year recession and high unemployment due to the virus economy.
    4) ASHPs Marginally Effective for Reducing CO2 in Average Vermont Houses. See ASHP URL
    5) EVs Minimally Reducing CO2 Compared with Efficient Gasoline Vehicles. See EV URL
    6) The recent FERC PURPA update to ensure proper competition, i.e., no sweetheart deals.

    Major increases of taxes, fees and surcharges on ratepayers, taxpayers, and adding to government debt to pay for their self-serving, dubious claims, likely would not be a palatable option


    All three entities want to build out solar from 438.84 MW dc, to at least 1000 MW dc, by 2025 (seven years sooner than required by the CEP), even though solar:

    – Is, by far, the most expensive electricity in the portfolio of Vermont utilities. Table 3 shows some of solar costs shifted onto ratepayers, taxpayers and added to government debts. See Appendix.
    – Imposes the greatest threat to the stability of the grid, due to ever-larger DUCK-curves, as has happened in southern Germany and southern California. The more solar, the larger the DUCK-curves.
    – Would make the use of EVs and heat pumps much more costly.

    NOTE: The CEP goal is 1000 MW dc, by 2032

    1) Self-Serving, Impossible CO2 Reduction Dreams of EAN

    “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. See URL

    EAN proposed several measures to reduce CO2, including deploying, by end 2025:

    Increase solar from 438.84 dc, at end 2019 to at least 1000 MW dc, at end 2025
    See Note and pages 3, 4 and 5 of URL

    Vermont had deployed, at end 2019:

    3541 plug-in hybrids and pure EVs, increasing at about 750 per year
    17,717 ASHPs, increasing at about 2850 per year

    The totally unrealistic EAN goals, (increasing plug-ins from 750 to 18000 per year, increasing heat pumps from 2850 to 18000 per year) are beyond rational, even if the 50% of the cost of EVs and heat pumps were donated by ratepayers, taxpayers, and added to government debt. This means “Meeting Paris” is beyond rational.

    The above EAN CO2 reductions per EV, and per ASHP, are grossly overstated, because of flawed/deceptive analyses.
    As a result, many more EVS and ASHPs would be required to achieve the EAN CO2 reductions.
    See URL and below ASHP and EV articles

    NOTE: 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.
    If the heavy hitters are absent, why should ultra-light-featherweight Vermont “meet Paris”?


    The Vermont House passed the Global Warming “Solutions” Act bill, 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”.

    Capital Costs to Implement the Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan

    In 2015, Energy Action Network, EAN, an umbrella organization for RE businesses, etc., had estimated it would take at least $1.0 BILLION per year for 35 years to implement the CEP by 2050, not counting many $billions for financing costs and replacement costs of short-live systems (wind, solar, batteries, EVs, heat pumps) during these 35 years.

    GWSA to Subsidize Job Creation in RE Sectors

    Vermont has a very poor climate for traditional, private-enterprise job creation. 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 would create an expensively subsidized, industrial development policy that would:

    1) Require major increases in the current levels of various subsidies to all sorts of RE businesses for decades.
    2) Produce expensive, mostly variable/intermittent, unreliable, wind/solar electricity.
    3) Very expensively “create jobs” that would not exist without the subsidies.

    The GWSA “industrial development policy” would be an expensive substitute for traditional, private-enterprise job creation, which has proven so difficult in Vermont, largely because of historic, socialistic mindsets within the Legislature, which prefer to protect/enlarge/perpetuate vote-getting pet projects, instead of creating the proper conditions for a vibrant private sector that produces hi-tech products, employs highly-skilled, tax-paying workers, in steady jobs, with good benefits.

    GSWA Requires Major Annual Spending Increases

    Annual spending on RE would have to increase from the current $210 million/y (includes $60+ million for Efficiency Vermont) to at least $1.0 billion per year, to implement the CEP.

    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 1) heat pumps, 2) electric vehicles, and 3) above-market, feed-in rates for solar, such as net-metering at 21.7 c/kWh and Standard Offer at 21.7 c/kWh, they would be extracted from Vermont ratepayers, taxpayers and tourists, which, as has been proven, would create jobs in the RE sectors, but would, as has been proven, eliminate jobs, or prevent jobs from being created, in almost all private-enterprise sectors.

    That would further worsen the near-zero, real-growth Vermont economy, and prolong the adverse employment 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 appointed RE proponents.

    As part of GWSA, if the ANR measures would not sufficiently reduce Vermont’s carbon dioxide, CO2, as scheduled, any entity, such as the Conservation Law Foundation, 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:

    1) A growing bureaucracy embroiled in one litigious brouhaha after another
    2) Vermonters becoming more and more oppressed and impoverished in the pursuit of impossible climate goals
    3) Vermont becoming less and less attractive as a place to do business, to visit, and to live.
    4) GWSA inflicting decades of torture of Vermonters to achieve nothing regarding the climate, other than “feel-good/virtue-signaling”.

  10. Just a reminder that while they play the GWSA $500 mm fiddle Lake Champlain cleanup funds as agreed to by the state with the EPA as part of the revised Total Maximum Daily Limit are not being addressed. Instead of appropriating the agreed to funds to resolve a problem wholly created by Vermonters living in this basin, GWSA backers are moving a bill that will never change anything in the climate, certainly not with a directly accountable link to GWSA. If the legislature lets this deadline pass without living up to our contractural obligations to our own citizens to clean up our most important resource, that will signal they will do it year after year. Instead we’ll be performing a virtue signaling process on a moving target that we can never confirm we got any benefit from.

  11. It’s refreshing to find at least one clear thinker working in Montpelier for the folk’s best interest. Unfortunately, the whole legislative process run by the Dem/Prog./Libs is guided by the warped guide line of “don’t bather me with facts, my mind’s made up!!!!”

  12. This over reach by the progressives while Burlington continues to have sewerage dumps into Lake Champlain on a frequent basis. That to me is much more an environmental concern that should have top priority.

    • When the Progressive leaders of Burlington aren’t pumping sewage into Lake Champlain, they’re working to defund the police department.

      While they’re defunding the police department, the city’s youth are carrying out gun fights in the streets across Burlington to include firing shots into a family’s home. WCAX reports that witnesses know nothing…….Sound familiar……..Just like the shootings in Chicago……No one knows anything, to include the media that has shown little interest in covering the shootings and general disfunction brewing in the Queen City under Progressive policies.

      If you’re a Vermonter, there is reason to be worried. The Progressive experiments being carried out by the far left in Burlington are also at work in Montpelier and will soon be coming to a neighborhood near you.

      When Joe Biden speaks of darkness, he speaks of Portland, Minneapolis, Seattle, Chicago, New York, Baltimore and the list goes on…….Shootings and police defunding will soon plunge Burlington, Vermont into the dark of which Joe Biden speaks…….But we’ll have GWSA…….. unless Gov. Scott veto’s it.

  13. The GWSA being pushed by Mitzi Johnson, Zuckerman and the majority of our carpetbag legislature will do nothing for the struggling Vermont citizen. It is a special interest windfall designed to remove the citizen from representative government and deflect criticism from those misguided legislators who would even attempt to support this bill.
    As Joh LaBarge noted, “FOLLOW THE MONEY!”

  14. House Minority Leader Pattie McCoy, thanks for standing up for Vermont’

    GWSA, is the master boondoggle for the Liberal agenda, all it does for
    Vermonters is tighten the financial noose ………….. pretty pathetic.

    Vermont’s clean air verses the world stage, what a joke China, Russia, India
    spew more toxins in a day than Vermont would in the next 100 years, this
    agenda is just that, no facts just fiction

    Don’t forget to vote, vote these carpetbaggers out, they only care about there
    agenda, no concerns for the people of the state well being.

  15. If you have not figured out this scam so far, you need to pay better attention!
    Somewhere between the “virtue signaling” and where the money lands is where this crusade is coming from. The passionate millions who believe we can change the climate by giving the government a CO2 tax are the unwitting minions, the real people behind this nonsense have an ideal much different than most people think!

  16. I’ll tell ya right now, when your hungry families with no jobs, piles of debt they can’t pay, and not a hope in sight hear one one thing about all this baloney, you are going to have civil unrest.
    There are a lot of people now with nothing to lose anymore.

    Men start wars when they see their families in serious trouble.. you watch.
    These people better wake up.

    • To paraphrase the Celente guy from Poughkeepsie, When ya got nothing left to lose–ya LOSE IT!!

  17. By passing GWSA, the Vermont Legislature is content to encourage activist environmental lawyers to sue Vermont into oblivion over CO2 levels while Paris Accord members China, India and Japan continue to build more coal fired power plants.

    If Vermont reaches 100% of its GWSA goals on time, which is doubtful, it will do nothing measurable to mitigate climate change. If the goals are not met……The law suits start, which is a certainty.

    With GWSA, the Vermont Legislature may be the first in the nation to have created a “Lose-Lose Law” for its citizens……Amazing.

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