Keelan: The last gas station in Vermont

By Don Keelan

It is not unusual for individuals, organizations, and governments to take time out when the calendar changes to a new year and look to the future. Some search for the ensuing year, some for five or 10 years out, and others 25 to 50 years into the future. In my case, it is around 14 years — the year 2035.

In 2035 in Vermont, it came to pass that only one gas station remained in operation, and it was located in Randolph. The state’s fossil fuel czar had established that the gas station would be in Randolph because it is almost at the state’s geographic center.

During the years leading up to 2035, Vermonters were mandated to drive electric-powered cars and trucks within the state. The order originated from the Vermont Climate Council’s Dec. 1, 2021 report to the Agency of Natural Resources and Legislature.

Don Keelan

The years in between were nothing short of chaotic, not only for the owners of gasoline and diesel-operated vehicles but for the hundreds of Vermont gas stations.

Once it became known that fossil fuels used for transportation were going to be a thing of the past, gas stations throughout the state ceased to upgrade their pumps and tank storage facilities. Many stations decided that their investment return would not justify the hundreds of thousands of dollars required. In less than a decade and a half, they no longer pumped gas. The business decision was to close shop, and hundreds did so.

However, not all stations closed. Regional and national chain stations did convert their properties to battery-charging stations once they removed their tanks and pumps — a costly undertaking. But, they had the funding in which to do so.

The change-over to charging stations, while simultaneously closing gas stations, did not go well. Back in the early 2020s, the Biden administration’s goal to build over a million charging stations never materialized; the country was still paying out trillions of dollars for economic relief caused by the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic that lasted longer than expected.

Nevertheless, those in charge of the state government insisted that the goal of no fossil fuel cars and trucks was paramount. They used the examples of Japan, California and France, which all in 2020 banned fossil fuel cars by 2035. Even the Ford Motor Company announced in 2020 that it would only produce EVs by 2035. In January 2021, General Motors followed suit. Vermont had something to prove, no matter the cost.

What was overlooked in the conversion process took place during the mandated change-over. The anti-fossil fuel advocates never anticipated how stations would close much sooner than 2035 and how fuel deliveries came to a trickle. The line-up at stations for gas or charging was horribly long, costly and frustrating for thousands daily. It was much greater than the experiences in the mid-1970’s gasoline crisis.

For the most part, the VCC’s work dealt with transportation and home/business heating — very little about marine crafts. By 2035, Vermont’s diesel and gas-operated boating came to a halt. Only a few boats operated with batteries. Two other concerns were not anticipated: what to do with the tens of thousands of fossil fuel-operated cars and trucks that were piled up as junk, and the other, of greater importance, was the electric power shortage in the state’s grid to service the EVs. In 2020, over 70% of the state’s largest electric supplier’s energy was imported from Canada. In 2035, it was closer to 95%.

In 2035, it was still unresolved as to whether the Randolph gas station, the last in Vermont, would become a historic site. Major Vermont historical and preservation groups vied to take it over.

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

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Alexander Migl
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12 thoughts on “Keelan: The last gas station in Vermont

  1. Seems to me it was the REPUBLIC OF VERMONT that joined the Thirteen Colonies way back when.

    Currently in the Lone Star Republic there is a growing secessionist movement:
    There are a number of interesting topics raised in the link above, not the least of which is a gold backed cryptocurrency. Also discussed is that (unlike Vermont) Texas is a net exporter of wealth to the federal government.

    • Have seen multiple posts on this forum by a guy who has moved to Tennessee. This link might just give the incentive to some to do likewise. In my case, ‘Too soon olt undt too late schmart’. Wish I’d seen this while there was still time.. The Green Mountain State is IMHO so totally the influx of liberal / prog pukes that the the soap box solution has given way to the cartridge box.
      Liberalism: Find A Cure

  2. The liberal mindset must be a fascinating place to be. Ignorant of physics and history, the laws of nature and fully believing that one can fantasize to form reality. In a future described by promoters of legislation like the GWSA and the Green New Deal, Vermont becomes the perfect nirvana for….Quakers. They have the skill set to live in a world void of internal combustion engines, and they shun electricity. The liberal minded thinker that demands a world without hydrocarbons and CO2 emissions isn’t really ready or willing to forsake the products and services they allege to despise.
    Put simply, these folks think and act like bernie sanders. Ready and willing to dictate where and how you are to live your life, but unwilling to lift a finger when the “work” part needs doing. That’s someone else’s job.

  3. A part of VT’s future they don’t think of. But iof they can tax it, it’ll be OK and unmentionable.

    Growing an Ounce of Pot Indoors Can Emit as Much Carbon as Burning a Full Tank of Gas

    The Montpelier crowd must be puffing in something and it ain’t clean air.

  4. The goal a few years ago was to make VT Yankee disappear, all because Shummy and his willing warriors could not control the operation for several reasons, and they could not figure out a way to capture the money involved. So the path to removal was embarked on, and the rest is history.
    This same mindset is at work as we wake up each A M in 2021, and listen to these morons embarking on a path to closure of gas stations, because they cannot control the oil business and the profits all go out of state, for the most part. The retailer is the last man standing and gets whatever he can to be able to buy the next load of product. Will this work? Of course not, but the morons they are do not care, they just want the gasoline business to disappear and it will in time. Meanwhile, the states with common sense and better judgement will take gladly the inventory of product that would normally come to Vermont, sell it for peanuts to the user so that electricity will not be able to compete in those forward looking, smarter-than -Vermont states, such as OK, LA, GA and so on. Electric vehicles cannot compete with oil/petrol unless there is a massive federal subsidy; as this is being written the push is on for that concept to be reality. These morons are morons forever.

  5. Dam fool idiots. We do not have electric capacity – guaranteed short supply by these same folks; who believe electricity comes from an outlet on the wall.!!

    Electric Jittneys make a good go cart for commuting – then charge back up overnight in the garage.

    Otherwise, plan to stay home a LOT. 150 miles and 2 hour recharge, for as much money as gasoline might cost. Recharge at only a dozen of locations!

    Expensive toys – for sure GREAT Status Symbols, kind of Expen$ive too

  6. What these CO2 idiots are refusing to see is the fact that the power grid cannot transmit and distribute all the power needed to recharge the vehicles they want, without totally rebuilding it. That will send power costs for everyone to a minimum of 400 or more a month just for the equipment needed.

  7. While the Climate Change Council is busy writing the obituary for fossil fuels and the ending of CO2 emissions leading to the demise of gas stations as Don Keeland tell us, the Vermont Senate is busy insuring that the CO2 spewing Ryegate biomass plant lives on.

    This week, Vermont’s very own climate woke Senate voted to allow the inefficient, expensive, tree destroying and CO2 spewing Ryegate biomass plant to continue pollute for at least two more years.

    Is burning carbon based fuels good or bad for the environment? Do we need to act immediately to put an end to burning carbon products as we’re warned by the activists and the renewable energy industry lobbyists?…….It’s impossible to tell by observing what we see and hear coming Montpelier these days.

    Burning oil and nature gas is definitely very bad we’re told…….As for burning thousands of tons of carbon loaded wood, well let’s take a couple of years more to figure that out the Senate tells us.

    So to follow up on Don Keelan’s theme, will Vermont’s last remnant of the CO2 age be the gas station in Randolph or the biomass plant spewing CO2 in Ryegate, Burlington or Middlebury……..With Vermont’s legislature……..One never knows.

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