By John McClaughry
I recently got an email from a former Vermonter, an engineer, whose career has been largely in building systems. He wrote,
Now that the Vermont Legislature has passed the Affordable Heat Act, your liquid fuels costs will [In 2025] start hitting $9/gal at least for heating oil and diesel, so I predict that there will be a new industry of coal smuggling starting up.
I have an old chum living in Metro Montreal. Some years back an ice storm took down 17 miles of high-tension lines bringing power in from Churchill Falls. It took several weeks to rebuild the towers and string the wire, in the harsh winter; the wire went down in the far North and everything had to be done by helicopter at 25 below zero. It was no surprise that his water pipes froze and broke and his house suffered tens of thousands of dollars of damages, along with thousands of other houses in Montreal.
What these Vermont legislators cannot grasp is that relying on electric heat is just not feasible in a Vermont winter. It might work in New Mexico, but even there you see these power failures that cripple the society. It’s amazing that otherwise intelligent people cannot grasp this fundamental. No heat equals burst water pipes. My chum installed a generator with an independent fuel supply to last for three weeks, so never again for him.
Think on that.
John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.