Keelan: The season of giving has come much sooner than expected

By Don Keelan

Who expected the giving season to come in November rather than December? More surprising is the giver, the Governor’s Offices of Massachusetts and Connecticut. What a wonderful present, especially to those of us who are fossil fuels users.

On Nov. 15, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, a Democrat, and his Massachusetts neighbor Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, announced their states were pulling out of the 12-state TCI Agreement.

Don Keelan

For those unfamiliar with the acronym TCI, it stands for Transportation and Climate Initiative, a euphemism if there ever was one for charging fossil fuel dealers within a 12-state area an additional 10 cents a gallon. And we are all aware that once an assessment is on the books, there is no limit to how high it might go.

Two years ago, those who were dead-set against fossil fuels for transportation and eventually home-heating and cooking oil pushed to create an arbitrary incentive to change by assessing fuel dealers a fee.

Gov. Phil Scott, a Republican, saw the initiative’s true meaning and rejected it as being too costly to Vermonters. Furthermore, he was not interested in outsourcing the taxing of Vermont residents.

According to Vermont Daily Chronicle’s reporting, Scott believed that he might not control the issue if the Vermont Climate Council (an ardent supporter of the TCI) had its way. The governor need no longer be concerned: his Massachusetts and Connecticut colleagues have done the deed for him.

What is revealing about our neighboring governors’ actions is that the legislation to adopt TCI failed in their legislature and Rhode Island’s. Note that Democrats control all three legislatures. The underlying reason was that their citizens were hard-hit from the geometric increase (over 50%) in fossil fuel cost in the prior 10 months. But there could be another reason, as reported in The Wall Street Journal of Nov. 21; the paper noted that what took place during the Nov. 2 elections in New Jersey and in Virginia was not lost on the politicians. The issues that voters are concerned with are increasing costs for fuels, food, health care and housing, not to mention the uncertainty over Covid, education and the overall economy.

TCI was, for those adamant about their “Climate Armageddon” cause, to get the Northeast region off fossil fuels. They attempted this by assessing a fee (tax), and as a committee, allocating back the monies collected to the 12 states (and Washington, D.C.) to convert/use electric devices. The assessment would impact the dealers who provide the fuels, who, of course, would then pass the additional cost onto their customers. So much for representative government.

Nevertheless, my joy over an early holiday present might be short-lived. In December, a report is due from the 23-member Vermont Climate Council. If rumors are true, the recommended mandates to meet the state’s goal of reducing its 2005 carbon emissions by 26% by 2025 will be costly, divisive and unsettling. Politicians and government officials should heed what took place on Nov. 2, for a repeat could be in the offering next November.

The changing climate is a fact and needs to be addressed. However, it should be through education and incentives, not through dictates and mandates from those who are not elected but relish wielding power and control over our lives.

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

Image courtesy of Public domain

2 thoughts on “Keelan: The season of giving has come much sooner than expected

  1. This article was written BY STEVE MACDONALD / 21 NOVEMBER 2021

    Yesterday, we reported on the death of the TCI, another taxation-without-representation scheme that would milk motorists to fund the ill-conceived Dem/Prog “climate-change-fighting” schemes, such as expensive electric buses and expensive, catching-fire EVs, electric trains and bicycles, ride-sharing, carpooling.

    Charlie Baker, a huge supporter of TCI, backed out, leaving only Rhode Island, which had stepped away, but not formally retracted its interest in TCI. With Massachusetts out and Connecticut long gone, RI said it is done trying to make TCI work.

    TCI has no takers and is dead and buried; but not the financing of the various, nefarious Dem/Prog shake-down schemes
    Laundering money is still the goal, and transportation is still a target, but forcing gas taxes down people’s throats (“break their will”) was not even a politically viable option, when gas was cheap.

    Gas prices have increased 50 plus percent, in just a few months, thanks to idiotic energy policies of the extreme-leftist posses that are handling Biden

    Massachusetts and Rhode Island are planning to “combat climate changes” using other financing means.
    THEIR goal is to replace gas-powered vehicles with electric vehicles; a pipe dream of non-technical RE folks, that does not reduce CO2 anywhere near any claims by those RE folk, according to independent energy systems analysts.

    That means, the taxpayer solution to the problem is to remove such RE folks from office in 2022, by turning out to vote in such large numbers, to more than offset any frauds by Election Officials and Dem/ Prog operatives.

    TCI is DEAD.

    Charlie Baker had been clinging to the TCI as a new revenue stream. It would add a Commission-imposed tax on all motor fuel. The tax would be passed down to drivers.

    The money would be laundered through the Commission, and then, minus hefty fees, back to states, under the assumption they would use money to “save the planet”.

    Sure, if by “planet,” you mean the gaping holes in state budgets, due to decades of irresponsible/excessive spending habits of Dem/Prog-run states.

    We have about 50 articles related to the infamous TCI scheme, including news and commentary about almost every state that considered, and then dropped, the idea of joining. I will not rehash that here, because that might look like gloating.

    But, I am gloating.

    So, what happened? How did this “we have to have this, or we’re all going to die” climate-cult-cash grab lose favor so quickly? It is very easy to explain.

    The only climate politicians care about is the one that gets them re-elected again and again, due to a lack of term limits. Here is a double-speak, weasel-word obfuscation.

    “The Baker Administration always maintained the Commonwealth would only move forward with the TCI, if multiple states committed, and, as that commitment does not exist, the TCI is no longer the best solution for the Commonwealth’s transportation and environmental needs,” said Terry MacCormack, the governor’s press secretary, in a statement.

    Even before Biden-in-the-basement-inflation, the idea of saddling working-class voters with a massive gas tax was a tough sell. But, it was one Baker and his RE minions were prepared to embrace.

    They would conjure up a, de facto, gas tax, that would start small, and then grow and grow, to generate $BILLIONS in revenue outside the election process.

    That would be the Nirvana dream-come-true for big-spending Dem/Progs; they could not be accused of imposing any price increases!!

    BTW, Vermont’s GWSA is a similar avoiding-responsibility scheme to save the hides of non-technical RE Dem/Progs

    The US economy has since gone into a slide. Black Friday was sort of a bust, and 2022 is looking like a steeper slide. Piling taxes, on top of existing gas taxes, is not what voters want.

    A regional plan to reduce emissions, even just on paper, needed more than one interested party. Baker had no one else left to dance with, so he headed for the exit, and he is not coming back.

    A non-possibility not all that long ago.

    Katie Theoharides, the governor’s secretary of energy and environmental affairs, said in December 2020, when Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia announced they were moving forward with TCI.
    “Massachusetts needed the program, if it was going to have a chance of reaching its goal of net-zero emissions; we cannot get there without a program like this,” she said.

    This is just another a statement by technically challenged ignoramus.
    How do these people even get into these jobs?
    They’ll have to find another way. A third way, perhaps?

    Or did someone finally have to admit that zero-emissions are just another fairy tale cheaters tell to justify shaking down voters for cash?

    Even if every state signed on, it would have always been about redistributing money from people who could least afford it, to pay for the “climate-change-fighting” priorities of a well-to-do spectrum of RE folks who could.

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