Republican lawmakers say this is no time for the Global Warming Solutions Act

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MANDATES: The Global Warming Solutions Act is a sweeping reform of energy policy.

While Democrat lawmakers strongly support a bill that would allow the state to enforce emissions standards for energy, heat and transportation, Republicans say now is not the time for new costs while Vermont suffers through a self-inflicted economic collapse.

The bill, H.688, called the Global Warming Solutions Act, would set reduction targets for 2025, 2030 and 2050. In particular, the bill creates a special council that will make recommendations to the state on how to mandate reductions to meet the targets. The bill also allows for “any person” to bring lawsuits against the state if those targets aren’t met.

Sen. Minority Leader Joe Benning, R-Caledonia, is among those lawmakers who feel this is the wrong bill at the wrong time.

“I don’t believe that we have the time to devote to this issue, and trying to do it under the circumstances that we are in right now means we means we are not going to devote the time that we need to,” Benning said. “It has a lot of working parts and tremendous impacts that have not been fleshed out in a way that I would prefer to see them being fleshed out.”

state of Vermont

Senate Minority Leader Joe Benning, R-Caledonia

Benning says the only priorities that should be left for this session are ones that pertain to the budget.

“This bill will not help us adjourn,” he said.

Solar and wind power tend to cost more than their non-renewable counterparts. Benning said cost is just one issue.

“Those are the kinds of details that we don’t have time to iron out,” he said.

Sen. Mark MacDonald, D-Orange, supports the bill. He says it should have been taken up a long time ago.

“No, this is not an appropriate time, this should have been dealt with a couple of decades ago,” he said. “COVID is a good example of what happens when you don’t get on things when they come up.”

He said global warming is still a pressing issue.

“It has been known that global warming issues are changing the world in which we live,” he said.

Rep. Mark Higley, R-Lowell, was one of only two lawmakers who voted against the bill as it passed out of the House Energy and Technology Committee. He says it is a bad time.

“It’s going to be a tough few years going forward here, and bills like that, that impose certain mandates to get to a certain benchmark, can be really devastating,” he said.

In addition to driving up energy, transportation and heating costs, it’s also going to demand more finances from the state budget for staff positions.

“To have it come back up now with all kinds of work for the different agencies, I think it was close to a million dollars over two years for two or three new employees to work on this, and the setting up the whole new committee, it’s just not the time in my mind to go down this road,” Higley said.

He said there is mixed messaging on how the Senate is going to handle the bill.

“One report was they weren’t gonna take it up, and the next report was I heard they are gonna take it up, so I don’t know,” Higley said.

Rob Roper, president of the free-market think tank the Ethan Allen Institute, is one of the bill’s many critics.

“It would work by severely restricting or stopping entirely economic activity that produces GHGs, which is, of course, practically everything,” he wrote.

According to Roper, the bill could result in limits or banning of gas-power vehicles, gas-powered machines, gas and/or wood heating, and even public events like stock-car racing at Thunder Road.

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at bielawski82@yahoo.com and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Images courtesy of Michael Bielawski/TNR, Public domain and state of Vermont
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13 thoughts on “Republican lawmakers say this is no time for the Global Warming Solutions Act

  1. The EAN report aims to have 90,000 ADDITIONAL EVS on the road by 2025.
    Vermont had 3541 plug-in hybrid/EVs at the end of 2019.
    EAN is off-the-charts unrealistic, unless the plug-in hybrids/EVs are GIVEN AWAY AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

    EAN and the VT-DPS were CONNIVING to make it appear EVs were reducing a lot of CO2.

    1) Flawed EAN Method, PE basis

    The Vermont average mileage for light duty vehicles, LDVs, all sizes, was 22.7 mpg in 2018. See URL, page 2.
    https://www.eanvt.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/EAN-report-2020-final.pdf

    If the Vermont “LDV gasoline mix” were EVs, it would draw, via a wall socket, at least 0.400 kWh/mile, based on real-world driving of about one year.

    – EAN comparing the “LDV gasoline mix” (22.7 mpg), with a small EV using only 0.316 kWh/mile, WM basis, is flawed, i.e., apples to oranges

    – EAN using 34 g CO2/kWh, WM basis, based on “paper” power purchase agreements, PPAs, is flawed. See Note

    – The combination of flawed assumptions enabled EAN to claim a CO2 reduction of 4.500 Mt/y per EV. See table 4

    If EAN had compared “LDV gasoline mix” versus “LDV mix as EVs”, i.e., apples to apples, and used 323 g CO2/kWh, per ISO-NE, EAN would have needed, not 90,000 EVs, but at least 1.53 x 90,000 = 137,826 EVs to reduce CO2 by 4.500 Mt/y

    EAN overstated CO2 reduction by at least 4.504/2.941 = 53%. See table 4

    NOTE: The 34 g CO2/kWh is an artificial/political value for 2018, concocted by VT-DPS, based on “paper” power purchase agreements, PPAs. The low CO2 value is intended to make EVs (and air source heat pumps) look extra good versus gasoline vehicles, primarily to fool legislators and the lay public. Some legislators know they are being fooled, but play along anyway to promote party politics. See table 9.

    2) CO2 Reduction of Electric Vehicles, Lifetime basis, SE basis

    Engineers, including at EAN, very well know, a much more realistic evaluation of EVs versus gasoline vehicles has to be on a lifetime basis, such as 105,600 miles for 8 years used in this article, plus the evaluation must be based on: 1) source energy, 2) CO2/kWh, per ISO-NE, 3) embodied CO2/kWh of the vehicle body and battery, and 4) long-term WM and VM readings, obtained during real-world driving conditions. Lifetime evaluations have been performed for at least 20 years.

    The popular Nissan Leaf S Plus was used as base vehicle for comparison
    EPA rated at 124, city/99, highway/112, combined
    https://www.edmunds.com/nissan/leaf/2019/mpg/
    (33.7 kWh/gal-eq)/(112 mpg-eq) = 0.3009 kWh/mile; includes charging losses
    Adjusted to 0.3009 x 1.055, loss factor = 0.317 mile/kWh, WM basis; includes 1) charging loss, 2) self-use losses due to heating, cooling, electronics, etc., and 3) losses due to NE road/climate conditions, 4) losses due to idle time, such as parked at an airport. (Items 2, 3 and 4 are not measured by EPA)

    To have EVS reduce CO2 by 405,000 Mt in 2025 to MEET PARIS:

    – About 4.50/3.58 x 90000 = 113,128 EVs would be needed during 2020 – 2025, each reducing about 3.580 Mt/y, if “LDV gasoline mix” vehicles were replaced, which is unlikely, because the required “LDV EV mix” likely would not yet be marketed during 2020 – 2025

    – About 4.50/1.92 x 90000 = 210,938 EVs would be needed during 2020 – 2025, each reducing about 1.920 Mt/y, if small gas
    vehicles (averaging 30-mpg) were replaced, which is far more likely, because such EVs are marketed and bought in Vermont. See Note and table 3

    NOTE: Eco-conscious persons, who would buy EVs, likely already drive higher-mileage gasoline vehicles. Just ask them what they drove before buying an EV. Just ask them.

    NOTE: A friend of mine sold her 54 mpg Toyota Prius and bought a $45000 Chevy Bolt, for which she paid only $27000, because of the various federal and state tax credits, plus a utility cash grant, which was matched by the car dealer. I just stood there with my mouth wide open! She said, if it had not been for all the incentives (paid for by screwed-over others), she would have never done it, and drove off with a smug smile.

    Capital Cost
    Cost for EVs; about 210,938 x $40000/small EV = $8.483 billion
    Cost for private and public chargers; about 210,938 x $1500 = $0.318 billion
    Total = 8.483 + 0.316 = $8.801 billion

    • Warren Buffett admitted in an article that he would never have invested in windmills without all the Federal incentives (paid by taxpayers). Without them, he couldn’t have made any profits. His windmills have to compete with gas and hydros electric power producers. What’s being proposed in Vermont is that once it is theoretically power independent, the producers can charge whatever they want. There won’t be any competition. Those would be producers are the background inciters of this whole renewable energy movement. They stand to make billions off Federal and state incentives. Without those incentives, they wouldn’t be blowing sunshine up the @$$es of the progressive Democrats. They wouldn’t be in our state.

      • Hi Sandy,

        You are right. Here is my write-up on the issue. See direct quote of Buffett.

        10 top people at VT-DPS are members of Energy Action Network, EAN.
        That is a conflict of interest.
        It should be illegal.
        It certainly is highly unethical.

        HOW COULD THESE SELF SERVING PEOPLE EVER BE SERVING THE VERMONTERS AND BE IMPARTIAL

        Wind and Solar Subsidies Provide a Bonanza for Wall Street
        http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/the-more-wind-and-solar-the-higher-the-electric-rates

        This URL shows wind and solar prices per kWh would be at least 50% higher without direct and indirect subsidies. They would be even higher, if the costs of other items were properly allocated to the owners of wind and solar projects, instead of shifted elsewhere. See below section High Levels of Wind and Solar Require Energy Storage.

        http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/economics-of-tesla-powerpack-and-powerwall-systems
        http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/large-scale-solar-plants-require-large-scale-battery-systems
        http://www.usu.edu/ipe/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/UnseenWindFull.pdf

        This URL shows about 2/3 of the financial value of a wind project is due to direct and indirect subsidies, and the other 1/3 is due to electricity sales.
        http://johnrsweet.com/Personal/Wind/PDF/Schleede-BigMoney-20050414.pdf

        – Indirect subsidies are due to federal and state tax rebates due to loan interest deductions from taxable income, and federal and state MARCS depreciation deductions from taxable income.

        – Direct subsidies are up-front federal and state cash grants, the partial waiving of state sales taxes, the partial waiving of local property, municipal and school taxes. See URLs.

        http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/excessive-subsidies-for-2200-kw-field-mounted-solar-system-in
        https://www.eia.gov/analysis/requests/subsidy/pdf/subsidy.pdf

        Any owner, foreign or domestic, of a wind and/or solar project, looking to shelter taxable income from their other US businesses, is allowed to depreciate in 6 years almost the entire cost of a wind and solar project under the IRS scheme called Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System, MARCS. The normal period for other forms of utility depreciation is about 20 years.

        Then, with help of Wall Street financial wizardry from financial tax shelter advisers, such as BNEF*, JPMorgan, Lazard, etc., the owner sells the project to a new owner who is allowed to depreciate, according to MARCS, almost his entire cost all over again. Over the past 20 years, there now are many thousands of owners of RE projects who are cashing in on that bonanza.

        Loss of Federal and State Tax Revenues

        The loss of tax revenues to federal and state governments due to MARCS was estimated by the IRS at $266 billion for the 5y period of 2017 – 2021, or about $53.2 billion/y.
        The IRS is required to annually provide a 5y-running estimate to Congress, by law.
        The next report would be for the 2018 – 2022 period

        The indirect largesse of about $53.2 billion/y, mostly for wind and solar plants^ that produce expensive, variable/intermittent electricity, does not show up in electric rates. It likely is added to federal and state debts.

        Most of the direct federal subsidies to all energy projects of about $25 billion/y also do not show up in electric rates. They likely were also added to the federal debt.

        Most of the direct state subsidies to RE projects likely were added to state debts.

        The additional costs of state-mandated RPS requirements likely were added to the utility rate base for electric rates.

        * BNEF is Bloomberg New Energy Finance, owned by the pro-RE former Mayor Bloomberg of New York, which provides financial services to the wealthy of the world, including providing them with tax avoidance schemes.

        ^ In New England, wind is near zero for about 30% of the hours of the year, and solar is minimal or zero for about 70% of the hours of the year. Often these hours coincide for multi-day periods, which happen at random throughout the year, per ISO-NE real-time, minute-by-minute generation data posted on its website. Where would the electricity come from during these hours; $multi-billion battery storage, insufficient capacity hydro storage?

        https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy17osti/68227.pdf
        https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/tax-equity-investors-break-their-silence-on-tax-bill#gs.GDbC2YIS

        Warren Buffett Quote: “I will do anything that is basically covered by the law to reduce Berkshire’s tax rate,” Buffet told an audience in Omaha, Nebraska recently. “For example, on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.”
        https://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/nancy-pfotenhauer/2014/05/12/even-warren-buffet-admits-wind-energy-is-a-bad-investment

  2. Here is a capital cost estimate of the EAN MEET PARIS by 2025 report.
    It includes government outlays, business outlays, and consumer outlays (for electric vehicles, air source heat pumps, weatherizing, etc.)

    ELECTRIC VEHICLES
    The complete analysis of EVs is described in this article.
    http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/vermont-co2-reduction-of-evs-is-based-on-a-misrepresentation

    Capital Cost
    Cost for EVs; about 210,938 x $40000/small EV = $8.483 billion
    Cost for private and public chargers; about 210,938 x $1500 = $0.318 billion
    Total = 8.483 + 0.316 = $8.801 billion

    AIR SOURCE HEAT PUMPS FOR SPACE HEAT

    The complete analysis of ASHPs is described in this article
    http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/vermont-co2-reduction-of-ashps-is-based-on-misrepresentations

    Capital Cost:
    Retrofits: 90,000 x $30,000/housing unit = $2.7 billion
    ASHPs for space heat: 90,000 x $10,000/housing unit = $0.9 billion
    ASHPs for DHW: 90,000 x $4000/system = $360 million
    Total = 2.70 + 0.9 + 0.36 = $3.96 billion

    WIND, SOLAR AND STORAGE

    Moving to ASHPs and EVs would require increased generation

    EAN does not mention any costs and subsidies for: 1) Expanding/augmenting the grid, 2) Increased wind and solar systems, which would require:

    – Wind turbines costing about 250000/(8766 x 0.30) x $2.5 million/MW = $95 million
    – Solar systems costing about 700000/(8766 x 0.14) x $3.5 million/MW = $570 million
    – Expanding/augmenting of the grid costing about $100 million
    – Storage costing about $900 million

    Storage would mitigate/counteract:

    – Daily disturbances of distribution grids, due to: 1) Solar outputs impacted by variable cloudiness, 2) Midday solar DUCK curves
    – Daily disturbances of high voltage grids monitored by ISO-NE, due to larger solar systems
    – Year-round, random disturbances of high voltage grids monitored by ISO-NE, due to wind systems

    The storage systems would store unused solar during low-demand, mid-day hours, and discharge solar during high-demand, late-afternoon/early-evening hours

    NOTE: Battery storage loss is about 20% (100 in, 80 out), high-voltage-to-high-voltage basis.
    http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/vermont-is-going-to-hell-in-a-handbasket-regarding-foolish-energy

    Capital cost = 0.095 + 0.570 + 0.100 + 0.900 = $1.665 billion

    IN-STATE HYDRO GENERATION

    EAN recommends about 50,000 MWh/y of additional in-state, hydro generation, likely under a Standard Offer at 13 c/kWh; i.e., additional cost shifting to rate payers.
    The NE wholesale rate has averaged about 5 c/kWh starting in 2009.
    Capital cost = 50000/(8766 x 0.40) x $6 million/MW = $86 million

    The grand total would be $15,536 BILLION during 2020 – 2025, 5 years

  3. Here is the Energy Action Network report regarding “MEETING PARIS by 2025”.
    Basically it is an unrealistic hyping scenario, based on implausible assumptions.

    “Meeting Paris”: Energy Action Network, EAN, claims about: 1) $1.115 billion less would be sent out of state to buy fossil fuels, and 2) $323 million in savings from additional, in-state investment (primarily weatherization), would yield net savings to consumers of 1115 – 323 = $792 million during 2020 – 2025, if its measures to reduce CO2 by 2.281 million metric ton to “meet Paris” were implemented by 2025. See Note, and page 4 and 5 of EAN URL
    https://www.eanvt.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/EAN-report-2020-final.pdf

    Capital Cost to “Meet Paris”: The measures are a multi-billion-dollar wish list of EAN members with a cost exceeding $15.536 billion during 2020 – 2025, about $3.107 billion/y. EAN members want these heavily subsidized measures, because it is good for RE businesses.

    Amortizing the cost of the mostly short-life assets (EVs, ASHPs, battery storage systems, etc.), at 3.5% over 15 years, would require annual payments of $1.333 billion, more than offsetting the 800/5 = $160 million/y of energy cost savings.
    https://www.myamortizationchart.com

    It took about 20 years (2000 – 2020) to achieve the existing conditions by spending about $210 million/y, including Efficiency Vermont. The annual spending to “meet Paris” during 2020 – 2025 would be at least 10 times greater.

    These measures would be major burdens on the stagnant Vermont economy, its businesses, ratepayers, taxpayers, etc., while in the middle of a major recession, with decreasing tax collections by state government (room & meals, sales, income, gasoline, etc.), due to the coronavirus.

    EAN Savings and Capital Cost Estimate: The EAN report promises undefined energy cost savings, and lacks a capital cost estimate to “meet Paris”. Why does EAN not provide the spreadsheet that calculated these energy cost savings, as part of its glossy report? Why the reluctance to make a capital cost estimate by private entities and government entities?

    EAN CO2 Reduction: EAN makes CO2 reduction estimates, based on primary energy, and on the artificial/political value of 34 g CO2/kWh for electricity, based on “paper” PPAs, as concocted by VT-DPS, to obtain very optimistic CO2 reductions per EV and per ASHP. See table 1

    EAN Members Eager to “Meet Paris”: EAN eagerly urged the Vermont legislature to “meet Paris” a few years ago, because that would be good for their businesses, and would display proper virtue signaling. However, no entity, including EAN, made a capital cost estimate of what would be required to “meet Paris” at that time, or since.

    EAN Members Eager for GWSA and “Fortress Vermont”: EAN is eagerly urging the Vermont Legislature to pass the Global Warming Solutions (Spending) Act. That act would turn aspirational goals of the CEP into mandated goals. The capital cost of GWSA would dwarf “meet Paris”. That would be sweet music for EAN members; heavily subsidized business and job security for decades at everyone else’s expense, despite the scam not yielding one iota of difference regarding climate.

    BIG TIME COLLUSION IN VERMONT: Ten senior state employees of VT-DPS are members of EAN, including Tierney, head of VT-DPS, and Perchlik, who is on loan to the legislature to help write the GWSA and $1.2 billion “Fortress Vermont” bills to ensure they contain all the bennies for EAN members. Perchlik manages the Clean Energy Development Fund that donates taxpayer money to renewable energy programs. No wonder VT-DPS resorts to artificial/political CO2 calculations regarding Vermont’s electrical sector, and EV and ASHP programs.
    https://www.eanvt.org/about/people/network-members/

    • This whole plan to control CO2 and force citizens to comply with goals that will not have any affect on fixing the severe weather in VT is a sham. You Willem show how data can be manipulated. One of my arguments for proving the sham is, the concerted efforts of several renewable energy organizations to close Vermont Yankee. If reducing CO2 is really the agenda, they would not have lobbied Montpelier and scared the public with lies of meltdowns. But, they succeeded in closing the largest in state producer of electricity with the lowest CO2 production, namely zero. It also supplied the lowest costing energy. And was a significant tax base for state and town. Thanks for your researched comment.

  4. Republicans’ might be wise to offer up something like this:

    We are looking to get more local farming in place for sustainability.
    We are looking to build food sovereignty within our state, the right to produce and sell among a free people, without restriction.
    We are looking to upgrade some sewer plants
    We are looking to import Kei style trucks.

    Why?

    Our populace has been indoctrinated for 2 generations that think the world is going to end. These generations feel at easy and that they have done something for the environment when they ban straws.

    This is a classic case of framing. Voters are given only two choices, something “for the environment” or voting no for the environment, which leaves the voters only one choice in November. This is how the Republican lose every election. We Republicans are good stewards of the environment.

    And then perhaps we’ll have time to establish a proper educational system based upon science, proper critical thinking within our schools so our populace can determine the difference between propaganda and news.

  5. The only thing that will be accomplished by all this antiglobal warming legislation will be to place a huge burden on the folks least able to cope, and -accomplish absolutely nothing to deal with the problem it is supposed to address. While the effort may have a noble objective, tilting windmills would be more productive.

    • It will drive the majority of the VT population into poverty. That will then allow the powerful entities to control them like slaves. If they don’t bow to their masters, they can turn off the electricity, water, and jobs. Jobs that pay meager wages, barely enough to exist on. Why has VT been the target for this program? Because it is in poor economic condition, with an out of balance political system, a large uneducated welfare recipient population, and a large portion of the population who have been suckered by the out of balance political system.

  6. Generally speaking, Vermonters are in the process of loosing their liberty. I am at retirement age and
    it appears that my retirement checks will not be taxed in this state, soon.

  7. MacDonald: “It has been known that global warming issues are changing the world in which we live” – Of which we are painfully aware, and the AGW cult continues battering us with them. Climate changes the world and there’s not a damn thing we can do beyond securing ourselves against the changes. The problem is the issues, not the climate and the issues issue from the AGW promoting its dogma as doctrinal truth of the prophets, truth as biblical, as indisputable as the geocentric universe. And they will not debate it. It is the Truth – there is nothing to debate. Debate would expose people to heretical ideas and (they have said as much in denying debate) would only confuse people.

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