Keelan: A government within a government

By Don Keelan

With the Vermont Legislature’s override of Gov. Phil Scott’s veto of H.688, the Global Warming Solutions Act, Vermonters will now have two governments.

H.688 creates one of the most powerful councils ever conceived in Vermont history. The goals of the Vermont Climate Council (made up of 23 members appointed by the governor, the House, and the Senate, with the Secretary of Administration serving as chair) is to have in place, on specific dates, rules that will enable Vermont to be free of the impacts from fossil fuels.

One aspect of the legislation, rarely if ever seen before, strips the state of its sovereign immunity. Meaning, if the state fails to act on the rules established by the VCC, citizens may bring lawsuits to enforce the state to comply.

Don Keelan

To comprehend the legislation personally, I took stock of how much fossil fuel my wife and I annually consume. For transportation, our two SUVs draw down about 660 gallons of gasoline. For warming our home, we consume approximately 1,400 gallons of oil for a new heating system.

We also use about 150 or so gallons of propane to operate the kitchen stove and a small stove in my den as well as our generator when necessary. It is immaterial what our barbecue grill uses — say a few gallons.

We consume a fair amount of gasoline: 260 or so gallons operate our two ATVs, lawnmower, hedge trimmer, weed-whacker (two), chain saw, and, of course, two leaf-blowers. We sold our two snowmobiles some time ago.

It is not a waste of time to have prepared this analysis of fuel consumption. It will eventually be required to provide such information to a future subcommittee of the VCC, the Fossil Fuel Consumption Committee.

The subcommittee will be charged with finding out exactly how much fossil fuel every Vermonter over the age of 16 consumes in the base year; in this case, it is 2020. This accounting will be accomplished by filing with the subcommittee a signed, sworn application.

In turn, the committee’s staff will provide the consumer with a plastic-coated card, known as a Fossil Fuel Consumption Card (FFCC), about the size of a credit card. This card will enable the cardholder to buy their previously approved quantity of fossil fuel for the year. No gas station, fuel delivery firm, or any fossil fuel outlet will be allowed to dispense fuel without imprinting the consumer’s

At the beginning of each year, a new, coated card will be issued, and on it will be the quantity of fuel authorized for the upcoming year — which will be about 10% less than the previous year. The more aggressive members of the VCC may look to go as high as a 15% reduction each year. The obvious goal is to have Vermonters discard all fossil fuel devices or equipment by the year 2030. I can’t imagine what boat owners will have to do.

Visitors to Vermont will have had to apply in advance for their temporary FFCC, so they may be able to obtain fuel for their second home and vehicles.

Another oversight of the VCC will be to monitor the electric consumption in Vermont residences, a critical feature of the Council’s efforts because it depends on electric distribution as the main substitute for fossil fuel. And in doing so, there may be insufficient production/distribution to satisfy the expected demand.

Regional stations, tied into homes, will monitor consumption. If a home uses an inordinate amount of electricity, the home occupant will be immediately notified to cut-back. If utilization does not decrease, the regional station can limit the amount of electricity or, in egregious cases, cut it off entirely.

How this will impact commercial and nonprofit establishments is being sorted out. The best we can hope for is that Governor Scott will not fund the three VCC positions nor appoint his seven council members.

I hope that after the VCC has swallowed up my fossil fuel assets, I can keep my leaf-blower — I just don’t like raking leaves anymore.

Don Keelan writes a bi-weekly column and lives in Arlington, Vermont.

Image courtesy of Public domain

29 thoughts on “Keelan: A government within a government

  1. I am writing in response to Don Keelan’s commentary on October 1. He imagined a future in which every drop of fossil fuel consumed by Vermonters will be tracked and controlled by a committee via plastic cards, among other bizarre authoritarian scenarios. After triple checking Mr. Keelan’s piece to see if I was missing the words assuring readers he was speaking in jest or telling a fictional story, it was surprising to realize he’d simply written outright falsehoods without caveat and that the column had not been fact checked prior to publishing. Commenters here have not read the bill (H.688). Commenters may want to question whether their trust in TrueNorth to provide accurate information is deserved.
    As one of the primary sponsors of the Global Warming Solutions Act, and as the Vice Chair of the House Energy and Technology Committee where most of the testimony on the bill occurred, I can assure you there is no such thing as the “Fossil Fuel Consumption Committee” or the “Fossil Fuel Consumption Card.” Vermonters do not have to apply for an allocation of fossil fuel for the imaginary “Fossil Fuel Consumption Card.”
    The Global Warming Solutions Act does three things – establishes a council chaired by the Governor’s administration, tasks that council with creating a plan through public processes to meet our existing emissions reductions goals and commitments, and narrows the scope of possible enforcement action by the courts should the council fail to produce a plan that can achieve those goals.
    The reality is, climate change is affecting Vermonters and the Vermont economy today. We do not yet have a plan to protect either.

    • So, you are saying, there is absolutely NO CHANCE EVER that any of these scenarios will come to light?? Good to know….
      I, for one, hope there will be a more balanced Legislature in Montpelier come November, because as it is right now, the blue driving force has little to no concern about what many of us native, older, Vermonters feel on any given topic… It’s time to change it up and give a voice to all – not just the so-called ‘Super-Majority’….

    • The majority in the Legislature no longer represent the rural counties in this State.

      You should remember this quote by Ethan Allen: ‘The gods of the valley are not the gods of the hills, and you shall understand it.’

    • From story – Ms. Sibilia:…”it was surprising to realize he’d simply written outright falsehoods without caveat and that the column had not been fact checked prior to publishing. Commenters here have not read the bill (H.688). Commenters may want to question whether their trust in TrueNorth to provide accurate information is deserved.”

      No I for one question your veracity as well as honesty – as a Democrat call me unsurprised.

      Umm – wrong again. And how do you know what was read or factchecked? That’s right – you clearly don’t as evidenced by your puposefully deceptive wildly inaccurate comment(s). Not the first time you’ve pulled partisan silly stunts. Nothing better to do than make stuff up and attack the writers here who inform us as opposed to the disinformation supplied by the likes of you and your stenographers aka the mainstream media here in VT.

      – Cap and Adapt: A Failsafe Approach to the Climate Emergency
      By Larry Edwards, Stan Cox, originally published by
      August 28, 2019
      “…Rationing allowances will be in units of volume or weight of fuel, not dollars or relative carbon content. Individuals will have rationing smart-cards, automatically credited with fresh allowances every week, and then debited when making purchases. ”

      ***Of note – above article is current but a year old and directly related to implementation of GND. But you expect us to believe you of all ppl knew nothing???

      Pants on fire much *again* Ms. Sibilia lol And – yet another one of your brazenly bald lies. You’re too late – Germany has been using cards to ration and track fossil fuel consumption for a very long time.

      — The German government asked the U.S Forces in Germany to change from fuel coupons to an automated fuel ration card…Fuel Cards are required for all privately owned vehicles and for all U.S. Government non-tactical vehicles.
      — Sponsors or spouses must bring their US POV registration certificate (AE Form 190-1A) the one of the following Exchange facilities for fuel ration card issue and activation.
      — There’s a ration card in your future – and that’s not all bad
      There is a need to impose a strict and low ceiling on consumption of fossil fuels while ensuring fair access to them.
      — Card with animated home consumption for Home Assistant Lovelace UI
      This is a repo with Home Assistant custom ui card animated-consumption-card.
      This card shows a simple animation how much resources your house is consuming:
      A socially and environmentally just way to fight climate change
      …The money collected — every penny — is distributed as a dividend to all legal residents…every month in your bank account, or on a debit card if you have no bank.

      Soo – you’ve never heard of ‘cards’ Ms. Sibilia – uh huh. You owe an apology to Mr. Keelan but pretty sure you’ll come up with a pile of qualifiers and other misleading excuses or just skulk off when proven wrong as you’ve done in the past.

  2. You have to seriously wonder if these people that come up with this baloney are mentally ill.
    This is just stunning.
    Vermonters, I’d be looking at what you have on the books over there to promptly remove these people from their positions.

    I’m grateful every day that my NH Constitution has our Article 10 in it, The Right To Revolution.
    If you don’t have this then you damn well better do it.

  3. Sovereign Individual Rights & Personal Liberty
    The Global Warming Solutions Act (H.688) is one of many that violate the essence of Vermont’s sovereignty, yet we continually debate the bill on its merits, instead of questioning the agendas dominance or legitimacy, why?
    Is there a reason why so many of our representatives seem compelled to ignore the negative impact this bill will inflict on Vermonters, in contrast to the negligible difference, if any, it could accomplish in the context of a global world?
    Perhaps the answer lies in who is setting the legislative agenda, most legislators I know, are serious honest people trying to do the best job they can for Vermonters, but what if they were focused on the wrong mission? What if their efforts were the result of a powerful lobby and an army of non-profit activists?
    Could they recognize the difference between a foreign agenda and one that fulfills the true purpose of governance they are charged to uphold and represent?
    Apparently not given the content and direction of H.688, and it will only get worse as bureaucrats begin to craft policy and rules for this bill of legal manipulative maneuvering.
    While it may be legal for non-profits and others to form coalitions that lobby state government, and for legislators to form caucuses, is it ok for them to form a coalition with each other that could influence governance? And does that constitute a conflict of interest?
    Is it appropriate for legislators to become activists for a cause they are charged to vet, if so how does that represent the Sovereign Individual Rights and Personal Liberty of Vermonters?
    The Oath taken and the Allegiance demonstrated must be as one for proper representation!

    • GWSA
      The Global Warming Solutions Act (H.688)
      Has this happened to your Representative?
      • The Vermont house of representatives is comprised of 150 members.
      • Of those members, 142 or 95% voted on H.688, legislation which encourages citizens to sue their own government and force compliance of rules written by bureaucrats.
      • Of the 142 voting, 105 or 74% voted in the affirmative to force adoption and compliance of said rules as ordered by a judge and written by the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources. While the judge cannot prescribe policy or award punitive or financial damages to a plaintiff, tax payers would still have to pay the legal fees and eventually be faced with the additional costs associated with enforcement of new or existing rules found in violation of the law’s intent.
      • Of the 105 voting in the affirmative, 87 or 83% were sponsors of this bill.
      • If all 87 sponsors of the bill are also members of the Vermont Legislative Climate Solutions Caucus, then 100% of them were engaged in Lobbying activities to promote H.688. This essentially means they have become activists of a coalition encouraging support of this agenda!
       But, is their roll to lobby, or represent their constituents?
      • Do they have conflict of interest?
      • Who are they representing, their Constituents or the Global Climate Lobby?
       Are they activists for a coalition, or our sovereign representatives?
      • How can they be accountable to both?
      • I spoke with my representative & sponsor numerous times about this bill and in my
      opinion, I was heavily lobbied by him each time!
      My Representative is an honest man, who sincerely believes in what he is doing, but he has become a lobbyist and an activist, and I fear I am no longer represented!
      ————-If this is happening to you, don’t stay home————-Get out and vote for a change!

    • Our representative Zachariah Ralph sent out long missives to our List Serve locally in Hartland and explained how it works being a member of the house and LOYALTY TO PARTY FIRST is the first thing he mentioned. Not to his constituents. There is no sovereignty here in the Socialist Republic of Vermont.

  4. Since the Vt legislature chooses to abdicate their governing responsibilities,they should resign. I assume that the members of this “commission “ will be called COMISSARS.

  5. It is my understanding that this non-sense was passed minus money for executing the mis-guided piece of crap.
    We must elect enough R oriented folks to keep the funding from passing later or for sure enough to sustain veto.
    D day could be sooner than expected if this isn’t a priority.
    I cannot fathom transporting gasoline myself, but that is what these goons are forcing us into doing. Thank you Cheryl Hooker and all your pals.

    • James,
      Do you know if you purchase your fuel oil and propane from a dealer in NH, that they will be required to report to the State of VT? How can they mandate NH businesses follow VT law? I cannot fathom transporting gasoline myself but desperate times call for desperate measures, don’t you think?

  6. The day my government dictates to me what I do when I do it and how I do it is the day I give up all rights and responsibilities of living in the United States move from Vermont which has been taxed to the point of no return worse than any other state that has ever seen in the US…WHATNACCTUALF**** is this NO NO NO NO NO and to think I’ve paid taxes almost 35 years worth to be told this

  7. How can the base be 2020 when people likely drove less?
    When the government pays my bills, they can dictate my fuel use and my hobbies. There will be a black market for fuel. Vt politicians desperate to be relevant to their renewable buddies!
    I guess tourists are exempt?

  8. We’re approaching Halloween and the GWSA is about to be sprung on Vermont……..A pretty scary thought as Don Keelan has outlined above.

    Now if you really want to experience something scary, how about this:

    Joe Biden is elected President.

    The Democrats win the US Senate with 51 seats and Chuck Schumer becomes Senate Majority Leader with his “Everything is on the table” agenda about to be unleashed.

    While President Biden is resting up from the presidential campaign……Schumer gets busy.

    Schumer eliminates the filibuster and set about executing his “Everything is on the table” agenda

    Senate Democrats pack the Supreme Court with five new far left wing Justices…….Good-by Judicial Branch of government and welcome to the realm of Bernie Sanders, AOC and Kamala Harris justice.

    Democrats remove all FDR’s statues in the country because he wasted time and failed to pack the Court in 1937. FDR is placed on the left’s “Not Wanted” list with Christopher Columbus, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Vermont’s own F. Ray Keyser.

    Schumer and the other fifty democrats in the Senate make Washington, DC and Puerto Rico the 51st and 52nd states increasing the number of Democrats in the Senate to 55 with at least two more Ds in the House of Representatives.

    The Senate now decides that maybe Joe Biden is too old and too slow to be President and uses the 25th amendment to retire him.

    Kamala Harris becomes the President and if you thought things were scary before…….Wait until we see Kamala in action as President……..Even Chuck Schumer should be shaking in his boots.

    Do we need to go on?……..If this happens, we’ll look back on the GWSA and what Don Keelan described above as the old old days……..Now that’s really scary.

    Time to vote!

    • Will this “Law” and Star Chamber Committee ever compensate for California’s yearly fires? Is there any accountability on this extra-legal Committee?

      • Is there ever any accountability at any level in this State? Who was prosecuted for the EB-5 fiasco?

  9. Fascist or Communist, either way socialist, and there going to actual public harm to ‘protect’ what is to be used and husbanded for our benefit, not its. This measure was enacted without Constitutional litmus.The resurgence of ancient Germanic tree worship in modernist garb! Leading, in California, to all the fires, avoided here only by a Providence Who continues to protect the faithful. The cured and tailored Vermont countryside of not so long ago now turning wild, cluttered and threatening, representing in nature the depravity and poverty of the thought that went into this measure, which weakens, not strengthens, Vermont.

  10. I tried desperately to inform my representative about the major concerns and threat that this brings to Vermont and our communities. She did not see the big picture. This has UN agenda 21-sustainable goals and development written all over it and it will be a nightmare for VT on every level. Carbon credit system and NGO lawsuits. We need to fight this and get it turned over. This is based on bad science and sets up a system of control that hurts the people, the economy and our communities.

  11. Vermonter’s have you had enough of these Liberal fools and there boondoggle

    They don’t care about you, and the financial condition of the state they surely
    don’t care about that either !!

    Wake up people, vote these liberal fools out before it’s to late, do conservatives
    have all the answers to the problems of the state ” NO “, but we all know the states
    problems are caused by the Cancerous Liberal Democrats Agenda’s !!!!

  12. Unless the Commisars in the State set up border checkpoints and require special passports to enter VT, it would appear we serfs can import as much fuel as we need.

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