Roper: Calling out the ‘lack of realism’ in climate plan

June Tierney of the Vermont Climate Council (also commissioner of the Department of Public Service) made a splash when she called the plan to reduce Vermont’s greenhouse gas emissions a “Mack Truck” getting ready to run down unsuspecting citizens in terms of its immense cost and radical impact on our jobs and lifestyle. At the Nov. 2 meeting of the council, Tierney doubled down and then some:

“There isn’t one Mack Truck, there are two; probably more in my judgment. … Now, I have spent the last year and a half struggling mightily under mandates from the federal government imposing timelines that had nothing to do with reality in order to first spend Corona relief fund money and now ARPA money. Those deadlines that legislatures impose without regard for what can actually be done in my judgment border on being criminal at this point, because it is forcing people to act without a solid basis for using those resources in a reasonable fashion. This plan envisions that we are going to make recommendations as to what the ANR should do in order for the state of Vermont — both the government and its citizens — to meet these emissions reduction goals. In my judgment, to be in the position of making such recommendations without a solid sense of cost, and more importantly, whether these things are actually feasible, is to set this plan up for failure before it ever gets going. … There just comes a point where lack of realism has to be called out, and I hope we will do that in this plan.”

Lack of realism is a serious issue with the Climate Plan.

The “action item” to weatherize 120,000 homes by 2030 isn’t realistic. As council member Sean Brown (also commissioner of Department of Children for Families Agency of Human Services) pointed out, the labor force issues and supply chain issues in Vermont don’t allow for this level of activity, and the money, which he said could be as much as $2 billion, isn’t there to fund it if it were. (2:41:30)

Likewise, the idea that Vermonters will either willingly (with taxpayer funded bribes) or be forced to purchase 40,000 electric vehicles over a three-year period (2022-2025) — a tenfold increase in the number on the road today — is preposterous. Even if the money for such subsidies could be found (probably not), and that number of affordable EVs could be found given supply chain issues, the electrical infrastructure both publicly and in private residences isn’t available to accommodate that number of EVs. And again, neither the workforce nor the funds is available to create that infrastructure by 2025.

The “Clean Heat Standard” being proposed is an incredibly complicated and bureaucratically intense system that will force Vermonters to buy or create “credits” for doing things the council deems environmentally worthy. Who knows how much keeping track of such a system and monitoring everybody’s balance will cost. Not the people proposing it, apparently.

And these are just a small portion of the “action items” the council is recommending. Again, we have to ask, do Vermonters really want and expect our government to dedicate the majority of its and our scarce resources to totally revamping our economy, creating massive personal and economic disruption, in what we know will be a failed attempt to meet unrealistic mandates that, even if we were to succeed in meeting them, will have zero impact on future climate trends?

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.

Image courtesy of Bruce Parker/TNR

17 thoughts on “Roper: Calling out the ‘lack of realism’ in climate plan

  1. I still believe that All committee’s set up by the Legislature should contain both sides of the argument to be fair! When only one side is represented we all know what the outcome will be! Just waiting for the committee report on the Pension deficit! Both sides Union and legislators have their hand in the pie so the results will be let the taxpayer pay for the deficit and change nothing! In Massachusetts you need to work 10 years to be vested, COLA based on the first $13,000 of pension, most one can get is $390.00 per year if the legislature includes it in the budget, no guarantee!! You have to be 60 to retire, no matter the years worked! Waiting!!

  2. The importance of this impracitcal ideological overreach of creating this Climate Council is in the opportunity it provides to elect enough Republican ( 5 more in the Vermont House) to be able to sustain the vetoes of Governor Scott.

    The fact that his vetoes, (Governor Scott has already vetoed more legislation than any other Governor in Vremont history), would be sustained would eliminate, in the future, much of this type of extreme and financially unsustainable and damaging legislation now being but forth.

    • Is not the VCC mostly autonomous? with little legislative approval required? The GWSA cedes power to the VCC to accomplish the “goal”, legislature and Governor be damned? I think it would take repeal of the GWSA to effect meaningful change. certainly the legislature retains the power over levying taxes, but similar to the health care legislation- fees and regulation has been handed to the climate evangelists on the VCC.
      What was told us by promoters in the legislature was about all the wonderful things that would come from a “green economy”, again not unlike shumlin’s pitch for health care.
      Reality was told us by the usual villains, Roper and McClaurghry at the EAI and others.
      Tierney is the commissioner of DPS, a Scott appointee. her words and Scott’s should have been front page of every VT news outlet- a year ago- instead of a small token mention.
      The regulation required to meet the goals set forth by the legislature are not possible to meet, but we will all pay the cost of this folly. At least those that stick around.

  3. The Vermont Climate Council , It’s nice to have a vision but a vision needs to be realistic,
    working to an agenda-driven process is unrealistic and hopefully, this committee wakes up
    as taxpaying Vermonter’s have !!

    If any global initiatives are needed it needs to start with China, Russia, India to name a few,
    guess what, they don’t care and never will. Vermont climate crusaders and all their rhetoric,
    Vermont is like adding a gallon of water to an ocean or in our state ” Lake Champlain ” it will
    not matter, the ” big polluters ” need to be held accountable

    But again, we have the Climate Crusaders in VT thinking that by 2050, 2100 we’ll make a
    difference, first off these goals, are unrealistic, even if we hit them we won’t even be a blip
    on the radar screen, but Vermonter’s ” will ” notice it in their wallets !!

  4. Using a model and not the real thing in real time will always lead one away from the most effective solutions.
    As well adding disaster or climate capitalism into the room.
    Its called “Greenwashing” for a reason: money laundering at a scale we’ve never seen before, and fascism in situ.
    There is plenty of evidence the climate narrative serves special interests and not the planet or the lives that depend on it to live. Not only that, but that its based on a flawed MODEL.
    IF this is true, then THIS will occur – is the basis of using a MODEL to make decisions.
    If its NOT true, and models are JUST AND ALWAYS MODELS AND NOT THE THING ITSELF – then no solution will EVER work because its not tied to reality.

    Weather should be:
    Is the rock wet? Its raining and I better have all my dams and dykes in good shape.
    Is the rock dry? Its time to weed, cut and split and haul wood, its time for a bike ride.
    Is the rock covered with snow? Its time to get out the snowshoes/skis/trek skis to try out the new pow!
    That’s it.

    A farmer doesn’t rely on weather reports as they are so often wrong, even with the geoengineering and cloud seeding now rampant across the globe. The farmer relies on what is happening in the present outside on his farm. I won’t get into how geoengineering has now removed any ‘natural’ cycles and introduced forced weather, and even weather wars.

    Supsicious Observers and goes into that alternative narrative that is much more aligned with the rock than the model, if you’d care to look.

    But all those ‘green’ jobs would go away if you knew this… and all that green EV lucre won’t be made.
    And GMP-GAZ metro won’t be able to play their credit shell game with consumers to their profit and benefit and not ours.

    There are 603 bills being considered in our Vermont Legislature.
    You’d think we were a bunch of kindergartners who got wholly out of control and now need the grups in the room to make new rules to control us.

  5. People across the nation are fed up with the UNI party, uniparty republicans who play the perfect foil for the NWO order. Here’s a clip of what is going on in CT….same as Vermont. It’s the same, because the Uniparty controls the Republican party and the Democratic Party.

    See below: Even a child is known by his doings, Whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.

    Multiple Westport residents have professed they wrote in votes for Alma at the other voting districts, and many have photo images of their ballots.

    Sarelli was known to be against CRT in Westport schools, whereas other candidates did not raise the issue. One of the ‘conservative’ candidates, Robert Harrington, who was elected, vocally criticized anyone who spoke against the ideology.

    “My party’s response to the Westport CRT signs going up is not okay with me…Our local party sadly is acting like the national Republican party,” he said. “For the sake of our party, for the sake of our town, please Westport Republican Party, please change,” declared Harrington at one town event. He also supported the current School Board’s efforts to push ‘diversity, equity and inclusion’ at the last school board meeting before the election.

    There may be a rational explanation for the reported numbers above vs voter claims; however, calls today to Westport Elections as we write have not been returned.

    There are 112,704 people that know what is going on and love America and their home state. That’s more than a good start to reforming our capital in Montpelier. That’s a great day, when will we harness, direct and allow our citizens to work together, to form a more perfect union?

    Making bumper stickers – Just say No, No Uniparty – would probably garner some immediate cash flow. There is much work to be done. There are many fed up, frustrated, looking for an avenue to vent….will the VTGOP be that avenue?

  6. The burning question for me and likely many other Vermonters of moderate to low income who own our homes will we be able to weather the storm or will we be taxed and regulated out of house and home? Vermont is becoming a state of the wealthy and the serfs who support them.

    New construction now requires installation of an expensive electric car charging system, whether or not you have an electric car. You can’t get a rebate for an energy system unless you go through a contractor blessed by Efficiency Vermont.

    • Lester…….You ask an excellent question that many thousands of Vermonters are worried about…….Less than two years ago, I was required to buy a new oil tank per State rules……$2,000…….About a year before that I replaced my furnace with a far more efficient model……..$9,000…….They both work very well, the furnace is tested annually and it operates at 87.7% efficiency, which is deemed to be excellent performance.

      Will I have to replace them? If so when, with what, at what cost and who will pay? Will I be able to sell my house with the existing new heating system?……..All to be determined by the Climate Council, a committee of energy amateurs operating under testimony and direction provided by the renewable energy industry, their lobbyists and the climate activists.

      Meanwhile, China, India, Germany, Japan continue building coal fired power plants at home and in third world countries around the global……..Will they soon be moving to zero green house gas emissions under?

      • Peter, your characterization of the Climate Council as a “committee of energy amateurs” is not accurate. In particular, the council members who are on the Cross-Sector Mitigation subcommittee, which is the most potent in terms of its recommendations that may result in mandates, are not what I would call “amateurs.” A better term to describe them might be “conflicted” as the entities they work for might be viewed as having a conflict of interest because they will benefit economically from the policies they are recommending. Here’s the list (keeping in mind there are some additional subcommittee members who are not on the council):

        Rich Cowart of the Regulatory Assistance Project who is also on the board of VEIC, the parent co. of Efficiency Vermont. Rich is promoting the Clean Heat Standard that would be benefit Efficiency Vermont and its very highly paid staff. RAP promotes electrification of everything.

        Chad Farrell, CEO of Encore Renewables and also a board member of VNRC. The committee is recommending a 100% Renewable Energy Standard, which would benefit Chad’s company. (Chad is liaison from the Rural Resilience subcommittee to the CSM).

        Jared Duval of Energy Action Network, a private club that includes membership by GMP, VGS, and many other potential beneficiaries of the emissions reductions requirements of the GWSA that Jared continuously reminds members is their only mandate. EAN has a big budget and is influencing energy policy as its primary goal. (note, they won’t let me join, I and others have asked them to allow VCE to join and been told “no” three times).

        Liz Miller, attorney for Green Mountain Power, former chief of Staff of Gov. Shumlin, former DPS Commissioner under Shumlin. Liz and DPS planner Ed McNamara are drafting the electricity sector part of the Climate Action Plan and are working together on the updated Comprehensive Energy Plan to mesh with the CAP. GMP will benefit from the all-electrification recommendations that will be coming from the Cross-Sector Mitigation subcommittee.

        Johanna Miller of VNRC, who introduced herself to the Climate Council (filling the statewide environmental organization seat) by saying that the GWSA is one of the biggest economic development opportunities the state has ever seen, also saying it is a job-creating opportunity and then she went on to disclose “for transparency” that she sees it as an economic development opportunity because her husband works at SunCommon. No mention of the environment.

        The other councilors who are CSM members are DPS Commissioner June Tierney (required by the GWSA), Windham Regional Commission Director Chris Campany (liaison from the Just Transitions subcommittee to CSM), Kelly Klein of Greenfield Meadery representing small business (liaison from the Just Transitions subcommittee to CSM), Bram Kleppner of Danforth Pewter representing manufacturers (late-in-the-process replacement for Adam Knudsen who resigned), and Lauren Oates of The Nature Conservancy (liaison from Ag & Ecosystems subcommittee to CSM).

        The five councilors in the paragraph above are making good comments but the policy work is driven by the five councilors who have obvious conflicts of interest.

        • Annette…….. My comment above stated: ” a committee of energy amateurs operating under testimony and direction provided by the renewable energy industry, their lobbyists and the climate activists.”, which makes it pretty much in line with your “conflicted” definition…….And its pretty difficult to miss the number of amateurs involved in the overall process/ Sub- Committee structure composed of amateurs providing feed back into the Climate Council.

          In any event to have a process as far reaching and impactful as required by the GWSA driven by the “conflicted” is the equivalent to having a committee of foxes developing security policies for the hen house…….Most would say the foxes are conflicted and the hens are in trouble.

        • Annette,

          Thank you for your excellent summary.
          A lot of it is news to me.
          Please post your it on your website, under the heading go “Juicy RE Tidbits”

          You call them “conflicted”? You are being far too kind.

          Conflicted is an extreme euphemism for those folks.

          I would call them subsidy-grabbing RE HUCKSTERS, who will do anything, including driving MACK trucks over Vermonters to get what THEY want.

          After examining EAN’s glossy energy reports for at least 15 years, I concluded, they basically are PR pieces to fool Legislators and naive, lay Vermonters.

          The “reports” are full of lies and obfuscations, without:

          1) Detailed calculations
          2) Spreadsheets,
          3) Stating assumptions,
          4) Estimated capital cost estimates for each year.

          EAN’s reports are first class CRAPPOLA, that would NEVER pass muster in the private sector.
          If EAN presented its reports to the senior management of a private company, they would be sent packing.

          All this RE crap started with:

          1) Wildly grabbing at ARRA funds

          2) Klein/Shumlin’s off-the-charts ridiculous CEP

          3) Closing a perfectly good Vermont Yankee nuclear plant, that had been producing at near 100% of design output for 500 days, would shut down for a few weeks to refuel, then would produce at 100% of design output for another 500 days.

          The plant had proven itself highly reliable for DECADES, with a capacity factor of over 90%.
          In fact, the ENTIRE US nuclear sector has an ANNUAL capacity factor of over 90%, which proves it is highly reliable.

          UN Nuclear Chief Sees Atomic Energy Role in Climate Fight

          Rafael Mariano Grossi, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, sees near-zero-CO2 nuclear playing a key role regarding the world’s energy needs and CO2 reduction.
          RE folks have demonized nuclear, because of accidents and nuclear waste processing and storage.

          Japan, with minimal domestic fossil fuel sources, adopted a new energy policy on October 22, 2021, that promotes nuclear and renewables as sources of clean energy to achieve the country’s pledge of reaching “carbon neutrality” in 2050.

          World Fossil Fuels Supply was 84 Percent of World Primary Energy in 2020

          Primary energy is used for all purposes by users, such as power plants, industrial/commercial entities, processing plants, farming, buildings, transport, etc., to produce goods and services, including for electricity.

          The percentage of fossil fuels of primary energy has remained about the same for several decades, even though wind and solar percentages have increased.

          In 2020, the percentages of the primary energy mix were:

          Coal, 27%; Natural Gas, 24%; Oil, 33%, a total of 84%, plus Nuclear, 4%; Hydro, 6%; Renewables, 5%, after more than 20 years of subsidies.

          Some of the primary energy, about 10%, is used for exploration, extraction, processing and transport to provide primary energy to users. That 10% of primary energy is often called “upstream energy”.

          For example, to produce ethanol from corn requires a very significant quantity of primary energy to produce a gallon of ethanol for blending with gasoline; the combustion CO2 of ethanol is not counted, as is the CO2 of burning trees, because they are “renewable”, per international agreement.

        • How many are living today, of what they are requiring us to do? How are they leading by example, ie, can it be done. My guess is none of them.

          Please, then they might be a bit more “expert”

        • Thanks Annette for pointing our these significant conflicts of interest.
          While serving as Selectboard Chair, one of those involved in the development of a 5 megawatt solar project at the remediated mine site in Strafford also served as Chair of the Town Energy Committee which was promoting the project. I found it necessary to talk with her about this confilct and give a choice, be invloved in one or the other, but not both. To her credit she resigned from her Town position.

  7. I am glad June Tierney, Head of VT-DPS, has seen the light.
    I hope many others will follow her.

    Vermonters will be hit, as by a MACK TRUCK hitting a head-light-blinded deer in the road, and running over it.

    Lack of REALISM is the problem?

    That lack of realism is IMPOSED, as a straight jacket, on the GWSA Climate Committee, because it has to follow the UTTERLY UNREALISTIC GOALS set forth in the Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan, written under the guidance of Energy Action Network, an umbrella organization for HEAVILY SUBSIDIZED, Vermont RE businesses and other entities, that stand to enormously gain from implementing the CEP goals, while financially screwing ALL OTHER Vermonters, big-time, FOR MANY DECADES.

    When the first version of this KLEIN/SHUMLIN-inspired “PLAN” came out, I informed ALL Legislators and thousands of others, the CEP was not worth the paper it was printed on. That was almost 10 years ago.

    After several revisions, the CEP report has gotten photoshop-fancier, with graphics, charts, tables, etc., to impress its importance/gravity on lay folks, including almost all Legislators, but the PLAN is still not worth the paper it was printed on.

    Vermont will NEVER achieve those CEP goals, not by 2050, and not by 2100, no matter how much money is extracted from already-struggling Vermonters.

    If attempts “to achieve goals” were made anyway, Vermont would surely become more and more unrecognizable, as time would pass.

    Here is my REAL-WORLD experience with heat pumps in my well-insulated/well-sealed house, which I designed and built, and rebuilt myself. Read the article to get some education.

    I have many other pertinent energy articles. Stay tuned


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