By John McClaughry
Since my distaste for the unAffordable Heat Act has been vigorously demonstrated over the past two years, I naturally attract critics who are appalled at my views on that subject.
Last month I explained how the unAffordable Heat Act included a special sweet deal for Vermont Gas Systems, a regulated utility skilled in working the legislature to its advantage
This prompted a Caledonian Record reader, who I won’t name, to offer a rebuttal. He wrote of my argument that VGS will pocket a ton of corporate welfare with its renewable natural gas “is hard to take seriously.” Oh, and why is that so? According to my indignant critic, it’s because the “five major fossil fuel companies made profits of $200 billion in 2022.”
I patiently explained that the profits of the fossil fuel companies had nothing whatever to do with the corporate welfare scheme that VGS slipped into Vermont’s unAffordable Heat Act. I thought I had gone to some lengths to explain how VGS “will earn marketable Public Utility Commission credits by claiming to deliver ‘renewable natural gas,’ almost all from upstate New York landfills and manure treatment plants.”
Several Vermont environmental groups, led by Vermonters for a Clean Environment, have blown the whistle on this corporate welfare scheme.
I am always responsive to a well argued, fact-based rebuttal of my point of view, but very rarely encounter one. This reader’s was certainly not one.
John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.