Paul Dame: The future of fossil fuels

This commentary is by Paul Dame, chair of the Vermont GOP.

This year one of the most celebrated Christmas gifts for thousands of Vermonters was the restoration of their electricity. By some estimations more than one in 10 Vermonters were without power after a severe winter storm swept much of the country, including the northeast. On Christmas Day trucks were still on the road working to restore power to every last mile in rural Vermont. Several workers came in from out of state to help Vermonters instead of staying home with their own families on Christmas Day. We owe them all a great debt of our gratitude.

Paul Dame, chairman of the Vermont GOP

It was a stark reminder to us all about the important role that fossil fuels still play in our economy and our everyday life — and their critical importance in emergencies. Many Vermonters prepared for the power outage by stocking up some fuel for their generators so that they could keep their refrigerators cold and their bedrooms warm. Fossil fuels still play a unique role in a diversified energy portfolio, because in emergency situations, like when the supply chain of electrical power has been disrupted, fossil fuels are still the one form of energy that can be most easily stored and transported.

Most power outages in Vermont happen under these same conditions — a winter storm sends snow or ice-laden trees crashing to the ground, occasionally though critical power lines. During the summer certain southern-facing houses might be able to generate enough energy to power themselves with a solar array — but in the winter most homes simply do not receive enough hours of sunlight in a day to meet their own power needs. So we can’t solve this problem by putting solar panels on every roof in Vermont.

Regardless, the vision that Progressive Democrats have for the future means that homes would require far more power than they need today. In 12 years it will be illegal for most Vermonters to buy any new gas or diesel-powered cars or trucks. With many Vermont homes running two vehicles, that would be a significantly greater burden on home electricity needs. The hope is that electricity might be cheaper or less volatile than buying gasoline — but it might not. The one thing that is certain is that it will put a greater burden on our infrastructure and require a significant increase in power generation. How we produce that is a topic for another day.

Even if we can manage to make that massive switch, the problem still comes when we have a severe winter storm. This weekend even Vermonters who lost power were able to get into their internal combustion cars and drive to a family member’s home, or go to a hotel with power, or run to the gas station when the generator was running low. And every utility truck that came from out of state needed the same fueling infrastructure. Vermont households were more resilient because we don’t have to get all of our energy needs from just our home electrical system. As inconvenient as losing power might have been, losing one’s mobility in this scenario can become downright dangerous.

Republicans need to accept the fact that we are moving towards a more electrified future. Things like electric heat pumps and electric cars are being supported by consumers in the marketplace, and they make sense for many people. But we also have a responsibility to draw attention to the perils of the radical left’s extreme commitment to an out-right ban on fossil fuels in the future.

While the Progressive left is chanting “keep it in the ground” and leaning hard with their thumb on the scale to produce their preferred outcome, which is in line with their largest donors, Republicans have to find the reasonable path forward that allows every Vermont to have access to the energy that is most appropriate for their own use and situation — in both good times and bad. We need an energy plan that is both efficient and resilient. This is part of what Republicans are working towards when we talk about an “all of the above” energy policy that puts power back into the hand of the people instead of government bureaucrats.

Image courtesy of Bruce Parker/TNR

13 thoughts on “Paul Dame: The future of fossil fuels

  1. Funny our gas prices are 30 to 60 cents higher than the entire east coast I just drove.

    Crony capitalism is the brother to socialism. Vermont, will not be affordable because between the marxist pigs and the crony capitalists, there is no money left over. In retail they talk about “shrink” aka theft. Some systems favor the consumer, rigged systems tend to favor those doing the rigging.

    Look on VERMONT digger, they are celebrating balaint going to Washington, but they missed the story, cheapest purchase of a congresswoman, bought by corrupt money!

    Instead for some reason what she does in her bedroom matters more than her ethic or understanding of our REPUBLIC.

    Where is the GOP on this little oversight.

  2. Global Holiday Chaos: Long Queues as Tesla Drivers Overwhelm Charge Points
    Eric Worrall

    Tesla fans all over the world are learning the hard way they should have bought a hybrid, or a second vehicle.

    From Britain;

    Tesla owners’ fury at Christmas electric car chaos: Drivers demand more charging stations after the UK’s 6,712 rapid charge points for 420,000 electric vehicles leaves people waiting for THREE HOURS
    Motorists say more charging points are needed to cater for the electric cars
    Vehicles were logjammed in Hertfordshire, Cumbria, Westmorland and Telford
    The queues came as millions took to the roads to get home for the festive period

    Are you a Tesla driver who was stuck? Email

    PUBLISHED: 20:51 AEDT, 29 December 2022 | UPDATED: 02:40 AEDT, 30 December 2022

    Electric car drivers have called for more charging points to be installed across the UK after some Tesla owners were left queuing for three hours.
    Chaos engulfed the electric motoring network as demand appeared to outstrip supply in come areas.
    According to data from Zap Map there are currently 6712 rapid and ultra-rapid charging devices, across locations in the UK catering for the 420,000 plus cars.
    Members of a Facebook group called ‘Tesla Owners Club UK’ expressed their frustration at the queues.

    Read more:

    From the USA:

    Photos showed Tesla Supercharger stations faced long lines during holiday travel, revealing a big hurdle for EV makers
    Mary Meisenzahl
    Dec 6, 2019, 4:27 AM

    As electric vehicles become more common, access to charging stations can increasingly result in long lines.
    Tesla owners posted videos and photos of long lines and broken chargers at Tesla Supercharger stations on social media around Thanksgiving.
    These complaints indicate that Tesla and other electric vehicle manufacturers will have to build more charging stations, and convince customers that they’re reliably available before the cars really take hold, Business Insider transportation reporter Mark Matousek wrote.
    Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel times of the year, and some Tesla and other electric vehicle owners faced extra inconveniences when it came time to charge their vehicles.
    Tesla owners can typically do most of their charging at home, but at certain points demand spikes, according to Karl Brauer of Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book, via Business Insider transportation reporter Mark Matousek. One of those times is around holiday travel when road trips are more common and people would need to stop to recharge.
    Like other electric vehicle companies, Tesla is expanding its charging network, although apparently not fast enough to prevent long waits over the holiday.

    One California charging station had a line down the block of cars waiting to charge.

    Read more:

    From Australia;
    Tesla chaos strikes: Long Christmas holiday queues for charging station reveals the harsh reality of owning an electric vehicle in Australia
    Dozen Teslas seen waiting to recharge at charging bay in Wodonga, Victoria
    A long queue of Teslas were also seen in a carpark in Coffs Harbour, NSW
    Many blasted the lack of infrastructure set up to meet demand of EVs in Australia

    Do you know more? Email

    PUBLISHED: 13:33 AEDT, 29 December 2022 | UPDATED: 12:51 AEDT, 30 December 2022

    Australian Tesla drivers have been forced to wait in 90-minute queues at charging stations as thousands take to the roads over the holiday period.
    Queues for charging stations have been spotted nationwide, including in Victoria and NSW.
    The huge queues have angered Tesla owners, with many blasting Australia’s lack of electric vehicle infrastructure.

    Read more:

    Building enough chargers to handle these surges in demand might reduce the queues, but someone would have to pay for the capital costs and upkeep of hundreds of chargers which would lay idle for most of the year.
    If only there was a way to recharge a vehicle quickly, so a small number of charge points can service an unusually large number of automobiles without a serious additional delay. Say an energy containing liquid which could be transferred rapidly to the vehicle, to facilitate a fast turnaround when recharging lots of vehicles in a short period of time.

    If anyone has any December 2022 charger queue stories be sure to post them.

  3. Paul Dame needs to be replaced- and as soon as it’s possible.
    He seems to think his job is to turn Republicans into Democrats..

    There is no way in heck that Republicans in Vermont will get anywhere with him at the top- and that right there is mostly likely just the plan..

    • It’s not just Paul dame that needs to be replaced.

      I have been banned on my own Clarendon committee Facebook page for telling the truth about republican candidates and elected republicans.

      There has been name calling by the person that runs the page and I was blocked prior to me being able to respond to that.

      I spoke to arthur peterson who was also our representative from Clarendon Vermont and he told me when I asked about my right to free speech and my constitutional rights being violated that he didn’t care about that..

      He told me he would not allow anyone to bash republicans..

      He is one of the candidates that supported Joe Benning who was a sellout to the republican party and supported article 22.

      Joe also voted for and supports the Biden agenda along with his best buddy Phil Scott.

      I also kicked off when the republican party under the leadership of Terry Burke the Rutland county leader and others in the party across the state were supporting the criminal Erica Redic when she was running in the libertarian party in spite of the fact it’s totally against republican rules.

      We no longer have a republican party in the state of Vermont.

      These are the same people that sold out Donald Trump with patty McCoy the minority house speaker passing around a petition to remove Donald Trump early that was signed on to plenty of so-called republicans in the state of Vermont.

      We need to totally replace the republican party in the state of Vermont since they have caved in to the demands of the progressives.

      Paul Dame has gone far beyond just destroying Vermont he is all over the internet supporting ukraine in spite of the fact that we are now hearing they had biolabs and that is why the United states of America is pouring so much money into defending ukraine.

      We need to all wake up and start to defend our constitution and our constitutional rights before we no longer have a country..

      I appreciate you being willing to stand up and have a backbone and speak out against this stuff because we don’t have anyone with a backbone in the republican party..

  4. Before central heating became common, the average temperature of a house in wintertime was 55 degrees. Thanks to the use of fossil fuels, we now enjoy temperatures 15-20 degrees warmer not only at home but in most public buildings. Are we ready to go back?

    That’s another strong argument for saying we are addicted to fossil fuels.

  5. WCAX ran a story regarding people struggling to pay energy bills this season, which has barely begun. The biggest lie was the first excuse uttered by WCAX, the Ukranian War! Last year it was COVID. LIHEAP was federally created in 1981. July 2011, VPSB approved an order that establishes an Energy Support Program that will provide electric bill assistance to low-income ratepayers of CVPS and GMP. Every winter in this State, federal and state money is earmarked for fuel assistance. It stands to reason, every winter for decades, many people cannot afford to heat their homes. Yet, our media, our bureaucrats, our elected officials, and our corporations continue to lie and collude repeatedly, with impunity, while stealing our taxpayer money. Liars and deceivers of the most evil kind. It is high time for them to reap what they have sown. Decree and delare it be so.

  6. The GWSA, Vermont Climate Council, Clean heat Standard and every other socialist attempt to control by using carbon as the evil enemy does not stand up to the smell test.
    However, because of Vermont’s current demographics- the majority actually believes in and willingly accepts every mandate enacted to date, however ridiculous and harmful. Vermonter’s will suffer great economic harm and some folks will indeed freeze to death because of these laws and mandates.
    Vermont has become, similar to California- a failed liberal/socialist state with a minority of totalitarian politicians having gaslighted enough people to retain power.
    This past weeks storm should have been enough evidence of the folly of our legislature’s actions- but I suspect it will only strengthen the fervor over “climate change” here in the Green Mountains.
    Exactly how, professor baruth and ms. krowinski do you think a Battery Electric Utility line truck will function in a situation like last week, with no electricity to recharge it’s battery? Perhaps senator bray
    can explain exactly how many additional battery-electric ambulances must be purchased in his hometown of Vergennes to adequately have coverage for his constituents? Or even whom will bear the cost for the electrical infrastructure that will be required to charge these ambulances?
    Vermont sure seems to elect people that cannot and will not think beyond to the consequences of their actions. Yes, we have the history to prove it. Think health care and education.

  7. EV charging is periodically being banned in Europe as there isn’t enough juice for both house holds and charging. Same will happen here when rolling blackouts hit like they have in Commiefornia who’s policy we are blindly following. Until you have a grid that has reliable power *nuke* there no sense in going all electric.Only fools would think otherwise and apparently we have a abundance of them in power and voting…

  8. The main thing needed for Republicans to shape policy is Republicans elected. And they have to be Republicans who understand these realities and will not sell out to the far left. And those type of Republicans cannot spend 4-6 months focused on reinventing state government and passing laws with more national focus than state focus. The people needed live and work in the competitive marketplace and would have a focus on Vermont. Such people, if in the majority, could easily accomplish all that is needed in two months, every other year, with perhaps a 2-week budget adjustment session the second year of each biennium. There really are not a lot of variables in the state budget. Compare several years and I think it will become quite clear that two months is even more than what is needed. Without getting people like that, who are busy with life, columns like this from the party chair, even though quite correct, accomplish little.

  9. The grid isn’t even close to this happening.Does Vermont have $500 Million-$1 Billion to shore up the necessary infrastructure to end fossil fuel autos and heating?

    I don’t think so.Ukraine needs that money.

  10. Why not ask the Progressives to wake up and compromise to find the middle ground. It is not Republicans who aren’t flexible and willing to meet in the middle. The reality is Progressives have a my way or the highway approach to everything, especially relative to carbon reduction.They are uncompromising and aggressive in their political views and openly support the UN 2030 AGENDA, which is where they are driving the state twords.

    • Yeah, poor Mr. Dame and many R’s in VT all came down the the “Make Nice Virus”. They think that if the come to the miidle & warm to the Dems side, stay calm, sound “feely & caring”…that somehow Dems & Progs will come their way, to reason. NOT! Dems and Progs play vicious. They’ll lie about anything, especially Climate. They cheat elections, conntrol all education, almost all Media….all of Hollywood…..then BLM, CRT…Progs ALL use nasty LawFare tactics. Look what they do to Trump for 6 years now. Recall the Russia hoax that hobbled Trump’s first few years? ALL LIES! And now see what the FBI, DOJ and CIA and Dem Party did (NOW EXPOSED) inside TWITTER? They illegally do the same thing with Facebook & Google. AND THEY GET AWAY WITH IT.

      So, Mr. Dame….What on earth are you thinking? Repubs in VT have tried to “make nice” with Dems & Progs for several decades now. WHERE did it get you? Humm? NO where. The definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over & expecting a diferent result. Wake UP! Progressives play by vicious “Saul Alinsky Rules for Radicals”.. Until you start hitting back…hard…using THEIR tactics – back on them….you will be on the losing side…forever…..Because “make nice” with them…is “make”….worthless. If Vermont is going down the tubes…(it is)…. at least try to go down swinging?

  11. Uhhhh….wake up. You keep talking about “working” with the Legislature? The progressives there? You better realize that every one of these Progs in the legislature are just “mouthpieces” for what THEY are being spoon fed as supposed fact. They are just “robotic mouth spouters” to an agenda being told to them! If you REALLY want to “work” with someone…focus on WHO is spoon feeding the climate fear nonsense. The entities BEHIND THE CURTAIN are all the non profit groups in VT that are funded by wealthy, largely out of state…other progressives. So go to “ground zero”….The “wizard” behind the curtain feeding so much is….The Conservation Law Foundation…as well as places like The Nature Conservency, Sierra Club and a ton of others similar enviro groups all over Montpelier. It is the CLF at the forefront…for decades of enviro “justice” and fossil fuel hate.. The Legislature Progressives are just spoon fed pablum by tons of enviro lobbyists and told what to do.. Until you can deal with places like the CLF ( who contriol so much of the VT enviro agenda), you are wasting your time. Places like the CLF are EXPERTS at “LawFare” and they play for keeps.

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