Roper: Climate Action Plan is all pain, no gain

By Rob Roper

The executive director of the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association testified before the House Energy & Technology Committee that if the “Clean Heat Standard” currently being contemplated becomes law, he expects it to drive 10 to 50 Vermont home heating fuel dealers (oil, propane, natural gas, and kerosene) out of business. This would cost multiple hundreds of people their jobs and leave tens if not hundreds of thousands of Vermonters scrambling to find new heating fuel suppliers.

Rob Roper is the president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

One of those fuel dealers, a small business owner with six employees servicing the home heating fuel needs of 1,600 Vermont homes, testified that, yes, the Clean Heat Standard, with its bizarre and complicated mandates for dealers such as himself to create or buy clean heat credits, “will put us out of business. We’ll be out of business day one. … We’ll just be gone.”

He also testified that the added cost of those “clean heat credits” coupled with decreased supply of dealers and fuel could drive the cost of propane up to $8 to $10 per gallon (currently about $3.70/gal), which would put severe financial stress on a majority of Vermonters — homes and businesses — trying to stay warm through winter.

The objective of the Clean Heat Standard, as well as other provisions of the Climate Action Plan created under the Global Warming Solutions Act, is to make it so prohibitively complicated and financially painful to do anything with fossil fuels (heat your home, power your vehicle, cook your food, maintain your yard, etc.) that you “willingly” give up trying to do so. It’s a torture technique.

The legislators fashioning this red-hot poker of a policy know just how painful it will be for their constituents. Rep. Laura Sibilia (I-Dover) of the Energy & Technology Committee said as much: “I understand the scale of change that we are talking about here creates enormous stress.” They just don’t care. At least not enough to stop the torture.

They also don’t seem to care that as they turn off the supply of fossil fuel heating options, the alternatives don’t yet exist either in terms of technological maturity or at logistical scalability to replace them. Cold climate heat pumps, for example, don’t really work yet in weather as cold as Vermont’s gets, and, even if they did, the labor force in Vermont doesn’t exist to install them at a rate necessary to meet GWSA demand. So, even if you scream “uncle” and beg to replace your oil furnace with heat pump, you may not be able to, at least not for a long time. You’re just stuck with a big heating bill.

Sibilia justified her position: “I don’t want to lose a single one of you [fuel dealers], but I believe we have to move. I believe in climate change. My kids believe in climate change. We can see the evidence of it. Our utilities are demonstrating for us the evidence of more significant weather patterns, and how that’s impacting us.”

But the problem with this line at moral justification is that the Climate Plan and the Global Warming Solutions Act will have zero impact on the list of things Sibilia (and others who think as she does) puts forward as reasons why we “need to move.” Future climate trends and temperature curves will not be bent; future weather events will not be deterred. The pain inflicted all these people will serve no material purpose.

Even the most ardent supporters of the Climate Action Plan admit this. Rep. Scott Campbell (D-St. Johnsbury) said in a letter to a constituent, “Let me start by repeating that no one, least of all me, believes Vermont can stop climate change — or even affect climate change. It’s tempting to focus on that narrow issue because of the specific metrics in the law, namely the required greenhouse gas reduction thresholds (leaving aside the unfortunate name of the Act),” and, “GWSA will not ‘mitigate’ climate change…”

So, if that’s the case – and scientifically speaking it undeniably is – why exactly do we “have to move” in this direction, at this time, at this pace, at all? Answer: we do not.

The Clean Heat Standard is nothing but a mix of self-righteous political theater covering up some lucrative cronyism between elected officials and the favored businesses and non-profits that will be allowed to create and sell clean heat credits, which, for them, will amount to free money, all courtesy of our higher heating fuel bills.

Vermonters need to ask if it makes any sense for the primary policy objective of state government at this point in time to be a massive dose of painful and costly economic disruption – described by one Climate Council member as “a Mack Truck coming at [Vermonters]” – that will leave us less financially and physically secure for absolutely no material benefit. Put me down as a hard no.

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute. He lives in Stowe.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Gillfoto
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18 thoughts on “Roper: Climate Action Plan is all pain, no gain

  1. Over thirty years ago I took a tour of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Cold Regions Research Laboratory (CRREL) in Hanover, N.H.
    Part of the tour was the ice core lab. It was very cold in there. A well-insulated woman was shaving thin slices off an ice core taken from a very extensive ancient glacier. Each slice represented an era of time. By analyzing the slices, scientists discovered a lot about the pre-historic climate conditions on earth.
    They found that global warming is real and well documented. They found the same for global cooling. This cycle, from warmest to coolest, has occurred over at least the last 400,000 years. CO2 in the atmosphere tracks temperature, or vice versa, peaking at the warmest and bottoming out at the coolest.
    This is a natural long-established occurrence, not a new man-created problem that, if we throw enough money at it, we can arrive at a “solution”, despite what our legislators believe.
    We can not stop it, but we can learn to adapt to it.
    The resources planned to be spent on unreliable alternative resources at great financial costs to us which will reduce our standard of living would be better spent on developing those adaptations.

  2. Let’s not forget that all these climate policies are a direct threat to our national security. Just ask Europe. Giving up our energy independence in the name of climate change is the stupidest thing we could have ever done. We are now seeing the consequences.

  3. Notes on this quote:

    ‘I don’t want to lose a single one of you [fuel dealers], but I believe we have to move. I believe in climate change. My kids believe in climate change. We can see the evidence of it. Our utilities are demonstrating for us the evidence of more significant weather patterns, and how that’s impacting us.’

    Dear elected official (Independent): Spare us. We do not CARE about your BELIEFS of what you or government schools have scared your kids into. We care about THOUGHT and RATIONAL ACTION based on CONCLUSIVE SCIENTIFIC PROOF of CO2 doing ANYTHING NEGATIVE to the environment – NOT the PROPAGANDA created by interested parties bending government science conveniently into grants making a lot of noise about “studies” – but NO SOLID PROOF – which they in turn use for “policy” and crony capitalism with Marxists in suits all the way to the UN/EC. E.g., the “97% [of researchers] agree that climate has warmed X amount due to CO2” nuanced twist was from a professional journal studying, literally, amounts of science papers and what they state and conclude for statistical trend studies (common people do not know this) and the claimers of this nuanced twist “flipped” (i.e., LIED) about solid conclusions’ evidence of CO2 influencing global warming due to “man”, for the studies’ premises (that is, the SEARCHING for the proof). Out of the c. 13,000 atmospheric science research papers claiming “97%”, when re-examined for this “flip”, less than 4% of them concluded ( I repeat, actually CONCLUDED) that “man is destroying the planet by CO2” – part of which involves us breathing.

    By magic, c. 3% became 97%. Wag the dog with complicated things ABUSED BY EXPERTS to make mumbo jumbo for the UNREAD CITIZEN, kids. Talk about “convenience” in things.

    What is the “evidence” for “climate change”? That it’s getting COLDER, WINDIER etc., out, (and, if you still haven’t noticed since you’ve been admiring Al Gore’s new clothing, fuel being MORE NECESSARY FOR LONGER PERIODS) because it is GETTING WARMER, locally? (Do not confuse 1 degree per century, statistically, for “warming” as immediate criteria for weather in the near or worse, LOCAL term.) This PROPAGANDA is inside of NatGeo, Discover, SciAm etc. – all about government science chatting “for the common person” – about PROPAGANDA, to FOOL YOU. The “weather being more severe” is due to natural climate cycles, most interestingly and more conclusively than ever, to recent weak or more normal solar cycles influencing it even on the short term, where Danish researchers just found links for solar particles influencing Earth energy budget (=climate cycles along with the weather). Others causing these nightmares are feedbacks from volcanic activity in the lithosphere spewing more e.g. solar ultra violet ray reflective ASHES into the stratosphere (which blocks solar warming) to naturally fluctuating hydrological cycles shifting warm -and cold – water around the oceans, and albedo effect off of e.g. glaciers, sending long wave radiation back into space. All of this influences how winds blow, how hard or soft, where, when, and for how long – weather being formed in the oceans. About hurricanes, the worst of them were back in 2005, globally. I’ll let you count how many years ago that was. (Note: hurricanes, unlike tornados, are OCEAN WARMTH phenomena, and the reason why the severity has been decreasing since then is because there’s not enough warm water currents around shores, lately, to power them in to land.) That is because the oceans – which absorb solar radiation and latent heat – are releasing their stored heat into bags of warm water, and the bags are getting less, at times. Since the sun was unusually active for over 80 years, how much radiant energy in the oceans absorbed may be higher than in the last 200 years, so we may be getting unexpectedly warmer weather – or colder – off the seas due to Henry’s Effect (look it up).

    Do not trust conspiring experts who get MONEY AND INFLUENCE. Do not envy federal politicians who want the same: use the experts (like me) with NO MONEY TO GAIN and NO INFLUENCE TO WANT. If YOU want to be a politician, seek to serve THE PEOPLE. Note that most journalists write only for their fee (especially ones specializing in “science journalism” which pays well, due to the Al Gores): they do not care what the truth is.

    Think and reason: do not BELIEVE and wail for the purposes of having something to cry about.

    • The weather has been tampered with through cloud seeding, etc for decades. The term, ‘climate change’ was invented by those who are doing everything to make sure we switch to other forms of energy. Why? Because they don’t work nearly as well as gas/oil. Until you can wrap your mind around what happened in Texas last year, for example you will never understand the deviousness behind the plans ‘they’ have for us. The thought of banning wood stoves in Vermont…there’s plenty of wood to burn here which makes it affordable. There isn’t a lot of sunlight for solar and the wind is nothing to speak of along with other problems. As far as switching to electric, the batteries are dangerous re: EMF and mining procedures are highly questionable. Oh, one more mention: the skies are being sprayed so much these days, the sun hardly shines here anymore.

  4. I think Dire Straits “Money for Nothing” should be the official song on this colossal waste
    of taxpayer resources on a feel good leftist response to a 0.03% (Vermont’s share of carbon overload) world problem that no one has said how much will be improved. Will the needle move at
    all on this minuscule amount that could be rectified by planting more trees instead of more
    solar panels and bird vegamatics??? The problem we do have is with leftist commies who
    all are on the same wrongheaded track…circling madly while going no where…

  5. Complete control over Energy, Healthcare, Transportation, Education, etc., to save the world, and line the pockets of the multi-faceted RE clique for decades

  6. Bob Roper,

    There will be lots of pain for over-regulated, over-taxed, already-struggling Vermonters, trying to make ends meet in the high-inflation Biden/Vermont economy

    That condition will be further aggravated by GWSA RE nincompoops, allied with inexperienced, career RE legislators, allied with career RE bureaucrats, allied with subsidized RE companies, that would not even exist without the subsidies

    No unsubsidized, private sector company would employ them, yet they claim to have all the answers, to save the world, which are fed to them by self-serving, subsidized entities, such as EAN, VPIRG, VEIC, and Efficiency Vermont

    The net effect will be Vermont’s private sector economy being run by a self-serving clique of opportunists, which will be managing the various government socialistic programs to save the world

  7. I am not sure why the members of the Vermont Fuel Dealers association have not stopped delivering oil and propane to everyone of the legislators who voted for the GWSA as well as everyone serving on the GWSA council. These people have declared war on every working and retired Vermonter as well as all the businesses that serve them.

    If the GWSA legislators and bureaucrats want to show Vermonter’s the purity of their ideological convictions they should have shut off their own fossil fuel spigots years ago. It is never too late to stop being hypocrites.

  8. Sibilia justified her position: “I don’t want to lose a single one of you [fuel dealers], but I believe we have to move. I believe in climate change. My kids believe in climate change. We can see the evidence of it. Our utilities are demonstrating for us the evidence of more significant weather patterns, and how that’s impacting us.”

    Do your kids believe in the Tooth Fairy also? Exactly what “more significant weather patterns” do our utilities “see”? How do they “see” these patterns?

    Lemme guess, probably by using untested and unverified models which will give them only possible future projections and not any type of accurate prediction useful for making policy decisions.

    Is it at all possible that other experts have different opinions about climate change?
    Isn’t that what Science is all about?

    Maybe we should just ask the Tooth Fairy what the climate will be in next 100 or 1000 years and then start spending our tax dollars.

  9. “I believe in climate change. My kids believe in climate change.” And they’re confronting you with a dogmatic cult-like religion. How absolute are cults? how destructive are cults? You probably studied the sixteenth/seventeenth century religious wars somewhere around the sixth grade. Not espousing the right dogma could (and often did) kill you. As Biden said, “We accept truth over facts.” And, if you don’t, you’re in the target zone. The AGW cabal’s leaders are foaming at the mouth fanatics – with giant yachts, private jets to fly to exotic locations to plan how they’ll keep you from consuming oil (shutting down drilling and Keystone crippled our ability to exert foreign influence – Ukraine), giant mansions that you can bet have backup generators, a plot wherein government pays for coast to coast charging stations instead of – like gas stations – letting profit-motive entrepreneurs develop them at their own cost. We may recover – the Fascists have pushed the coup too far and the best (adequately Progressive) leader in their party, the smartest man, the most charismatic is Joe Biden. A benefit to the Constitutional resistance.

  10. The climate plans proposed are unnecessary and will result in NO measurable change in the State’s or Nation’s climate trends. There is no crisis driven by human CO2 emissions.
    I encourage folks to read some of the very latest work that defines the actual manmade CO2 contribution – here are two good examples https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/02/26/climate-change-an-emergency-or-not/ and https://rclutz.com/2022/02/20/christys-data-based-climate-science/.
    There are much more in depth works available on these recent studies.

  11. Climate Marxism – Control the means and (re)distribution of production by controlling the means and distribution of energy. It’s the marriage of the Degrowth Movement with Marxism.

    • Mr Licata is correct. The Vermont legislature is closing the coffin lid on Vermont’s economy and it’s citizens by pursuing complete economic control over energy. We as voters have allowed this to happen. We have accepted a level of corruption in our government that will destroy this state, a kilo-watt hour at a time. At no point has the GWSA, Climate Council nor the legislature offered a reasonable replacement for hydrocarbons for heating homes or for transportation. Electricity just isn’t viable, as replacement for just these two essential uses.
      The cost to upgrade and update production, transmission and distribution of electric power is more than Vermont’s citizens have capacity to fund. Even at a 100% tax rate.
      The naiveté of our legislature to be led down this road by lobbyists, “advocates” and plain old grifters is astonishing. Is it a coincidence or planning that S.265 is forcing it’s way thru the legislature at this time, prior to the unraveling of Vermont’s energy infrastructure?

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