By John McClaughry
I took some time last week to work through the photo book of registered lobbyists at the Vermont State House, with a particular eye for the number of them announced as working for “climate change” legislation.
I focused on just four organizations battling for more climate change legislation, although there are several more lobbyists employed by contract lobbyists like the Necrason Group and the Nature Conservancy who could reasonably be included.
The four lobby groups I selected were Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG), the Vermont Natural Resources Council (VNRC), the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), and Bill McKibben’s climate action group, 350.org.
Here’s the count: VPIRG registered 13 lobbyists, VNRC registered 14, CLF registered four, and 350.org registered two. Total from these four: 33 lobbyists.
How much do these groups spend to influence our legislators? Of the top three, VPIRG spent $119,916, making them the ninth biggest spender among all lobby groups. VNRC spent $97,973. CLF, which is eager to go to court to enforce the Global Warming Solutions Act that all of these groups battled fiercely for, spent $52,519. The total for these three lobby groups: $270,408.
To put this into perspective, how many lobbyists are working to protect the taxpayer, electric ratepayer, and property owner? Zero. How much was spent for those interests? Zero.
Now you know why you are overtaxed and overregulated by state government.
John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.