McClaughry: Jon Margolis on GWSA

By John McClaughry

Vermont Digger’s liberal political columnist Jon Margolis recently weighed in on the recently enacted — over the Governor’s veto — Global Warming Solutions Act.

Here’s the interesting part:

“But while Scott said he shared the Legislature’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Margolis wrote, “what the bill should have done was deliver ‘actual global warming solutions.’ … [Scott’s] right to point out that the law doesn’t do that. … Scott and the Legislature seem to have the same reason for doing just about everything but proposing actual solutions because those solutions are expensive and/or unpopular.”

The real solutions, Margolis says, “are simple: increase the cost of driving by a new tax on gasoline; subsidize electric cars, increase public transportation, and pay people to put more insulation and better windows in their houses. Everything in that list costs money except for raising the tax on gasoline. Any legislator who votes to raise the tax on gasoline risks losing the next election. That’s why the Global Warming Solutions Act provides no solutions for global warming.”

He adds: “From that perspective, both passage of the law and Scott’s veto can be seen as ways to avoid what everyone knows has to be done but no one wants to do, at least not now.”

Well, not everybody believes that driving carbon dioxide emissions down by 80% at enormous economic cost will have any effect at all on global warming. And most voters have probably figured that out.

John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.

10 thoughts on “McClaughry: Jon Margolis on GWSA

  1. The liberal Dems are not evil? They set in motion an autocratic agency that cannot be controlled by Vermont laws and which they can step back from responsibility of its oppression, and they aren’t evil?
    This climate change and CO2 reduction is all about the renewable energy industry fleecing the US public. If any of the legislature believes it is about saving the planet, it is because they have been indoctrinated to look the other way, to appear sincerely engaged in doing A”GOOD”, work. Those politicos are getting something in return for their activism.
    The Dems hammer Scott saying that he offers no solutions but the neither do they. Anyone can throw down a worthless goal that is absurdly unattainable. I can do that! Anyone can throw out fake info to justify their plans. In fact, both of those seem to be very much in vogue these days. Politicos seem to believe that whatever they say, is automatically truth, because their followers will automatically believe it. And, anyone who doesn’t is branded a heretic, denier, instigater of trouble, even unpatriotic.
    So, you think the liberal Dems are not evil!


    California: California has had a GWSA law since 2006, which resulted in:

    – Rapid increases of electric rates and gasoline prices
    – Huge DUCK-curves, due to midday solar electricity surges
    – Unwise/untimely/political/ideological shutdown of gas plants, which resulted in rolling blackouts, when, during a multi-day heat wave, solar disappearing in late-afternoon/early-evening (DURING PEAK HOURS), and not reappearing until mid-morning THE NEXT DAY, while all that time wind was minimal.
    – A host of rules, regulations, taxes, fees and surcharges, and penalties to enforce behavior modification programs

    With high levels of weather-dependent wind and solar, huge storage (multiple TWh) would be required.
    That storage would cost several trillion dollars, if materials could be found to build such capacity. It would need to cover:

    1) Single and multi-day heat waves over large areas
    2) Wind/solar lulls throughout the year, as frequently occur in New England
    3) Short-term and seasonal variations.

    The ADDITIONAL environmental impact on millions of acres with wind and solar systems, would be enormous all over the US.

    It would be much better to build millions of PASSIVHAUS-style buildings all over the US.
    They would need only 1/3 the energy of the current energy hogs.

    Vermont: For Vermont, the only thing that makes any sense is to stop “emulating” California.
    Vermont should immediately scrap GWSA, and concentrate on:

    1) Energy conservation
    2) Energy efficiency
    3) Building net-zero-energy, and energy-surplus houses and other buildings, by the thousands, each year. See Appendix
    4) Provide incentives to buy vehicles that get more than 35 mpg, EPA combined; the more above the limit, the greater the incentive.
    5) Charge annual fees, paid at time of registration, on existing and new vehicles that get less than 25 mpg, EPA combined; the more below the limit, the greater the fee.

    The above 4 items would save money for Vermonters, and make the state economy more competitive
    Most of the other energy measures are just expensively subsidized hogwash and behavior modifications that would not make one iota of difference regarding climate change.

  3. Margolis is an extreme leftist.
    He is glad GWSA passes, because he is brain-washed mind thinks the 23-member Vermont Council will think up SOLUTIONS regarding global warming.

    He must aware, Vermont is just a flea on an elephant’s rear.
    He must be aware, the GWSA law will benefit only the RE companies, because demand of their products and services will be MANDATED FOR DECADES.

    Here is an example of turnkey capital cost of Phase 1 (CO2 reduction to at least 26% below 2005), which is to be completed by January 1, 2025.

    Excerpt from this article.
    Make sure to read the entire article to get the complete picture.

    GWSA-Required Gross Emissions Reductions and Cost

    Phase 1
    26%+ below 2005, i.e., (1 – 0.27) x 10.22 = 7.46 MMt, by Jan. 1, 2025, to “meet Paris”
    The Council would take about a year to develop plans, which means most of 2021 would have elapsed before any action.
    The actual CO2 reduction would be from 9.02, at end 2018 (latest numbers) to 7.46, Jan. 1, 2025, or 1.56 MMt, during the years 2022, 2023, and 2024, effectively a 3-y period.
    The turnkey capital cost would be about $6.32 billion
    The CO2 reduction appears to be a physical and financial impossibility.
    See table 1A and Note.

    The EAN plan (see below) lists the measures required to reduce CO2 from 9.76, in 2016 to 7.46, in 2025, for a reduction of 2.28 MMt.
    That CO2 reduction has an estimated capital cost of at least $9.25 billion. See table 1
    The estimated capital cost of Phase 1 would be about 1.56/2.28 x $9.25 billion = $6.32 billion.

    Unfortunately, the EAN plan is based on flawed analyses, as shown below.
    EAN would need many more heat pumps and electric vehicles to achieve its CO2 reductions
    The turnkey capital cost would increase to at least $13.5 billion. See table 1A
    Phase 1 capital cost would increase to 1.56/2.28 x $13.5 billion = $9.24 billion, during the years 2022, 2023, and 2024, effectively a 3-y period.

    Phase 2
    40%+ below 1990, i.e., (1 – 0.40) x 8.59 = 5.15 MMt, by Jan. 1, 2030
    The CO2 reduction would be 7.46, Jan 1, 2025 – 5.15, Jan. 1, 2030 = 2.31 MMt, during the 5-y period

    Phase 3
    80%+ below 1990, i.e., (1 – 0.80) x 8.59 = 1.72 MMt, by January 1, 2050
    The CO2 reduction would be 5.15, Jan. 1, 2030 – 1.72, Jan. 1 2050 = 3.43 MMt, during the 20-y period

  4. The sky is falling, the sky is falling……..Again.

    The boondoggle known as GWSA, is just that, Vermont’s effort on this will literally
    do nothing in the ” Global ” scheme of things with this feel good nonsense, but it
    will cause Vermonter’s finanical difficulties.

    They don’t care, it’s all about the agenda. So to all the Al Gores and other elites that
    are promoting this rhetoric, park your ” Lear Jets ” and maybe we’ll take you seriously.

    Wake up Vermont, boot these fools out with there ” Look at us ” attitude !!…..Pathetic.

    • When in Fifth grade in the 50’s we were hounded about
      the disaster of the coming of the terrible Ice Age.

      Wisdoms of the Aged ;< }

      True, Doug Richmond

  5. Raising the tax on gasoline doesn’t cost money? Cost whose money? Taxes will have to pay for every solution and taxes cost the working citizens money. Including the tax on gasoline. What, Mr. Margolis, exempts THAT tax from costing the people who pay it? Standard of living goes down, cash for elective purchases is reduced, stores, restaurants, entertainment sales (and the tax revenue they generate) go down. And the theory that man can control climate is not only unproven, it is a dogmatic religion whose imposed “truths” are doctrinal not veridical. Biden’s “We accept truth over facts.” If you question that it’s a religion, watch how its believers demonize the faithless and refuse to debate them. One reason given is that debate would confuse people with contradictory facts. Like Galileo and the heliocentric solar system.

    • Francisco,
      Anytime money is extracted from the private sector by government, invariably most of it wasted.

      This due to bureaucrats not having any business sense.
      They are not evil people.
      They do mean well.

      But somehow the outcome of their programs is underwhelming, and the funds to get such minimal results are exorbitant.

      Just look at all the energy programs Vermont has.
      The net result of them has been an INCREASE IN CO2 over at least 20 years, after spending $billions of dollars over these years.

      A similar cast of characters want to DOUBLE DOWN to spend tens $billion dollars and likely will have another measly outcome.

      The best government, is the least government

      • “Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm; but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.” T. S. Eliot

  6. “Well, not everybody believes that driving carbon dioxide emissions down by 80% at enormous economic cost will have any effect at all on global warming. And most voters have probably figured that out.”
    We will find out in a month.

  7. It would be nice, if Margolis said upfront, GWSA is a hoax, because there is no way Vermont can find and implement any global warming SOLUTION.

    It is sheer misguided HUTZPAH to even think along those lines.

    A few years ago, some know-nothing folks were advocating Vermont to be ENERGY INDEPENDENT.

    For starters,
    Vermont would have to disconnect from the NE grid.
    Vermont would no longer import any goods.
    ALL GOODS would have to be made with local materials and local energy.

    The absurdity of the idea must have sank in, because no one is again proposing Vermont becomes energy independent

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