Roper: Climate council has no idea how to pay for their ‘plan’

By Rob Roper

It is too generous to call what the Vermont Climate Council presented on December 1 a “plan.” A plan would consist of all the major and most of the minor details of how to complete a project, or at the very least a key phase of a project.

Rob Roper is the president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

A plan to build a house, for example, would include an overall design, list of necessary materials, a list of contractors (framers, excavators, carpenters, plumbers, etc.), a thorough understanding of the zoning regulations and permits necessary, a timeline, and — the big one — how much the thing will ultimately cost to complete.

The Climate Action Plan, keeping with the above comparison, is roughly the equivalent of a child’s finger paint drawing of a house, complete with a big yellow, smiley-face sun in the sky above.

The Climate Council was tasked with figuring out how to meet the greenhouse gas emission reduction mandates laid out in the Global Warming Solutions Act. A year later, and they really don’t have a clue how to realistically do this. They have my sympathies, because it’s not and never was a realistic proposition, but this what they signed up for.

The Cross Sector Mitigation subcommittee of the Climate Council met on December 16th to discuss some of the costs and logistics regarding some of the elements of the “plan.” A big one is the necessity to weatherize 25,000 homes between 2023 and 2026. The estimated cost for doing this is $122 to $147 million dollars above and beyond what we currently spend to subsidize weatherization projects. Where does that money come from? Crickets.

$7 million of that above estimate is an admittedly totally uneducated guess by the Council for what it will take to train a labor force to do the work because, small problem, such a labor force does not exist. The Council did a study and estimates that a trained weatherization crew of four people can do 20 home upgrades per year –– out of 6,250 per year that would need to be completed to meet the target. Well, that’s what you get for chasing workers out of Vermont with high taxes, bothersome regulations, exorbitant housing costs, and an impending ban of the sale of internal combustion engine pick-up trucks, which by the way, all of these people drive to do their jobs.

So, while these non-existent-in-Vermont skilled laborers are at it doing this weatherization work, the Council noted that it would be great if they could also, at the same time, be upgrading the electrical capacity of these homes to handle electric vehicle charging. The “plan” calls for putting 40,000 EVs on Vermont roads by 2025 and what good is an EV if you have no place to charge it, right? The cost to upgrade just 10,000 homes they estimated to be $27 million. (They didn’t consider that if the crew is doing two jobs in one house at the same time, they will be able to service fewer overall homes, so let’s notch down that 20 per year number, and, yes, these super-laborers will also likely be asked to install a heat pump too, since they’re in the neighborhood.)

Where will the money come to pay for this? One delightful suggestion was simply tacking a charge onto everyone’s electric bill — a $27 million “pay for my neighbor’s home EV charging station tax” because our electric rates aren’t high enough as it is.

The Council still has no idea how to make up for the collapse of the interstate Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI) program, which was estimated to bring in about $20 million a year. A lot of money to be sure, but nothing close to what all these programs will cost. Their only “plan” (again the quotes are necessary) at this point is banking on another flood of federal money from Build Back Better, which, like TCI, appears to be dying if not already dead thanks to the still intact sanity of Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

But fear not! When the legislature returns in January the Council is going to ask them for an additional $2.5 million in your taxpayer dollars to assist them in their “planning” process. Yes, all they need is more money, an expanded bureaucracy, and more power to control your life and all of a sudden this giant, colossal, expensive mess will magically come together.

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

Image courtesy of Public domain

10 thoughts on “Roper: Climate council has no idea how to pay for their ‘plan’

  1. Rob:

    Do you know if the Climate Council can answer any of the questions posed below?

    I believe that Vermont has the lowest or close to the lowest Gross Domestic Product of all the 50 US states, making it least able of all states to shoulder the burdens of implementing the Global Warming Solutions Act. Despite Vermont’s weak economic status and lack of resources, the Legislature passed the GWSA that directed the Climate Council to develop a plan that as you say “no one knows how to pay for…”.

    Given this economically reckless Vermont initiate, have any other US states enacted or are proposing any climate initiates that match or exceed Vermont’s Global Warming Solutions Act requirements?……If so, how much are these other state plans going to cost and how will they be paid for?…….Has the Climate Council looked how other states are handling climate change and associated costs?

  2. And again, just to put a fine point on this article, no one anywhere will ever be able to accurately measure how all this nonsense would reduce “climate change” globally and even here in VT.

  3. Climate? What’s that got to do with this?
    The GWSA and the resulting Climate Council is about money.
    Redistribution of Wealth. From your wallet to the politician, with a few stops in between, each taking their cut.
    Remember Act 48? That’s the much ballyhoo’d Health care legislation that still hasn’t reformed anything.
    How has that worked for you?

  4. The clueless members of the Vermont Climate Council lack the training, education, knowledge, and experience to do what is asked of them by the equally clueless politicians who appointed them. They’re in it so they can puff up their egos and say they’re on a ‘State Committee,’ for the $50 a meeting per diem (and they’re asking for more!), mileage, and the free lunch. These fools are not Vermont’s best and brightest. Voters can not vote them off this Council, but we can indeed vote out of office the brain dead politicians who put them there…

  5. Bob,

    The current Vermont Weatherizing government program spends about $10,000 per energy-hog house, or $250 million for 25,000 houses.

    It weatherizes about 1000 houses per year.

    I think the program is administered by Efficiency Vermont, which has a list of qualified contractors to choose from.

    If you choose an unlisted contractor, you get no subsidy

    Owners must be needy folks with low incomes to qualify for subsidies.

    That data is available from state published records.

    However, that level of energy efficiency is still totally inadequate to enable the use of heat pumps in those houses, because heat pumps are very inefficient at low temperatures, say 15F and below.

    I have three HPs in my house, costing $24000, less $2400 subsidy from GMP, which will benefit from increased electricity sales for decades.

    My propane consumption for space heating by my highly efficient propane furnace decreased from 850 gallon, before HPs – 550 gallon, after HPs = 300 gallon, but my electricity increased about 2500 kWh, so my savings were about $200 on a $24,000 investment, that would last at most 15 years.

    Now, I have two heating systems, each with operating and maintenance expenses, each with a loan to pay off in 15 years

    If I amortize the $24000 at 3.5%/y over 15 years, the ANNUAL PAYMENT would be about $2000

    I calculated my CO2 reduction at about 1.0 metric ton/y, or about $2000/metric ton, which is off-the-charts expensive.

    There is absolutely no way an average Vermont household could afford this, PLUS get rid of his gasoline vehicle, to buy an electric vehicle, of the same size and usefulness, at TWO TIMES THE COST!!!

    The minds that sprout those idiotic ideas are truly warped, totally removed from reality,

    Those minds are totally devoted to jump to the tunes of self-serving, subsidy-chasing RE entities.

    All that is at the expense of already over-taxed, over-regulated, hard-working Vermonters trying to survive dealing with:

    – In-the-basement, senile, Biden’s 7% consumer price index inflation
    – Scare-mongering regarding COVID trial and tribulations
    – The decades-long, near-zero, real-growth Vermont economy
    – The CRT idiocy in schools and universities

    Vermonters need to turn out EN MASSE to oust those warped idiots from office, in November 2022

    • Willem-
      You have condensed your multi-posts, and sometimes difficult to follow, but always rational, reasoning. Thank you.
      As to the comments of Mark “members of the Vermont Climate Council lack the training, education, knowledge, and experience to do what is asked of them”, since what is being asked of them is impossible, they can be considered rational human beings.

      • Allan,

        If they were rational, they would decline to serve on the
        “mission-impossible” GWSA Committee.

        Because they are on the Committee, they must be considered irrational.

  6. Vermonters, the majority voting are stuck on stupid. The national and local media has dumbed them down and scared them to death by picking sides and carrying water for all things progressive. Look at the last 20 months. They were told to wear masks and they did, like bandanas, home made cotton coverings and paper from china. Then they were told to inject an experimental solution of nanotechnology into their bodies, they did and some 3 times. Bars were told to put up plexiglass barriers but left the gaping hole underneath to pass drinks through, but the virus wouldn’t go there. You had to wear a face covering to enter but could remove it when you sat down. Then you had to put it back on to go to the restroom assuming the virus only operated at higher levels. They were told to stand 6 feet apart even though a sneeze can travel 25 feet and go right trough a face covering.

    While all this was going on, the media censored anything and everything that went against the progressive lockdown. They censored other treatments and created the vax mania even though with majority compliance people are still getting infected and the triple vaxxed are back to wearing masks.

    And now lets talk about healing the planet’s climate from postage stamp sized on the world Vermont. All critical thinking is dead. EVs won’t work in rural Vermont and most people can’t afford one anyway. There won’t be any electric snowplows, dump trucks, freight trains or long range busses or any of a thousand other vehicles needed to move things and provide transportation and energy. These people are ignoring the truth and the reality because it has become a religion to them and a huge money maker for the green energy players. You can’t find the truth if you are not looking for it. It’s that simple and we should demand the truth from those in power. They were sent into office to work for the people and this hasn’t been the case for a long time. The legislature abdicated it responsibility and violated the VT constitution by appointing a special climate board to do there work and deflect the backlash that will come from this boondoggle. Remember Single Payer healthcare? This is headed to the same place. We would be wise to stop it before millions are spent to confirm that it is crazy to think we can change the climate buy punishing regular people who just want to be left alone to live their lives.

  7. Rob, Vermont’s climate council has no idea how to pay for their ‘plan’, and this is suppose
    to be news ??

    Anyone that has been following this boondoggle, already could see the writing on the wall, the
    only ones that can’t or won’t are the ones on the council, it’s just another liberal look at our agenda
    trying to show Vermont’s saving the world……..

    I guess this council has never looked outside our state, as they feel we are the problem, I guess
    they don’t see what’s happening in the world and where the real problems manifest, let me help,
    China, Russia, India for starters as long as these countries do what they want, little Vermont could
    be 100% net zero today and it would be like spitting in the lake ……….Zero Results !!

    Wake up people, you’ll have Net Zero, but that will be Dollars in your already overtaxed wallet ……..

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