By Rob Roper
Debate over the Clean Heat Standard (CHS) bill (H.715) is now in the Senate Committee for Natural Resources & Energy, where members received their first briefings on the legislation Wednesday. The notable difference in the Senate discussion compared to the House was the evident pressing by members of the Scott administration (Ed McNamara, general counsel, Agency of Natural Resources; and TJ Poor, director of planning, Department of Public Service) for formalizing the need for another vote by the legislative on the final plan put forward by the Public Utilities Commission before the CHS could be implemented.
This idea was pushed in the House committee by Rep. Sally Achey, R-Middletown Springs, and shot down, and on the House floor in the form of an amendment by Rep. Jim Harrison, R-Chittenden, which went down 44-96.
But, as Poor argued, “I don’t think the two-step process causes us to lose anything. I think it does allow us to gain better information, better analysis, and allow the legislature to really make an informed decision on what their voting for — on what kind of winners and losers of the clean heat standard are you furthering with your policy decision. … The affirmative decision should be made to say that, yes, we understand to the best that we can the consequences, and that we affirmatively support and want to move forward [with the clean heat standard].”
This is common sense and responsible, accountable government – something our legislators and activists seem allergic to. The last thing most of them want to do is affix their “yes” votes to a bill that has a definitive price tag on it with zero plausible deniability about who they’re screwing over. Will the Senate defy expectations, do the right thing, and install a two-step process? Time will tell.
Either way, the good news is that the administration seems to be laying the groundwork for a potential veto of the clean heat standard if it doesn’t contain a second vote threshold. The bad news is, many members of the Scott administration, including Poor, have been advocates for the Climate Action Plan and the Clean Heat Standard, at least conceptually if not in its details.
Scott himself has not brought the hammer down on the CHS for being what it is: a stealth carbon tax on home heating fuels. Opposition to carbon taxes was a platform he was first elected on back in 2016, and one he still professes to stand by. Will he continue to stand by that pledge? Again, time will tell.
Rob Roper is on the Board of Directors of the Ethan Allen Institute.
17 thoughts on “Roper: Clean heat standard moves to Senate — will Gov. Scott veto?”
Been reading this site for a while. Hearing about all the complaints about the politicians, and most I agree. Politicians are elected to represent the people. Seems some forget about that once they get their fancy chair. I think every bill significantly affecting the people’s pocket or freedom should be put to the people’s vote. That might make them pay a bit more attention.
The only really clean heat is no heat. How come these liberals are too dumb to figure that out?
Now if they could actually think well, they would know that in a northern climate (where Vermont is), that the electric power for their so-called clean heat is actually coming from coal and nuclear power plants in other states, and it is about as clean as engineering can get. Everything else is pipe dream.
Governor Scott vetoed this flawed legislation when it was passed last year. He was overridden by the Democratic/Progressive supermajority. Scott will veto it again if it does not have legislators taking direct responsibility for its real costs and dubious benefits. This is a strong and reasonable position, and it should be sustained.
In any case this position should be front and center of any campaign for those running in November. Remember a net gain of 5 more seats in the House would be enough to prevent the current overrides of vetoes by a Republican governor and help end such damaging legislation being proposed in the first place
If only we we had a REAL Republican governor John! Is Phil Scott a personal friend? Your sycophantic defense of our rino governor never ceases to give me a chuckle.
Don’t know, never met Phil Scott. What I am aware of are his actions and how he has in his capacity attempted to guide our state. All the while with a Democratic/Progressive supermajority in the Vermont House and Senate and in a State that in recent years has not had any other Republicans in statewide office.
Governor Scott has done a remarkable job in tempering, when he could, the impractical and ideological legislative juggernaut of the far left in our state. He may not be your cup of tea but try to remember what his predecessor Governor Shumlin was like and how things would be if those who ran against him, like Christine Halquist and David Zuckerman had won.
I think with Governor Scott, many of those super-critical of him will find: “You don’t know what you got till it is gone”.
Freitag’s False Dichotomy Central:
Re: “Governor Scott has done a remarkable job in tempering, when he could, the impractical and ideological legislative juggernaut of the far left in our state.”
What Mr. Freitag continues to deflect is the fact that ‘tempering’ does nothing to correct the problems most true conservatives see. This is the classic ‘good cop – bad cop’ psychological ploy. Submit outrageous legislative directives (never expecting to get the whole enchilada) and then pretend to compromise by accepting the Governor’s subtle, if not contrived, ‘tempering’ of that legislation.
You’re right, Mr. Freitag, we won’t know what we got ‘till its gone. And for some, the sooner it goes the better.
Careful what you wish for in regard to Governor Scott, you just might get it.
Far better at this point to concentrate on electing more Republicans to the House of Representatives to both ensure the sustaining of the record number of vetoes Scott has issued and to change the existing power dynamics.
Re: “Careful what you wish for in regard to Governor Scott, you just might get it.”
I sincerely hope so.
Regardless of one’s view of the current governor, Scott must be credited with slowing the process of Vermont becoming a “Socialist Democratic State”, a polite term for a liberal-controlled mess. As dysfunctional as Vermont is today, think back to the blunders of previous governors and legislative sessions. Our previous governor and many potential future prospects would readily sign on to schemes that profit the “party” and themselves, such as this “clean heat standard”.
Another option, one which we may see happen this November- is a liberal candidate be elected governor and eagerly sign whatever the legislature send their way.
Be careful what you wish for, it may mean your financial security- or the immediate need to depart Vermont for another state.
Scott is certainly not the governor I would like him to be, but he is an electable moderate.
Sockpuppetry aside…Freitag is one of the resident attention-seeking leftist TNR trolls – likes Chairman Phil bc he’s a fellow-lefty 😉
When you’re a pragmatic conservative, not ideological one, you take hits from both sides as Governor Scott consistently has.
The fact is that Phil Scott has proven to be electable. What is needed is a net gain of five more Republican in the House to sustain his many vetoes. There is a difference between getting elected and governing and simply complaining and nursing grievances. One takes hard work and at times compromise, the other just a keyboard.
Gov. Scott has to play the hands he’s being dealt……..A Vermont House and Senate intent on pushing the most progressive, costly and ultimately failed policies imaginable………Policies that will hurt Vermonters financially while accomplishing nothing in the battle against climate change.
In addition to voicing his policy concerns, Gov. Scott should continue to veto the ill conceived laws generated by the legislature, even if the vetos are over ridden. A record of vetos, whether sustained or over ridden, will place the ownership of the poor governance we’re presently witnessing squarely in the lap of a legislature that refuses to listen…….. A legislature pushing H. 715 and related laws forward that will produce nothing but harm.
The Governor has to VETO the CHS, because it has an UNDETERMINED impact on already-struggling Vermonters, per VT-DPS.
It would be the sane and responsible thing to do.
No more fairytale, pixie dust energy measures promoted by highly subsidized, self-serving entities AT THE EXPENSE OF ALL OTHERS
Control the means, output and (re)distribution of production by controlling the means, output and distribution of energy.
It’s the marriage of the Degrowth Movement with Marxism.
Hegelian Dialectics Marxist style.
So much corruption, so little time.
Qui bono? Qui bono? Qui bono?
The Dialectical Process:
Thesis. Antithesis. Synthesis.
Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
For the Socialist Utopia to be Complete! 😉
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