Rep. Galfetti: Time to call your lawmakers and say vote no on S.5

This commentary is by state Rep. Gina Galfetti, R-Barre Town. She represents the Washington/Orange District.

Democracy is only as good as its weakest link. And in the Vermont State House, we have a lot of weak links.

A page breezed into the House Environment and Energy Committee meeting room and delivered a message that soon elicited cheers and claps from most of the members in the room. S.5 had made its way out of Senate Natural Resources & Energy Committee on a 5-0 vote.

S.5, the “Un-Affordable” Heat Act is now on its way to be considered by the Senate Appropriations Committee. At this time it is unclear how many senators support the bill. But we can be sure that the bill has enough votes to clear the Senate and move to the floor of the Senate and upon passage there it will be sent to the Environment and Energy Committee in the House then House Appropriations and onward to the House floor.

state of Vermont

Rep. Gina Galfetti, R-Barre Town

S.5 will doubtlessly be passed in both the Senate and the House and it will then fall to the governor to veto the legislation. Provided he vetoes the legislation, a coalition of Republicans, Democrats, Independents and Progressives will dig in at our Alamo and make one last stand to prevent this short sighted and poorly engineered legislation from becoming the law of the land. I mention all three parties because 1) I know of several Dems and Independents that do not support this legislation and 2) There are simply too few Republicans in the House or the Senate to do this on our own. We have to build a coalition on this issue if we seek to uphold a veto.

Now I know there are plenty of you out there that are calling me a dreamer but we have no option but to roll up our sleeves and go after the facts to build a coalition. The biggest problem that proponents of the would-be Act have is that they have glossed over the problem that S.5 will disproportionately affect low-income Vermonters. Vermonters that can not afford to install heat pumps, weatherize and install water heater heat pumps, period. No matter how big the credits are they will never be large enough to allow low-income folks that live paycheck to paycheck be able to install heat pumps.

When I was a kid my mother, a single working nurse with my brother and I to support, lost her furnace in the dead of winter. We did receive some help from Efficiency Vermont but if it had not been for my grandparent’s ability to take out a loan to offset the rest of the cost, we would have frozen that winter. My mother often had to choose between putting gas in the tank to get to work or buy milk. Many Vermonters can not afford to make an investment in a technology that would pay them back long term as the needs of their family are immediate. These long term savings that they speak of do not translate into food for a hungry family who must eat today, not tomorrow.

And it is the low income Vermonters that will hurt the most. Imagine being in the position of many older Vermonters, for instance. For many folks their home is the last large asset that they have. They are not in a position to make expensive renovations on fixed incomes. They will never see the savings promised because they will be dead before the savings come. Their homes are meant to be their security, that will see them through their decline and end of their days. Not a pretty picture to think they will be spending their last dollars on inflated fuel hastening their trip to the Nursing Home!

The proponents of the UN Affordable Heat Act have admitted on numerous occasions that they do not know how this system will be implemented. Just the other morning I had breakfast with Senator Dick McCormack and he told me not to worry. It is not the legislature’s job to figure out the details of how this system will work, but rather the job of the Public Utility Commission.

He said that the legislature makes policy and doesn’t need to understand complex math!

Math like Myers Mermel of the Ethan Allen Institute presented to McCormack’s committee last week. McCormack admitted that he couldn’t follow the math but was willing to ignore the conclusion that Mermel had come to – that fuel prices could jump $4 per gallon!

The Democratic party in control of the Vermont Legislature, right now, is the weak link in Democracy, right now. They are force feeding an environmental agenda to folks that need real food not words. They are ignoring the math and blazing forward congratulating themselves on meeting climate goals.

We all want to preserve our precious planet, we all want to conserve and help mitigate climate change. But in a State that is so small and carbon neutral, must we drive our people into poverty to do it? I think not. We can continue to make the brave steps forward but we must be able to see the path, the consequences both intended and unintended.

Neither we nor the planet can afford to wait for two years when it proves out that this legislation will not work. We must look to enact legislation that is effective and has demonstrable results with both short and long term goals. We might not be able to do it the way we had hoped but we must do it in a way that does not drive more people to have to decide between food or heat.

I implore every person that reads my piece this week to not be a weak link and call or email their senators and representatives and tell them to vote no on S.5.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Tony Webster and state of Vermont

13 thoughts on “Rep. Galfetti: Time to call your lawmakers and say vote no on S.5

  1. You mentioned, “The proponents of the UN Affordable Heat Act have admitted on numerous occasions that they do not know how this system will be implemented. Just the other morning I had breakfast with Senator Dick McCormack and he told me not to worry. It is not the legislature’s job to figure out the details of how this system will work, but rather the job of the Public Utility Commission.”

    I beg to differ. One of my reps (D) is dumber than a doorknob re: ‘carbon’, which seems to be the buzzword in pushing an agenda that’s NOT actually grounded in science. I suggest you get your facts straight before voting on something as important as S-5.

  2. Another bill that will create an exodus from Vermont. If you think we have a housing problem now, just wait and see the effect this bill will have. It is obvious that the Legislature is not working for their constituents. This bill will certainly create financial distress for hard working Vermonters. Time to wake up and vote them out.

  3. Unfortunately, Rep. Galfetti- My legislators are at the front of this carbon scheme. They are unwilling to
    entertain opposing views. Please know that your views represent many outside of your district- and as such you represent way more folks than you think. Your commentary is appreciated by folks all over Vermont- please keep them coming!

  4. George Carlin: “Besides, there is nothing wrong with the planet… nothing wrong with the planet. The planet is fine…the people are screwed! Compared to the people, THE PLANET IS DOING GREAT: Been here four and a half billion years! Do you ever think about the arithmetic? The planet has been here four and a half billion years, we’ve been here what? 100,000? Maybe 200,000? And we’ve only been engaged in heavy industry for a little over 200 years. 200 years versus four and a half billion and we have the conceit to think that somehow, we’re a threat? That somehow, we’re going to put in jeopardy this beautiful little blue-green ball that’s just a-floatin’ around the sun?
    The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through all kinds of things worse than us: been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drifts, solar flares, sunspots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles, hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worldwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages, and we think some plastic bags and aluminum cans are going to make a difference?
    The planet isn’t going anywhere… we are! We’re going away! Pack your stuff, folks! We’re going
    away and we won’t leave much of a trace either, thank God for that… maybe a little styrofoam…
    maybe… little styrofoam.
    The planet will be here, we’ll be long gone; just another failed mutation; just another closed-end
    biological mistake; an evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet will shake us off like a bad case of fleas, a
    surface nuisance. You wanna know how the planet’s doing? Ask those people in Pompeii who are
    frozen into position from volcanic ash how the planet’s doing. Wanna know if the planet’s all right?
    Ask those people in Mexico City or Armenia or a hundred other places buried under thousands of tons of earthquake rubble if they feel like a threat to the planet this week. How about those people in
    Kilauea, Hawaii who build their homes right next to an active volcano and then wonder why they have lava in the living room?
    The planet will be here for a long, long, LONG time after we’re gone and it will heal itself, it will
    cleanse itself cause that’s what it does. It’s a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover, the earth will be renewed, and if it’s true that plastic is not degradable, well, the planet will simply incorporate plastic into a new paradigm: The Earth plus Plastic. The Earth doesn’t share our prejudice towards plastic. Plastic came out of the Earth! The Earth probably sees plastic as just another one of its children. Could be the only reason the Earth allowed us to be spawned from it in the first place: it wanted plastic for itself, didn’t know how to make it, needed us. Could be the answer to our age-old philosophical question: “Why are we here?” PLASTIC!!!
    So the plastic is here, our job is done, we can be phased out now, and I think that’s really started
    already, don’t you? I mean, to be fair, the planet probably sees us as a mild threat; something to be
    dealt with, and I’m sure the planet will defend itself in the manner of a large organism. Like a beehive
    or an ant colony can muster a defence, I’m sure the planet will think of something.”

  5. I would contact my legislator if I truly thought it would make a difference. What I have gotten in the past is platitudes. ” Oh yes we understand and are doing what we can to help” then they vote the uni-party. I am sick and tired of VT politics, as much as I love VT for it.s beauty I would leave in a heartbeat if it were not for the rest of my family living here.

    • I love the scenery, the woods, back roads and the normal people here but I’m done. I’m selling my home and moving. The liberals have destroyed my state. They win.

    • I feel the same way. I confronted my state reps as they came seeking our votes, same thing, platitudes. They did not receive my votes nor do I feel represented.
      Notice what is happening in Oregon? Some 60% of the counties are voting to succeed to “Greater Idaho”. The liberals moved in from California to Portland , here from N.Y. to Burlington, and wanted to change that great state into a “Woke enclave”. Thoughtless, unaffordable, feel good policies have led to high crime, drug use and homelessness in Portland/Burlington sound familiar? Now they want to raise the cost of heating our homes with a hideous tax on fuels. The trickle down of such a tax will further drive inflation as these cost are either passed on to consumers or bankrupt small businesses. What will the landlords do, the coffee shops , the country inns, the restaurants?

      • When the local workers cannot afford to live here who is left to work ? Try and find a tradesman, waiter, dish washer,line cook, counter help, cashier, service technician, snow maker, lift attendant, lately?
        Oh, wait, the Border is open….hable espanol?

        • I recently ‘parted ways’ with the Trapp Family Lodge a.k.a. The Sound of Music as they are refusing to properly maintain the piano–I played there @ (8) years–along with a substantial pay cut amongst others. Staffing has always been an issue there, especially since COVID. As a pro pianist originally based out of NYC, high caliber performance artists like myself are also guns-for-hire re: church services, weddings, funerals and often teach as I do which is an asset to the community. Open borders may bring cheaper labor, but precious and few are the workers like myself; who possess a deep understanding of their craft, who strive for excellence, and are hard-working/dependable.

  6. You really cannot talk about mitigating climate change (do you have any idea what that would entail?) or that we can’t afford to wait 2 years (climate is a 30 year average).
    Maybe you do need to phrase it that way to make your constituents more comfortable, but that ain’t solving the problem.

    Most species have learned that dealing with climate change is an adaptive process, those that could not just disappeared. The human race should take a lesson from the survivors and not do anything stupid, just because we can.

    The only real thing one can say about the climate is that no one knows how it works.

  7. We will, in effect by way of the progressive legislature, pull the trigger on the S5 gun pointed at Vermont’s head. Vermont does not have to do anything in the misguided and unnecessary attempt to lower carbon dioxide emissions in the state, or the U.S.
    The only thing that has created this predicament are the laws and commitments made by our legislators to “do something” virtuous. We won’t be able to measure any reductions in the Earth’s temperatures, let alone VT from S5, nor should we care. The whole climate “crisis” is based on false belief that CO2 has caused the minor Earth’s warming. Further doubling, even tripling of CO2 levels will not have any significant additional warming.
    If Vermont had true leadership it would halt this S5 process, look at the latest actual climate science and physics and declare that we will focus on finding the needed energy required for the state and all of New England to counter the wind and solar energy transition debacle.

    • Big E,
      They don’t care, they have an agenda, even if Gov.Scott vetoes S.5, this pack
      of fools will override it………as they have stated, we have the power to control
      everything in Vermont legislation, it’s a pretty pathetic display of leadership !!!

      It’s agenda, agenda, agenda and we let it happen, hold their feet to the fire

Comments are closed.