McClaughry: Here comes another carbon tax

By John McClaughry

Are you ready for the coming carbon tax on your home and business heating bill?

The Vermont House is working at flank speed to enact the “Clean Heat Standard” (CHS) concocted by the Climate Action Network, and adopted by the Vermont Climate Council.

Of course, none of the House backers will describe the CHS as a carbon tax, because most Vermonters want nothing to do with a carbon tax. Gov. Phil Scott, in particular, has opposed a carbon tax since his first campaign in 2016, saying recently “I feel good about the direction we’re going without having to raise taxes, and certainly not a regressive carbon tax.”

John McClaughry

John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

Well, a regressive carbon tax is exactly what the Democratic Legislature is soon going to send to him. The CHS is cleverly designed to siphon money out of your pocket to enable your fuel distributor to buy state-mandated “credits” from politically favored entities like Efficiency Vermont and Burlington Electric Department. These entities will use the money to shrink heating fuel consumption as demanded by the Climate Council.

The beauty of the CHS, from its backers’ point of view, is that you will not be able to figure out why your heating oil or gas bill suddenly jumped up, and keeps on climbing. The left will noisily blame your greedy fuel distributor, who the Climate Council is setting up as the fall guy. In fact, your fuel distributors can’t afford to do anything but pass the CHS carbon tax on to their customers.

Here’s how the CHS is supposed to work. The unaccountable Public Utility Commission will create and distribute CHS credits to entities (like Efficiency Vermont) that complete projects — like installing electric heat pumps — that reduce the consumption of heating fuels. The PUC will require Vermont’s wholesale fuel sellers (or the retailer, if it gets its fuel from an out-of-state seller) to acquire and deliver its credits. Homeowners, businesses, farms, local governments, schools, hospitals and anybody else who needs fuel oil or gas to stay warm will end up paying for the credits. The PUC will fine the obligated parties that fail to submit enough credits.

Why, you may ask, is this hidden carbon tax on heating fuel so all-fired necessary? It’s because the planet faces a climate crisis that can be averted only if the nations of the world drastically reduce their consumption of fossil fuels, and your state government is helpfully motivating you to use less of those fuels by making them more costly.

It’s bad enough that this scheme is an underhanded way of sucking money out of your pocket. It’s even worse when one realizes that a coalition of powerful environmental groups lobbied through the Global Warming Solutions Act, then put themselves on the resulting Climate Council, and are now arrogantly writing themselves by name — Vermont Natural Resources Council and VPIRG — into the PUC’s mandated process for implementing the legislation.

The CHS is required to “enhance social equity by minimizing adverse impacts to low-income consumers.” If you are not low-income, too bad. You will be taken for an expensive ride, and all you will get is the benefit of virtue signaling to non-Vermonters that you are righteously making this sacrifice to defeat the Menace of Climate Change.

And there’s another more mundane consideration here. This entire scheme, plus others like it, is deliberately designed to bypass Gov. Scott. Why? Because he won’t support a regressive carbon tax.

His Democratic opponents, goaded by the Climate Action Network, pushed through the Vermont Climate Council legislation over his veto, filled 14 of its 23 seats with tried-and-true climate crisis believers, and told them to instruct the governor’s appointees to issue regulations to make Vermonters do the Council‘s bidding — without a vote by legislators who the citizens can hold accountable.

Worse yet, they added a provision that if the results don’t achieve the required CO2 emissions reductions starting in 2025, anybody — notably the Conservation Law Foundation — has standing to sue the State of Vermont and demand that a judge tell its agencies to go further and more quickly down the regulatory road, whether the governor approves or not.

Democrats these days are clamoring to “protect our democracy.” But at the same time, here in Vermont, Democrats and their enviro allies are well along in implementing the scheme that I branded, two years ago, as “The Worst Democracy-Shredding Bill in 50 Years.”

If you’ve had it with being secretly taxed by unaccountable strangers to finance a raft of burdensome and largely futile left-wing nostrums, and if you’re committed to protecting our democracy by holding elected officials accountable for how they assault your life, liberty and property, it’s time to speak out — and remember in November.

John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

Image courtesy of John McClaughry
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31 thoughts on “McClaughry: Here comes another carbon tax

  1. I cringe every time I read the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) and the corresponding Action Plans. These plans are going to be extremely expensive, especial for the rural, middle class and poor.

    How irrelevant it is to fixing Global Warming can be summed up in the following. Vermont will spend the next 28 years to reduce GHG by 6.91 MMTCO2e (80% reduction from 1990 levels). In 2019, China emitted this amount of GHG every 4.5 hours. And China’s emissions level will continue to raise, since they claim that their nation’s emissions peak will not happen until 2030.

    The legislators, who passed this bill, realize this bill will be enormously expense. That is why they are passing on decisions to Public Utility Commission and costs increases to the suppliers, to hide from the blame when these increase costs hit.

  2. If these do-gooders really wanted to cut fossil fuel use, they would enact a tax provision that allows people a 100% tax credit for energy saving modifications to homes. They would ban all jet travel into and out of Vermont.

  3. What is one to believe when it comes to the impact of the “Clean Heat Standard” on Vermonter’s pocketbooks?

    A story was published on the VTDigger last night (2/7/22) attempting to explain what the Clean heat standard is and how it works. Here’s a quote from that article:

    “Rebecca Foster, acting director of Efficiency Vermont, told VTDigger the organization is pushing the legislature to implement a standard that would keep “Vermont’s heat affordable, and in fact, would increase affordability,” she said.”

    https://vtdigger.org/2022/02/07/the-centerpiece-of-vermonts-new-climate-plan-is-a-clean-heat-standard-how-would-it-work/

    Ms. Foster tells us the Clean Heat Standard would keep: “Vermont’s heat affordable, and in fact, would increase affordability,”……..That’s the total oppose of what John McClaughry tells us in his commentary.

    So, will the Clean Heat Standard increase home and business heating oil prices or not?……This question must be answered by the Legislature and explained to the people of Vermont most of whom use fossil fuels to heat their homes and businesses. This must be done before any move is made to implement the Clean Heat Standard.

    Looks like Vermont legislature is on the cusp of another boondoggle far exceeding that of Peter Shumlin’s “single payer” fiasco.

  4. No one wants to deal with the real facts about “climate change”. The earth has gone through 5 major ice ages with little ice ages within. Of the 186 billion tons of carbon from CO2 that enter earth’s atmosphere each year from all sources, only 6 billion tons are from human activity. Approximately 90 billion tons come from biologic activity in earth’s oceans and another 90 billion tons from such sources as volcanoes and decaying land plants.
    The logical plan is not to spend money and resources to postpone another inevitable coming ice age for possibly 1 or 2 generations but to invest in the preparation for the masses to survive the inevitable.
    It is “settled science” but it is a natural, reoccurring cycle that happens on this planet. Please visit the link below.
    https://geocraft.com/WVFossils/ice_ages.html

  5. “There is always the danger that those who think alike should gravitate together into ‘coteries’ where they will henceforth encounter opposition only in the emasculated form of rumor that the outsiders say thus and thus. The absent are easily refuted, complacent dogmatism thrives, and differences of opinion are embittered by group hostility. Each group hears not the best, but the worst, that the other groups can say.”
    ― C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics

  6. The Democrats taking over the federal government in 2020, and the out-of-control spending, has and will cause huge damage to the US, from which it will be difficult to recover

    A good example of damage is the outrageous, country-destroying, “just walk-in, anybody-from-anywhere-is-welcome” southern border, to purposely change the demographics of the US in favor of Dem/Progs

    The electricity black-out problem Texas experienced, due to a cold spell a year ago, lasting just a few days, compared to FOUR years of open borders, is like a mouse to an elephant.

    It is absolutely imperative to vote these incompetent, socialistic, communistic, un-American imposters out of office in November 2022

    We have to:

    1) Turn out EN MASSE, to offset any and all election shenanigans, perpetrated by desperate Democrats, to hold on to power, plus

    2) Enough people must turn out to witness and record, on audio/video, any and all suspicious election events, AROUND THE CLOCK; give them no breathing space.

    We have to:

    1) Ban ballot drop boxes to reduce fraud opportunities

    2) Ban universal mail-in voting to reduce fraud opportunities

    3) Sanitize the registered voter lists, to eliminate counting votes of people who: 1) are dead, 2) who never existed, 3) who moved out of state, 4) who are illegal, 5) who are underage, 6) who are convicted felons, 7) who are registered, but almost never vote. Just make up a whole lot of fictitious names. and vote them as well.

    4) Ban universal ballot harvesting by shady Dem/Prog operatives, at a cost of $10/ballot, and deposit the harvested ballots in unsupervised ballot drop boxes.

    “Elected” Democrats would be seated, before any entity could find out what happened to have a proper court case, several months later

    5) In Democrat-controlled cities “vote counting” is done primarily in Democrat-dominated vote counting centers, staffed by “trusted” Democrat operatives.

    We must insist, all “vote counting centers” be staffed with an equal number of Republican and Democrat vote counters and observers.

    These are the five most egregious election system flaws, that enabled the Democrats to get “elected” in 2020, and likely in prior elections as well.

    This THIRD WORLD sordidness has to end, before it will totally ruin the US

  7. Most of these people have no relevant, hands-on experience as energy systems analysts
    Most of them are just clever talkers that provide no useful guidance to anyone.
    They are listened to by like-minded people, who also are clever talkers about zero this and that
    It amounts to just one giant, RE-echo-chamber of nonsense

    Therefore, their opinions are next to worthless, if such people comment on reforming the US and VT energy sector

    The energy used by an EFFICIENT gasoline vehicle and an EFFICIENT electric vehicle is about the same, on an A-to-Z, lifetime basis. A-to-Z means from mine to disposal.

    Electric vehicles have a life of about 8 years, at most, because by that time the battery will have lost significant capacity, which is especially noticeable in areas with cold climates, which makes an electric vehicle next to useless on cold winter days.
    Gasoline vehicles have a lifetime of about 11 years
    Most inexperienced analysts use the same lifetimes, which is invalid

    The average travel of electric vehicles is about 9,000 miles/y; for gasoline vehicles it is about 12,000 miles/y
    Most inexperienced analysts use the same mileage, which is invalid

    It is very expensive to replace the battery in a 7 to 8-y-old electric vehicle, plus pay for safe disposal of the battery
    It would be equivalent to economic insanity to go that route
    Most inexperienced analysts do not account for that cost, which is invalid

    As a result of their inexperience, those analysts conclude electric vehicles are better gasoline vetoes, etc.

    Inexperienced people, such as bureaucrats and legislators, eagerly grab on to these invalid “findings”, because they want to EXPENSIVELY ELECTRIFY EVERYTHING, paid for by already-struggling, over-regulated, over-taxed, taxpayers, ratepayers, and additional government debt.

    The net result would be electricity prices, c/kWh, at about 2 to 3 times current prices

    Your will have to show up EN MASSE in November 2022, to vote these people out, to overcome any and all vote-counting shenanigans perpetrated by Dem/Progs

    • Another item is capital cost.

      I just traded in a 2016 Subaru Outback with standard equipment, for a 2022 Subaru Outback, with about $3000 of options, such as leather seats, automatic lift gate, push button start, auto dimming mirror, etc.

      The additional payment, everything included, was $13500.

      An somewhat equivalent Tesla Model Y would have cost at least $65,000, everything included.
      “GOING ELECTRIC” is a financial, unattainable hoax for 90% of the population

  8. EXCERPT from:

    POOR ECONOMICS AND MINIMAL CO2 REDUCTION OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES IN NEW ENGLAND
    https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/poor-economics-of-electric-vehicles-in-new-england

    This article describes the efficiency of electric vehicles, EVs, and their charging loss, when charging at home and on-the-road, and the economics, when compared with efficient gasoline vehicles.

    In this article,

    Total cost of an EV, c/mile = Operating cost, c/mile + Owning cost, c/mile, i.e., amortizing the difference of the MSRPs of an EV versus an equivalent, efficient gasoline vehicle; no options, no destination charge, no sales tax, no subsidies.

    CO2 reduction of equivalent vehicles, on a lifetime, A-to-Z basis = CO2 emissions of an efficient gasoline vehicle, say 30 to 40 mpg – CO2 emissions of an EV

    SUMMARY

    Real-World Concerns About the Economics of EVs

    It may not be such a good idea to have a proliferation of EVs, because of:

    1) Their high initial capital costs; about 50% greater than equivalent gasoline vehicles.
    2) The widespread high-speed charging facilities required for charging “on the road”.
    3) The loss of valuable time when charging “on the road”.
    4) The high cost of charging/kWh, plus exorbitant penalties, when charging “on-the-road”.

    High-Mileage Hybrids a Much Better Alternative Than EVs

    The Toyota Prius, and Toyota Prius plug-in, which get up to 54 mpg, EPA combined, would:

    1) Have much less annual owning and operating costs than any EV, for at least the next ten years.
    2) Have minimal wait-times, as almost all such plug-ins would be charging at home
    3) Be less damaging to the environment, because their batteries would have very low capacity, kWh
    4) Impose much less of an additional burden on the electric grids.

    Hybrid vehicles, such as the Toyota Prius, save about the same amount of CO₂ as electric cars over their lifetime, plus:

    1) They are cost-competitive with gasoline vehicles, even without subsidies.
    2) They do not require EV chargers, do not induce range anxiety, can be refilled in minutes, instead of hours.
    3) Climate change does not care about where CO₂ comes from. Gasoline cars are only about 7% of global CO2 emissions. Replacing them with electric cars would only help just a little, on an A to Z, lifetime basis.

    “Electrify Everything”; an easily uttered slogan

    It would require:

    – Additional power plants, such as nuclear, wind, solar, hydro, bio
    – Additional grid augmentation/expansion to connect wind and solar systems, and to carry the loads for EVs and heat pumps
    – Additional battery systems to store midday solar output surges for later use, i.e., DUCK-curve management.
    – Additional command/control-orchestrating (turning off/on appliances, heat pumps, EVs, etc.) by utilities to avoid overloading distribution and high voltage electric grids regarding:

    1) Charging times of EVs and operating times of heat pumps
    2) Operating times of major appliances
    3) Demands of commercial/industrial businesses

  9. EXCERPT from:

    ELECTRIC TRANSIT AND SCHOOL BUS SYSTEMS REDUCE LITTLE CO2, ARE NOT COST-EFFECTIVE
    https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/electric-bus-systems-likely-not-cost-effective-in-vermont-at

    China has made electric buses and EVs a priority in urban areas to reduce excessive air pollution, due to: 1) coal-fired power plants, and 2) increased vehicle traffic.

    The US has much less of a pollution problem than China, except in its larger urban areas.
    The US uses much less coal, more domestic natural gas, and CO2-free nuclear is still around.

    New England has a pollution problem in its southern urban areas.
    Vermont has a minor pollution problem in Burlington and a few other urban areas.

    RE folks want to “Electrify Everything”; an easily uttered slogan

    It would require:

    – Additional power plants, such as nuclear, wind, solar, hydro, bio
    – Additional grid augmentation/expansion to connect wind and solar systems, and to carry the loads for EVs and heat pumps
    – Additional battery systems to store midday solar output surges for later use, i.e., DUCK-curve management.
    – Additional centralized, command/control/orchestrating (turning off/on appliances, heat pumps, EVs, etc.) by utilities to avoid overloading distribution and high voltage electric grids regarding:

    1) Charging times of EVs and operating times of heat pumps, and major appliances
    2) Demands of commercial/industrial businesses

    RE Folks Want More EVs and Buses Bought With “Free” Money

    RE folks drive the energy priorities of New England governments. RE folks want to use about $40 million of “free” federal COVID money and Volkswagen Settlement money to buy electric transit and school buses to deal with a minor pollution problem in a few urban areas in Vermont. RE folks urge Vermonters to buy:

    Mass Transit Buses
    Electric: $750,000 – $1,000,000 each, plus infrastructures, such as indoor parking, high-speed charging systems.
    Standard Diesel: $380,000 – $420,000; indoor parking and charging systems not required.

    School Buses
    Electric: $330,000 – $375,000, plus infrastructures
    Standard Diesel: about $100,000

    This article shows the 2 Proterra transit buses in Burlington, VT, would reduce CO2 at very high cost per metric ton, and the minor annual operating cost reduction would be overwhelmed by the cost of amortizing $million buses that last about 12 to 15 years.

    The $40 million of “free” money would be far better used to build zero-energy, and energy-surplus houses for suffering households; such housing would last at least 50 to 75 years.

    NOTE: Per Economics 101, spending huge amounts of borrowed capital on various projects that 1) have very poor financials, and 2) yield minor reductions in CO2 at high cost, is a recipe for:

    1) Low economic efficiency, and
    2) Low economic growth, on a state-wide and nation-wide scale, which would:

    – Adversely affect Vermont and US competitiveness in markets, and
    – Adversely affect living standards and 3) inhibit unsubsidized/efficient/profitable job creation.

    Real Costs of Government RE Programs Likely Will Remain Hidden

    Vermont’s government engaging in electric bus demonstration programs, financed with “free” money, likely will prove to be expensive undertakings, requiring hidden subsidies, white-washing and obfuscation.

    Lifetime spreadsheets, with 1) turnkey capital costs, 2) annual cashflows, 3) annual energy cost savings, 4) annual CO2 reductions, and 5) cost of CO2 reduction/metric ton, with all assumptions clearly stated and explained, likely will never see the light of day.

  10. EXCERPT from:

    HEAT PUMPS ARE MONEY LOSERS IN MY VERMONT HOUSE, AS THEY ARE IN ALMOST ALL NEW ENGLAND HOUSES
    https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/heat-pumps-are-money-losers-in-my-vermont-house-as-they-are-in

    I installed three heat pumps by Mitsubishi, rated 24,000 Btu/h at 47F, Model MXZ-2C24NAHZ2, each with 2 heads, each with remote control; 2 in the living room, 1 in the kitchen, and 1 in each of 3 bedrooms.
    The HPs have DC variable-speed, motor-driven compressors and fans, which improves the efficiency of low-temperature operation.
    The HPs last about 15 years. Turnkey capital cost was $24,000

    My Well-Sealed, Well-Insulated House

    The HPs are used for heating and cooling my 35-y-old, 3,600 sq ft, well-sealed/well-insulated house, except the basement, which has a near-steady temperature throughout the year, because it has 2” of blueboard, R-10, on the outside of the concrete foundation and under the basement slab, which has saved me many thousands of space heating dollars over the 35 years.

    I do not operate my HPs at 15F or below, because HPs would become increasingly less efficient with decreasing temperatures.
    The HP operating cost per hour would become greater than of my efficient propane furnace. See table 3

    High Electricity Prices

    Vermont forcing, with subsidies and/or GWSA mandates, the build-outs of expensive RE electricity systems, such as wind, solar, batteries, etc., would be counter-productive, because it would:

    1) Increase already-high electric rates and
    2) Worsen the already-poor economics of HPs (and of EVs)!!

    PART 1

    Energy Cost Reduction is Minimal

    – HP electricity consumption was from my electric bills
    – Vermont electricity prices, including taxes, fees and surcharges, are about 20 c/kWh.
    – My HPs provide space heat to 2,300 sq ft, about the same area as an average Vermont house
    – Two small propane heaters (electricity not required) provide space heat to my 1,300 sq ft basement
    – I operate my HPs at temperatures of 15F and greater; less $/h than propane
    – I operate my traditional propane system at temperatures of 15F and less; less $/h than HP

    – My average HP coefficient of performance, COP, was 2.64
    – My HPs required 2,489 kWh to replace 35% of my fuel.
    – My HPs would require 8,997 kWh, to replace 100% of my fuel.

    – The average Vermont house COP is about 3.34
    – The average Vermont house requires 2,085 kWh to replace 27.6% of its fuel, per VT-DPS/CADMUS survey. See URL

    Before HPs: I used 100 gal for domestic hot water + 250 gal for 2 stoves in basement + 850 gal for Viessmann furnace, for a total propane of 1,200 gal/y

    After HPs: I used 100 gal for DHW + 250 gal for 2 stoves in basement + 550 gal for Viessmann furnace + 2,489 kWh of electricity.

    My propane cost reduction for space heating was 850 – 550 = 300 gallon/y, at a cost of 2.339/gal = $702/y
    My displaced fuel was 100 x (1 – 550/850) = 35%, which is better than the Vermont average of 27.6%
    My purchased electricity cost increase was 2,489 kWh x 20 c/kWh = $498/y

    My energy cost savings due to the HPs were 702 – 498 = $204/y, on an investment of $24,000!!

  11. EXCERPT from:

    CHEVY BOLT CATCHES FIRE WHILE CHARGING ON DRIVEWAY IN VERMONT
    https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/chevy-bolt-catches-fire-while-charging-on-driveway-in-vermont

    THETFORD; July 2, 2021 — A fire destroyed a 2019 Chevy Bolt, 66 kWh battery, battery pack cost about $10,000, or 10000/66 = $152/kWh, EPA range 238 miles, owned by state Rep. Tim Briglin, D-Thetford, Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Technology.

    He had been driving back and forth from Thetford, VT, to Montpelier, VT, with his EV, about 100 miles via I-89
    He had parked his 2019 Chevy Bolt on the driveway, throughout the winter, per GM recall of Chevy Bolts
    He had plugged his EV into a 240-volt charger.
    His battery was at about 10% charge at start of charging, at 8 PM, and he had charged it to 100% charge at 4 AM; 8 hours of charging.
    Charging over such a wide range is detrimental for the battery. However, it is required for “range-driving”, i.e., making long trips. See Note

    NOTE: Range-driving is an absolute no-no, except on rare occasions, as it would 1) pre-maturely age/damage the battery, 2) reduce range sooner, 3) increase charging loss, and 4) increase kWh/mile, and 5) increase the chance of battery fires.

    Charging at 32F or less
    Li-ions would plate out on the anode each time when charging, especially when such charging occurred at battery temperatures of 32F or less.

    Here is an excellent explanation regarding charging at 32F or less.

    Fire in Driveway

    Firefighters were called to Briglin’s house on Tucker Hill Road, around 9 AM Thursday.
    Investigators from the Vermont Department of Public Safety Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit determined:

    1) The fire started in a compartment in the back of the passenger’s side of the vehicle
    2) It was likely due to an “electrical failure”. See Note

    NOTE: Actually, it likely was one or more battery cells shorting out, which creates heat, which burns nearby items, which creates a fire that is very hard to extinguish. See Appendix

    GM Recall of Chevy Bolts

    In 2020, GM issued a worldwide recall of 68,667 Chevy Bolts, all 2017, 2018 and 2019 models, plus, in 2021, a recall for another 73,000 Bolts, all 2020, 2021, and 2022 models.
    GM set aside $1.8 BILLION to replace battery modules, or 1.8 BILLION/(68,667 + 73,000) = $12,706/EV.

    Owners were advised not to charge them in a garage, and not to leave them unattended while charging, which may take up to 8 hours; what a nuisance!
    I wonder what could happen during rush hour traffic, or in a parking garage, or at a shopping mall, etc.
    Rep. Briglin heeded the GM recall by not charging in his garage. See URLs

    NOTE:
    – Cost of replacing the battery packs of 80,000 Hyundai Konas was estimated at $900 million, about $11,000 per vehicle
    – EV batteries should be charged from 20 to 80%, to achieve minimal degradation and long life, plus the charging loss is minimal in that range
    – Charging EVs from 0 to 20% charge, and from 80 to 100% charge:

    1) Uses more kWh AC from the wall outlet per kWh DC charged into the battery, and
    2) Is detrimental to the battery.
    3) Requires additional kWh for cooling the battery while charging.

    – EV batteries must never be charged, when the battery temperature is less than 32F; if charged anyway, the plating out of Li-ions on the anode would permanently damage the battery.

  12. EXCERPT from:

    HEAT PUMPS REDUCE VERY LITTLE CO2 IN MY VERMONT HOUSE, AS THEY DO IN ALMOST ALL NEW ENGLAND HOUSES
    https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/heat-pumps-are-money-losers-in-my-vermont-house-as-they-are-in

    I installed three heat pumps by Mitsubishi, rated 24,000 Btu/h at 47F, Model MXZ-2C24NAHZ2, each with 2 heads, each with remote control; 2 in the living room, 1 in the kitchen, and 1 in each of 3 bedrooms.

    The HPs have DC variable-speed, motor-driven compressors and fans, which improves the efficiency of low-temperature operation.
    The HPs last about 15 years. Turnkey capital cost was $24,000. GMP, the electric utility, provided a $2,400 subsidy.

    My Well-Sealed, Well-Insulated House

    The HPs are used for heating and cooling my 35-y-old, 3,600 sq ft, well-sealed/well-insulated house, except the basement, which has a near-steady temperature throughout the year, because it has 2” of blueboard, R-10, on the outside of the concrete foundation and under the basement slab, which has saved me many thousands of space heating dollars over the 35 years.

    Operating HPs at Low Temperatures

    On 22 January, 2022, the temperature was -20F at my house. As a test, I operated my kitchen heat pump. After about 15 minutes, there was lukewarm air coming from the wall-mounted unit, but it was much less warm, than it would be at, say 15F. That lukewarm air did not heat my kitchen.

    Conclusion: The name cold-climate HP is merely an advertising gimmick. HPs are economic down to about 15F in Vermont.
    I do not operate my HPs at 15F or below, because they would become increasingly less efficient with decreasing temperatures.
    The HP operating cost per hour would become greater than of my efficient propane furnace. See table 3

    The Vermont state government wants to electrify-everything (heat pumps, electric cars, and transit and school buses, no matter the very high turnkey capital cost. The operating cost savings are minimal, as proven by a VT-DPS survey of operating data of 77 existing HP installations.

    The only beneficiary is Canadian-owned GMP, which would sell oodles more high-priced electricity. Everyone else gets screwed, while “fighting” climate change, a la Don-Quixote tilting at wind mills.

    If you have a wood stove or pellet stove, by all means use it, because it is the lowest-cost way to space heat houses, including standard Vermont energy-hog houses. A wood-burning fireplace has negative efficiency, i.e., is sucks more heat out of a space, than it adds heat to a space. Do not use it at low temperatures. See URLs

  13. One runaway fire out west negates bankrupting all Vermonters heating driving funds..
    This leftist effort to make them feel as if their doing something isn’t reason enough
    to be “climate taxing” anything… Fire all these idiots who think 0.03% of the worlds carbon
    problem will be making any difference at all…

  14. Leadership begins at the top. It would be easier to get others to follow your lead if you first
    converted ALL state buildings to geothermal, including jails , penitentiaries, office buildings, capital buildings, state garages , police barracks and court houses , made ALL government vehicles including school buses run on Hydrogen
    fuel cells.
    Then we can talk about the populous.
    Carrot or maul?

    • I like where you’re going, but that would just cost us taxpayers an enormous amount of money to let the state show and brag about its wokeness. Given their past performances, the legislature may introduce a bill to do just that. Money is no object, only appearances.
      We could reduce the state’s minimal carbon footprint and save money by limiting heat in all state buildings to 60 degrees and no air conditioning. Any honest legislature preaching the climate change gospel will support these simple, sane and cost-effective solutions.

  15. McClaughry, Roper, Fleming, Post and others have repeatedly pointed out technical and economically costly flaws in the Global Warming Solutions Act and the Climate Council’s climate action plan. The thinking of these writers has won over many Vermonters who have expressed agreement with them thousands of times over many years by commenting on TrueNorthReports, VermontDaily Chronicles and even on Vtdigger, when commenting was allowed.

    Even Gov. Scott demonstrated his agreement by vetoing the GWSA. Following Gov Scott, a vast majority of northeastern state Governor’s have shown agreement by abandoning the disastrous TCI.

    Who we have never heard from in response to the warnings from McClaughry, etal are the Vermont legislators who created and promoted the Global Warming Solutions Act and resulting climate action mandates, the climate activists organizations, renewable energy industry and lobbyists, Bill McKibben and even Bernie Sanders.

    It’s more than reasonable to expect that the creators and promotors of the climate action plans would be speaking out loudly telling the world how wrong McClaughry and the others are regarding the major flaws in climate change plans…….But not a word from them……Total silence……..Silence from Speaker Krowinski, Senate Pro-Temp Balint, VPRIG, CLF, David Blittersdorf and the renewable energy industry.

    Why the silence from the crowd that created and promoted the climate action plans?…….It can only be that they know that McClaughry, etal are correct. This silence is very bad for all Vermonters, but it seems the creators and promotors could care less…….So corrupt……So dishonest to remain silent when so much is at stake.

    • These souless, ya-ya-less, sycophants of fascist tyranny are bunkered in AGAINST the (to borrow a Canadian euphemism gone viral) Fringe… which is the 99%…because we STILL outnumber them, ten to one. They are AFRAID OF US, and a busily bunkering themselves with legislation that their handlers tell them will protect them with Nuremberg 2.0 comes to town, and ALL of the charade for profit comes tumbling down.

      Our legislators are ya-ya-less puppets, Dominion-voting machined in in most cases, and the endless parade of MORE laws, more restrictions, MORE control – in VERMONT… I mean geesh… who came to our State said is was BROKEN?

      We WERE one of the most self-sufficient states in the country. MOST Vermonters burned wood to stay warm for one simple reason: its an available resource you and your neighbors can harvest yourself, and…its RADIANT HEAT. It KEEPS YOU WARM at 30 below zero.
      Vermont’s population density is about half of NH, next door, but Vermont is the threat as citizens give up their backup woodstoves for made in China technology that is provided by child labor in Africa, and slave labor in China, Taiwan and Korea…but hey…that Carbon Tax!

      This is just so STUPID.
      And legislators playing this fake greenwashing game LOOK stupid to us Vermonters.
      Just because the presstitutes make it look like Vermonters support this insanity, we do not.
      And those presstitutes should be held accountable for pushing these communist narratives that are enslaving generations of Vermonters to the tyranny of fascist utilties remaking Vermont in their dependent dystopian Daddy knows best hell.

      Vermont has made a pact with Evil, thanks to our ‘leaders’.
      Only Vermonters can refuse to play, and do what we’ve always done before now: what we know is RIGHT and GOOD, Gods work.

      Fire was first gift to humanity. Our government wants to outsource that to dependency – pay to play, to stay warm.

      Its just stupid as Vermont just does not have the polluting capacity for consideration at top operation levels – so we SELL that credit. To states that have never been independent.
      Making us look good playing with the big boys.
      I don’t want to BE like NY or Connecticut or PA.
      I like my woodstove, my wood heat, the energy it takes to cut, split, stack and carry that wood to my stove. I know I am not the guilty party polluting the planet.
      Nor is any woodstove burner in Vermont.
      Stop outsourcing our independence.

      Oh, but the CCP wants us in utter slavery.

    • Peter et al, That the silence of our legislators is bad, corrupt, dishonest, and careless is beyond reproach. It’s a certainty. The question is – can anything be done about it other than identifying and complaining about the malfeasance?

      Typically, voting for more reasonable representation is the cure. But with the dystopian majority of Vermont’s electorate, our democratic process has devolved into the prospect of two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.

      The actual problem has advanced far beyond the incompetence of our legislators to understand the topic, regardless of where one stands on this issue – or on any issue, in fact. They are, after all, profiting from their decisions at the expense of Vermont taxpayers. The question is, how to affect reasonable debate and accountability?

      This is becoming especially poignant now that legislators (and all government workers in fact) on BOTH sides of the aisle, are circling their wagons while defining this debate as ‘threatening speech’, perhaps worthy of conviction to five years in prison.

      Again, I’ll cite Milton Friedman’s admonition that “The combination of economic and political power in the same hands is a sure recipe for tyranny.”

      If we can’t figure out how to affect accountability, another admonition comes to mind:

      ”When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

      We have, I believe, one more chance to affect reasonable dialog and change – the upcoming November mid-term elections. Failing that, ‘Katie bar the door’.

      • Looks like Vermont Republican Party Chairman Paul Dame and his team have their marching orders……..Many more Republican candidates needed for both local and state elective office this November.

        Time to send the Party a check……It’s needed now more than ever.

        • I’ll consider sending a check to the specific candidate who demonstrate to me their worthiness. So-called Republican legislators like Joe Benning, so far at least, don’t qualify. If Paul Dame wants to get the job done, have potential candidates engage on this forum and on VDC. The sooner the better. And if they can’t stand the heat, they should leave the kitchen.

  16. Thanks, Mr. McClaughry, for this commentary which cuts through the smoke and mirrors. It is the height of irresponsibility to try to address a problem that needs national and international attention with Vermont stand-alone, impossible to achieve, yet mandated action. The result, more harm than good.

    The key to preventing such damaging legislative overreach is in giving a Phil Scott a way to sustain his vetoes. A net gain of 5 seats in the House in the next election is what is needed.

    • There is no real problem with CO2-driven climate change. It’s all a fabrication and a gross confusion of causation. A simple example: Miami Beach isn’t flooding because sea level rise is accelerating. It’s flooding because there are more buildings and impervious area built on former mangrove swamps that are subsiding and draining into the Biscayne Bay, which is a big saucer. A look at long-term tidal gauges throughout the world (NOAA) show no acceleration in sea level rise. It doesn’t matter what the satellites say if the most direct real-world evidence contradicts them.

      Look up John Christy’s testimonies to the US Senate. In one– I think it was 2016– he shows a graph of satellite and balloon tropospheric temperatures plotted against model predictions. For the important tropical troposphere at 300 hPa (the predicted “hot spot”) the models are wrong. Nothing is happening.

      And then we have clear evidence of pseudoscience in the 2017 paper by Hughes et al– dozens of authors– telling us that the Great Barrier Reef is dying because of climate change. No, it is not. See here https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/04/05/falling-sea-level-the-critical-factor-in-2016-great-barrier-reef-bleaching/ Read the references, too– actually look them up and read the papers. Add to them Wolanski, 2017, “The Gulf of Carpentaria heated Torres Strait and the Northern Great Barrier Reef during the 2016 mass coral bleaching event” which explains in clear detail the current flows driven by El Nino, not CO2 warming, that led to GBR bleaching. Then read Cinner, 2017, “Bright spots among the world’s coral reefs” which tells us that supposed ocean heating by CO2 has nothing to do with coral degradation, which is real. Finally, find the YouTube video “DEAD? DYING? or DISTORTED TRUTH? – THE GREAT BARRIER REEF” 2017, which explains how the GBR is doing fine after the 2016 bleaching event. The dying of the GBR due to CO2 warming is pure fiction, yet repeated by dozens of scientists who should know better than to confuse a naturally-repeating even– El Nino, which lowers sea level in the western Pacific and hence exposes shallow corals to increased heating– with CO2 warming. The evidence that this is what really happened in 2016 is beyond dispute, yet dozens of scientists won’t even mention this natural fact and its well-known effects on the waters of the western Pacific.

      Sorry, but this nonsense just has to stop. They’re planning to built-back-better the Great Reset on the back of such fictions as this, so that “necessary” measures can be installed to save us all. We’ll have to do this for the greater good, you see.

      Throw enough money towards grants to find climate change and its guaranteed that it’ll be found and careers will be built and defended on it.

  17. Its time for the green vests to come out and for citizens to become a constant presence in the committee rooms and the halls of the State House, just as they did to defeat the wind developers in 2016.

    To quote a recent commentor elsewhere in True North Reports, “When I was in grade school, I learned that government was there to maintain our freedoms and make life better. We had Representatives to protect us, not Masters to dictate to and punish us.”

    • A rather daunting task to undertake. To get a legislator to listen to a dissenting constituent is difficult in normal times- now with Vermont State government hiding behind the cloak of Covid evangelism and the legislature using “hybrid” (zoom and in person) meetings, only the lobbyist with a fat wallet will get face time with a legislator. We’ve seen where this gets Vermont’s citizens- as we await the fate of climate rules, imposed by a legislature unaccountable to the public in 2021.
      We no longer have a government that will maintain our freedoms, nor representatives to protect us. We have elitists ensconced in our government that do indeed see fit to dictate and punish, at the direction of skilled lobbyists and influencers.

  18. Perhaps we should sue the legislature for their breach of Article 9 of the Vermont Constitution?

    “That …. previous to any law being made to raise a tax, the purpose for which it is to be raised ought to appear evident to the Legislature to be of more service to community than the money would be if not collected.”

  19. If we can’t beat the democrats then I choose to leave the state Instead of watching the demise. Good bye Vermont.

    • Yes Diane – I hear you. Have come to loathe all things VT as the bright and cheery media such as WCAX and VPR along with the rest of the Pravda which I stopped watching a decade ago or more is mere window dressing and facade for the dark and evil that has overtaken our state. My heart is in imperfect NH and cannot wait to leave. VT is an abusive spouse which I can no longer tolerate. Live Free Or Die

  20. All for a non-existent problem that is being blamed on man made CO2 being the cause of the Earth’s warming. The geologically recent man made contributions may be only as high as 25% leaving the 75% to natural causes and variation. The Earth has been hotter than current many times in the past, all the while atmospheric CO2 has been on a historically decreasing trend towards the death level of 150 ppm. The world would be a better place with MORE CO2 to aid more plant growth = food for the world (….greenhouse operators ADD CO2 to over 1000 ppm for increased yields). Who wants to go back to colder climate without plant growth? What’s the optimum temperature for humans anyways?

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