McClaughry: PUC, not the legislature, to set heat standard tax rates

By John McClaughry

Matt Cota of the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association recently sent out its weekly bulletin to its hundred-plus members, the people who bring fuel oil and propane to keep you from freezing in Vermont winters. A major topic was the clean heat standard bill (S.715) that has passed the House and is now in the Senate.

Matt Cota, executive director of the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association

Says Matt: “The clean heat standard would raise the cost of fossil fuels used for heat. We have no idea how much it will cost. The legislature does not set the rate. The three appointed members of the Vermont Public Utility Commission set the rate.”

That last point I have hammered on before. The hidden tax on your heating fuel will be set not by your legislators, who you can hold accountable at election time, but by three unaccountable strangers who sit on the Public Utility Commission.

How much can they force your fuel dealers to pay in the never ending but futile war against the Menace of Climate Change? As much as they need to, to get you to stop buying fuel that when burned produces that awful carbon dioxide.

What can you do about the higher cost of heating fuel, that the clean heat standard will pass on to you through the fuel dealers, who are the designated fall guys for this program?” Nothing. You don’t vote for the Public Utility Commission members. They can do whatever they want.

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

4 thoughts on “McClaughry: PUC, not the legislature, to set heat standard tax rates

  1. Again, this is the way Vermont politics works. These people were ‘appointed’ by elected officials.

    “Margaret Cheney was appointed to the Vermont Public Utility Commission in 2013 by Governor Peter Shumlin and was reappointed by Governor Phil Scott in 2020.”

    And remember too, Ms. Cheney also happens to be Peter Welch’s wife.

    What is there here about cronyism that no one understands? The ‘Deep State’ can only be thwarted when it finally bankrupts itself, … and, unfortunately, all the rest of us too along with them.

  2. It doesn’t matter to me which three stooges are on the PUC. The fact is it was the D’s and P’s that created this mess. As long as the Socialist Left has a majority in the legislature they can be held responsible for the higher price of heating fuels. But, if there aren’t enough votes to get rid of these Lefties what should one do? Go broke trying to heat your home? Freeze to death? Or, move?

  3. This is so sad to me. As a Vermonter relocated to Littleton, NH I bemoan the death of governmental sanity of my home state. This is another chapter in the Progressive Socialism book of governance started years ago Gov. Kunin and ramped up by Shumlin and, of course, Bernie and all the subsequent legislators that somehow floated to the top of the polls. For some unknown reason (to me) these folks love the idea of faceless governance by appointees. God help Vermont.

    • They ‘… floated to the top of the polls’ by bribing a select few with taxpayer money.

      God can’t help Vermont. Only the voters can help themselves and, only then, help Vermont.

      “In case of a loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks above your seat will deploy, please place the mask first and then assist your child or other passengers”.

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