Lynn Edmunds: TCI will remove dollars from our pockets

Editor’s note: This commentary is by Lynn James Edmunds, a lifetime resident of Wallingford.

Vermont is our home. We love her four seasons, her mountains, her time honored traditions and rural way of life that binds us to her.

Settled mostly by farmers, our ancestors endured hardships of life in the Green Mountains to pursue a better life. They were a determined people of strong will and keen sense of awareness, able to predict the weather or a season simply by observing their surroundings, always adjusting and changing course to secure a better tomorrow. There is an old saying that kind of sums up Vermont: “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute, it will change.”

Vermonters have always been very adaptable to their surroundings, always willing to work hard to better their existence or help their neighbor in time of need. We take pride in our ancestors’ determination to succeed, and we are grateful they sought no other purpose beyond a more prosperous life for everyone. Their expectations were realistic — they recognized there were things they could not change, so they focused instead on the needs of the day to make life better for tomorrow.

Bruce Parker/TNR

Vermonters recognize priorities to benefit Vermont must be balanced by the realization we will not save the planet by destroying prosperity in our world of Vermont.

Today as we move forward in pursuit of “global climate solutions,” we should keep in mind that activism and subsidy alone will not garner the trust of Vermonters that might otherwise be supportive of pursuing such goals, precisely because they imply force and manipulation is required to achieve them. This concept is contrary to Vermont’s tradition of working side by side to build a better life together.

Contemplating action in 2020, over 80 of our legislators have formed a Climate Solutions Caucus while hailing climate strikes and bold climate action to save our planet from an implied crisis. Vermonters are a frugal, hard-working people that will tackle any problem they must, but where is the imminent or obvious climate crisis in “our world of Vermont,” and how will subsidizing a global movement for other parts of the world help Vermonters contend with today’s shrinking standard of living, especially when that subsidy siphons off our capacity to remain strong and vibrant?

Vermonters are depending on our legislators to understand our plight. The Transportation and Climate Initiative” (TCI) is eager for Vermont’s commitment and participation in an agreement that would levy a carbon tax on gasoline, propane and fuel oil — all necessities for a rural state where people must commute to work and endure cold winter months. But this will remove dollars from our pockets at a time when we need more dollars to offset our affordability crisis, which is, in part, perpetuated by numerous subsidies already in place and entangled in our daily lives and monthly billings.

There are many agendas incorporated in global climate solutions, all seeking our dollars. But who do they benefit, and do our legislators truly understand they are charged with identifying agendas of appropriate priority for Vermonters?

If our ancestors have taught us anything, we must be aware of our surroundings and be flexible enough to adapt to the challenges we face. So, doing anything to further jeopardize affordability for Vermont workers would seem to be the last thing our legislators or governor should want to entertain.

Those who stand to gain most by subsidizing these agendas of climate crisis have a vested interest in developing a carbon tax, and they refer to it as “a negligible fee having less impact than typical market fluctuations” — but let’s not forget, these increases are in addition to, and on top of, the market prices we already pay.

However, these subsidies we are asked to finance merely reflect lofty goals and speculation that reach beyond our borders and far into the future. They confiscate our immediate future and yield no return beyond a promise that may never be realized even by future generations.

When it comes to agendas of investment, we must know for whom the bell tolls: Vermonters or developers?

Vermonters are more than willing to roll up our sleeves and work together on climate solutions that are sensible, affordable and that can be measured locally in the short term for accountability. But joining TCI would hobble us to the desires of a coalition, thus limiting our flexibility and ability to react to changes in circumstance, such as things like an introduction of new technology.

Vermonters recognize priorities to benefit Vermont must be balanced by the realization we will not save the planet by destroying prosperity in our world of Vermont.

Images courtesy of Public domain and Bruce Parker/TNR
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10 thoughts on “Lynn Edmunds: TCI will remove dollars from our pockets

  1. Here is a thought that I personally decided upon. I don’t want to save the world according to any group or organization that I don’t agree with. It should be my prerogative to choose to follow, or not, any sort of rules or regulations not voted into law by state representatives for the citizenship. If legislators vote into law methods to help deal with climate change, then I am obligated to be compliant, even if I don’t agree. I may not like or agree with the law, but it is the law. And, laws can be changed over time. There should be an amendment in the State’s Constitution that guarantees citizens this right.
    Several commenters have made the statement that politicians supporting TCI won’t have to vote on the enacting of the carbon tax or the penalizing of the state for failing to meet TCI goals. And when their voting constituents complain, they can say “We didn’t vote this in”.
    If it law it’s law, otherwise it should be optional.

  2. This recent study in Finland shows CO2 has minimal effect on climate and global warming.
    https://arxiv.org/pdf/1907.00165.pdf
    “In this paper we will prove that GCM-models used in IPCC report AR5 fail to calculate the influences of the low cloud cover changes on the global temperature.
    That is why those models give a very small natural temperature change leaving a very large change for the contribution of the greenhouse gases in the observed temperature.
    This is the reason why IPCC has to use a very large sensitivity to compensate a too small natural component.
    Further, they have to leave out the strong negative feedback, due to the clouds, in order to magnify the sensitivity.
    In addition, this paper proves that the changes in the low cloud cover fraction practically control the global temperature.

  3. The TCI is another Dem/Prog fantasy going up in flames.
    What other nutty ideas will be next?
    Blittersdorf’s 80-y-old, el-crappo trains?
    Electric buses, at $350,000 each, everywhere?

    “TCI will distribute a FRACTION of the allowances revenues to states?”

    After paying exorbitant salaries and expenses to the TCI organization and wise bureaucrats thinking up and administering this cumbersome TCI scheme, what happens to the fraction, after exorbitant expenses, that is NOT distributed to states?
    This looks to me like another costly boondoggle about to go viral.
    New England needs it like another hole in the head!

    The TCI scheme is wide open to fraud, waste and abuse, as there will be minimal, to no, meaningful oversight, other than by pre-selected insiders who agree with the TCI agenda, i.e., the fox guarding the hen house!!!
    TCI will become a proxy CARBON TAX collector for states, AT A FAT FEE. Vermont needs that like another hole in the head!

    Legislators in each state do not have to vote for much-hated CARBON TAXES, which would be increasing each year, until we all croak.
    They would be “off the hook”. They would say with sad faces: “I know you pay more taxes, but it is not my fault, and re-elect me anyway. Bull manure!
    November is near. Vote the bums out. Term limits.

    Legislators of each state should be ashamed to allow a large amount of hard-earned CARBON TAX money being mis-appropriated by a TCI “super-state” entity over which they likely would have minimal, or no, control.
    Another autonomous/out-of-control Big Brother Entity.

    Analysis shows the new CARBON taxes would add up to about $56 BILLION, due to fuel dealers buying allowances over 10 years, to reduce CO2 by an additional 1% to 6%, above what would be reduced by EXISTING policies. That sounds really cost effective!!

    TCI is legal? Oh no, it is a robbery, developed/supported by know-nothing politicians who need funding for more untested, unproven “programs” that would further increase Vermont State government budgets, i.e., INCREASE the tax burden on hard-working Vermonters.

    TCI is not serious about dealing with the issue of climate. Airline travel is FAR worse.
    There are about 20,000 commercial jetliners in the air.
    All burn a large quantity of DIRTY jet fuel; much, much dirtier than ULS fuel, propane and natural gas.
    Airline travel climate impact is a factor 6 to 47 times greater than the impact from car travel, because its CO2 and major particulate pollution is released in the UPPER atmosphere.

    Raising gas prices in tiny Vermont will have ZERO effect on global warming, but it provides lots of “feel good halo” to Dem/Prog Volvo/Tesla-Democrats.
    As for the people who cannot afford higher fuel prices? Well, they can take the bus.

    How are these $350,000 electric buses working out?

    And no one seems to mention that increasing the price of fuel will increase the price of everything else – your groceries come on a truck.

    And for all you people who voted for the current Dem/Prog legislators, because you hate Trump (induced by endless Media anti-Trump barrages), please do ponder your vote when you’re gassing up, or when you will be in the voting booth in November; JUST VOTE NO.

    • Right you are Willem. The carbon tax on fuels will impact every aspect of Vermonters’ lives. It could even mean the end of free two day shipping by Amazon for items shipped to Vermont. It may sound laughable, but a lot of Vermonters use that service to buy many items they need, in between normal shopping days in the city or larger towns. This aside, food, clothing, building materials, household fixtures, etc., etc., etc., will cost more. Maybe they won’t cost a lot more on a single item, but multiplied on all items purchased in a year, it will add up. Contractors will charge more for house repairs. I talked to a woman a couple of days ago, who has the dilemma of choosing to pay for the mortgage or the pickup payment. She lost her good paying job when the Vermont office was downsized. A carbon tax will only make her life more difficult along with many other struggling Vermonters.

  4. My previous comment disappeared, after I checked to make sure it got posted.

    This is a wonderful Real Vermont Essay, read it again, print it out and send it to your representatives and senators

  5. As I thought, my substantive post wasn’t published. Nothing materially wrong or offensive, just an in your face finger pointed at VT’s leaders. Pathetic

  6. It’s difficult to comprehend how government supported fraud, i.e. the TCI and all its aka’s over the years, still has legs when there’s so much unbiased, scientifically peer reviewed evidence completely refuting the relative import of the “imminent existential threat” available and ready for everyday folks to educate themselves on. The question is why is that never discussed? Oh, that’s right, because it flies in the face of VT’s cherished sons of your liberty – Mr Leahy, Mr Sanders, and Mr Welch. Go figure. One who questions liberal orthodoxy in VT doesn’t get permission from the sensors to speak publicly. I doubt my thoughts will get posted.

  7. Lynn, brilliant observations in this article. This scheme would not benefit Vermonters and only make fools feel good while putting the screws to low income Vermonters once again. Those same fools will move to Florida or some other low tax state in a decade or two leaving the bag in the hands of those with neither the ability or inclination to leave. Wake up folks and vote out the progressive do gooders before it’s too late.

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