By John McClaughry
I was looking for something on the Vermont Legislature’s web page the other day when it crossed my mind to check into the Joint Carbon Emissions Reduction Committee. Last year the Legislature created, over Gov. Scott’s veto, a pseudo government called the Vermont Climate Council to devise a plan to beat down the carbon dioxide emissions of everybody and everything in the state of Vermont by 80 percent by 2050, to stamp out the menace of global warming.
So I thought the Joint Carbon Emissions Reduction Committee of the Legislature ought to be a big part of that. I inquired of Legislative Counsel which legislators were serving on that prestigious committee, who was the chair, and how many meetings the committee has held since its creation in 2019.
A few days later Legislative Counsel reported. It seems the Joint Carbon Emissions Reduction Committee hasn’t had any meetings. That’s because no representative or senator was appointed to serve on it, which of course means that it had no chair. It was another phantom committee created to oversee our mandated carbon dioxide emissions reduction, and promptly forgotten.
It reminded me of its predecessor, the Joint Committee on Energy, which I was appointed to when I was a senator in 1991. Six or eight of us met. After a few uncomfortable minutes I inquired whether we needed such a committee at all. No one had a good answer, and we adjourned, possibly forever.
John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.