Roper: Far left Connecticut legislature punts Transportation Climate Initiative

When the Georgetown Climate Center released its final proposal for the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI) last December, it was a bit of a fizzle for advocates of the de facto regional carbon tax scheme as only three of the 13 negotiating states (plus Washington, D.C.) agreed to sign on: Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. Now there are two.

Connecticut, a Democrat controlled “trifecta” state with House and Senate majorities of 97-54 and 24-12, respectively, and a Democratic governor, wrapped up its 2021 legislative session without passing the needed legislation authorizing the state to formally participate in TCI. Why? Because voters in Connecticut caught on to the fact that all TCI really is, in practice, is a carbon-surtax on gasoline and diesel fuel, and, even in a very liberal state, they have no interest in paying it.

An article in the CT Mirror describes what happened as “TCI’s legislative melt down,” in that Connecticut’s failure to adopt TCI could set off a domino effect of states bolting from the program entirely. (Although just the three states and D.C. mentioned above signed onto the TCI memorandum of understanding, all the other states involved except New Hampshire agreed to stay at the table with the possibility of joining later. Vermont is one of these.) In fact, following the news out of Connecticut, Massachusetts officials made a statement, “The Commonwealth has always planned to move forward with implementation only with multiple states participating.”

Rhode Island’s status is also now up in the air after TCI’s chief proponent in that state, former Gov. Gina Raimondo, left her office to take a job in the Biden administration.

Vermont’s governor, Phil Scott, won his office in 2016 strongly opposing a carbon tax policy that was in all but name TCI. He has repeatedly said he won’t sign on to any proposal that would make Vermont less affordable, especially for low-income and rural residents, as TCI certainly would. He has a chance to be a leader and put a stake in heart of this terrible tax by formally announcing Vermont’s withdrawal from TCI negotiations, joining New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu in doing so. Here’s hoping he rises to the occasion.

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

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8 thoughts on “Roper: Far left Connecticut legislature punts Transportation Climate Initiative

  1. Here is some more info regarding MONEY LOSING electric school buses
    https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/electric-bus-systems-likely-not-cost-effective-in-vermont-at

    COMPARISON OF ELECTRIC SCHOOL BUS COSTS

    Electric school buses are beginning to be adopted by a few US school districts as part of reducing CO2.
    The main impetus is “free” Volkswagen Settlement funds, and “free” federal COVID funds, to provide “free” electric school buses to school districts.

    Electric school buses have significantly less O&M costs than diesel buses.
    However, that reduction is minuscule, compared with amortizing the turnkey capital cost of the buses

    O&M operating data of electric school buses have been insufficient to perform any analysis, except for a few cases, such as on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada, and in Massachusetts, New England

    It was fortunate to have data for SSI, with a mild climate and MA, with a cold climate, to show the impact of climate on school bus performance and O&M expenses.

    The SSI data includes diesel and electric bus maintenance costs, which were prorated to complete the MA data.
    The travel was assumed at 12,000 miles per year, the US average for school buses.

    The SSI project involved 10 Lion electric school buses.
    Turnkey CAPEX; Can $4.375 million, or US $3.5 million
    Travel for all buses; 139,345 km, or 87,091 miles, or 8,709 miles/bus

    The MA project involved 3 Lion electric school buses
    Turnkey CAPEX; $1.05 million
    Travel for all buses; 13,902 miles, or 4,634 miles/bus

    O&M Cost Reduction per Bus

    Diesel bus maintenance for US and Canada = 23 c/mile
    Electric bus maintenance for US and Canada = 6.4 c/mile.

    Electricity, energy, commercial/institutional rate; 13 c//kWh, per VEIC
    Electricity demand, controlled charging, assumed for SSI at 25%, and for MA at 30%, of energy cost

    Lion bus electricity consumption is 1.3 to 1.4 kWh DC/mile, per Lion Corporation literature.

    SSI electric buses averaged 1.745 kWh AC/mile, from the wall outlet, to have 1.325 kWh DC/mile in the battery (near the low end of the Lion range); mild climates require less electricity/mile. See Note

    MA electric buses would require 1.890 kWh AC/mile, from the wall outlet, to have 1.390 kWh DC/mile in the battery (near the high end of the Lion range); cold climates require greater electricity/mile.
    A separate fuel oil-fired heating system is required for cabin heating, which emits CO2. See Note

    MA diesel bus mileage; 6.3 mpg, cold climate, per VEIC
    SSI diesel bus mileage; 1.15 x 6.3 = 7.25 mpg; mild climates have better mpg and require minimal, or no, cabin heating

    SSI electricity cost = 1.745 kWh AC/mile x 13 c/mile = 2722, energy + 0.25 x 2722, demand = US $3,403/y, or 28.4 c/mile
    SSI electric bus total cost = 6.4, maintenance + 28.4, electricity = 34.8 c/mile; no cabin heating.
    SSI diesel bus total cost = 23, maintenance + 34.5, fuel = 57.5 c/mile
    SSI cost reduction per bus = 57.5 – 34.8 = 22.8 c/mile, or $2,732/y

    Amortizing the capital cost difference; ($352,500 – $100,000) at 3.5%/y for 15 years = $21,661/y, or 180.1 c/mile, about 7.9 times the annual cost reduction!!

    MA electricity cost = 1.890 kWh AC/mile x 13 c/kWh = 2948 + 0.30 x 2948, demand = US $3,833/y, or 31.9 c/mile
    MA electric bus cabin heating cost; 12000 miles x 1 gal/78 miles x $2.93/gal = 3.8 c/mile
    MA electric bus total cost = 6.4, maintenance + 31.9, electricity + 3.8, cabin heating = 42.1 c/mile
    MA diesel bus total cost = 23, maintenance + 39.7, fuel = 62.7 c/mile
    MA cost reduction per bus = 62.7 – 42.1 = 20.6 c/mile, or $2,470/y

    Amortizing the capital cost difference ($352,500 – $100,000) at 3.5%/y for 15 years = $21,661/y, or 180.1 c/mile, about 8.8 times the annual cost reduction per bus!!

  2. Here is some more info about MONEY LOSING electric school buses
    https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/electric-bus-systems-likely-not-cost-effective-in-vermont-at

    Lifetime, A-to-Z Analysis Includes Combustion, Upstream, Embodied and Downstream CO2

    A much more realistic CO2-reduction analysis would be on a lifetime, A-to-Z basis.
    Such analyses have been performed for at least 20 years. Engineers are very familiar with them. They would include:

    1) Upstream CO2 of energy for extraction, processing and transport to a user
    2) Embodied CO2 of expensive batteries, from extraction of materials to installation in a bus
    3) Embodied CO2 of $352,500 electric buses vs $100,000 diesel buses
    4) Embodied CO2 of balance-of-system components
    5) Embodied CO2 of much more expensive electric bus parking facilities, with a Level 2 charger for each bus, than for a diesel bus parking facility with a diesel pump.
    6) Downstream CO2 of disposal of batteries, etc.

    Any CO2 advantage of electric buses vs diesel buses would be less, on a lifetime, A-to-Z basis.
    The cost of CO2 reduction would increase from $2,076/metric ton to about $2,500/Mt.

    Vehicle-to-Grid Operation

    Proponents of VtG claim electric school buses could be used by utilities, to have the batteries absorb a fraction of midday solar bulges, and deliver that electricity, minus about 20% losses, to the gid during late afternoon/early evening, when peak demands are occurring, and solar has gone to sleep until mid-morning the next day.

    As part of managing midday-solar DUCK curves, 10 electric school buses, capital cost at least $3.5 million, already partially charged, would absorb 500 kWh during midday and discharge 400 kWh from 5 pm to 8 pm (peak demand hours). See Note.

    The $100,000 batteries, part of a $325,000 electric school bus, would have extra wear and tear, which would shorten their 15-year lives. This is like doing yardwork in a tuxedo.
    A utility could purchase a 600-kWh battery system, for a turnkey cost of about $450,000, and achieve the same results.

    NOTE: For long life, say 15 years, Li-ion batteries should not be discharged to less than 20%, and not be charged in excess of 80%, per Battery University, which would limit VtG “benefits” of electric school buses and regular EVs. That range also happens to have the highest efficiency. See URLs

    Charging Electric Buses

    Normal Operation at 32F and below: On cold/freezing days, an electric bus battery would use on-board systems to heat itself, as needed, during parking and driving.

    Charging at 32F and below: Li-ion batteries cannot be charged below 32F. Although the pack appears to be charging normally, plating of metallic lithium would occur on the anode. This is permanent and cannot be removed with cycling.
    Plating results in: 1) loss of range, 2) sharp dendrites could create shorts in battery cells, causing failures/fires, if exposed to rough road driving, or other stressful conditions.

    Power Failure at 32F and below:
    Partially full batteries, connected to dead chargers, could empty themselves to prevent freezing.
    As an alternative, buses could be towed to a warm garage, then charged.
    See URLs.

    NOTE:
    – Batteries have miscellaneous losses to provide electricity to on-board systems, similar to Tesla and other EVs
    – On cold/freezing days, an electric bus should be ready for service as soon as the driver enters the bus
    – On cold/freezing days, the driver would need at least 70% charge, because travel would require more energy per mile

    NOTE:
    If the battery temperature is less than 40F or more than 115F, it will use more kWh/mile
    The higher efficiency range, charging and discharging, is 60F to 80F.
    Batteries have greater internal resistance at lower temperatures.
    Pro-bus folks often point to California regarding electric buses, but in New England, using electric buses to transport children would be a whole new ballgame, especially on colder days. See URLs

    NOTE: Where would the electricity come from to charge and protect from cold, expensive batteries during extended electricity outages, due to multi-day, hot and cold weather events, with minimal wind and sun, as occur in California, Texas and New England?
    Emergency standby diesel-generators? Emergency standby batteries?

  3. TCI also envisions electric school buses all over New England
    https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/electric-bus-systems-likely-not-cost-effective-in-vermont-at

    Governor and Senators Seeking More Electric Vehicles and Buses with Federal COVID Money

    The energy priorities of New England governments are driven by a self-serving cabal of RE folks. All is decided at high levels. Ordinary people rarely participate during government hearings, except those pre-selected to say the right things.

    The cabal has powerful allies on Wall Street, which is molding the minds of people by means of generous donations to universities and think tanks. Here is an example of the resulting double-speak:

    Vermont’s Governor: “Investing in more energy-efficient public transportation is important for our economy and environment,” the governor said. He added that the COVID money is enabling the transportation agency to replace as many as 30 buses and fund energy-efficient projects.”

    NOTE: Each $325,000 electric school bus reduces CO2 by about 10 metric ton/y, compared to a $100,000 diesel bus. Vermont has much better CO2 reduction options. See Appendix.

    The Vermont House Energy/Environment Committee, the VT Transportation Department, VEIC, EAN, etc., echo the same message, to “convince” legislators, people in the Governor’s Office, and Vermonters, to use COVID money and Volkswagen Settlement money to buy expensive electric buses to deal with a minor pollution problem in a few urban areas in Vermont.

    Such an electric vehicle measure would be much more appropriate in the over-crowded, down-town Boston Area and the Connecticut Gold Coast.

    The cabal urge Vermonters to buy electric buses at about:

    $750,000 – $1,000,000 per mass-transit bus, plus high-speed charging systems.
    A standard diesel mass-transit bus costs $380,000 – $420,000

    $330,000 – $375,000, per school bus, plus high-speed charging systems.
    A standard diesel/gasoline school bus costs about $100,000

    “Free” Federal COVID Money for Expensive Electric School Buses

    The Governor and bureaucrats are throwing COVID money, meant for suffering households and businesses, into another climate-fighting black hole.

    Spending huge amounts of capital on various projects that yield minor reductions in CO2, is a recipe for low economic efficiency, and for low economic growth, on a state-wide and nation-wide scale, which would adversely affect state and US competitiveness in markets, and adversely affect living standards and job creation.

    Costs of Government RE Programs

    Vermont’s government engaging in electric bus demonstration programs, financed with COVID money, likely would prove to be expensive undertakings, requiring hidden subsidies, white-washing and obfuscation.

    Lifetime spreadsheets, with 1) turnkey capital costs, 2) annual cashflows, 3) annual energy cost savings, 4) annual CO2 reductions, and 5) cost of CO2 reduction/metric ton, with all assumptions clearly stated and explained, likely will never see the light of day.

  4. Here is an expanded comment regarding EVs
    https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/high-costs-of-wind-solar-and-battery-systems

    Vermont needs a gas-guzzler code to impose a fee on low-mileage vehicles.
    The more below 40-mpg, the greater would be the fee.
    Vehicles with greater than 40-mpg, such as the 54-mpg Toyota Prius, would be exempt.

    Instead, RE folks would have everyone drive unaffordable EVs, that would not reduce much CO2 compared with EFFICIENT gasoline vehicles.

    On a lifetime, A-to-Z basis, with travel at 105,600 miles over 10 years, the CO2 emissions, based on the present New England grid CO2/kWh, would be:

    NISSAN Leaf S Plus, EV, compact SUV, no AWD, would emit 25.967 Mt, 246 g/mile
    TOYOTA Prius L Eco, 62 mpg, compact car, no AWD, would emit 26.490 Mt, 251 g/mile
    SUBARU Outback, 30 mpg, medium SUV, with AWD, would emit 43.015 Mt, 407 g/mile
    VT LDV mix, 22.7 mpg, many with AWD or 4WD, would emit 56.315 Mt, 533 g/mile

    The above shows,

    A NISSAN Leaf, a compact vehicle, would have CO2 reduction of 30.3 Mt over 10 years (3 Mt/y), if compared with the VT LDV mix, which contains small and big vehicles.

    A NISSAN Leaf would have CO2 reduction of 16.3 Mt over 10 years (1.63 Mt/y), if compared with my 30-mpg Subaru Outback, a vastly more useful vehicle

    NOTE: EAN estimated 4.5 Mt/y, based on an artificial 25 g CO2/kWh electricity, instead of using the 300 g/kWh of the NE rid, calculated by ISO-NE on a rational basis. EAN neglected: 1) the CO2 of MAKING the battery, etc., and 2) LIFETIME conditions

    NOTE: These URLs show, EVs are driven an average of 7,000 miles/y, compared to 12,000 miles/y for the US LDV mix. The difference holds for: 1) all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, 2) single- and multiple-vehicle households, and 3) inside and outside California. This means, as a fleet, EVs would reduce less CO2 than envisioned by RE folks’ dream scenarios.

    Any analyses by EAN, or VT-DOT, or Concerned “Scientists” (anyone can join), etc., using 12,000, or even 15,000 miles per year, would be GROSSLY in error and DECEPTIVE.

    HUGE investments to implement EVs would be required, including:

    Chargers everywhere,
    Additional generation with HEAVILY SUBSIDIZED, EXPENSIVE, VARIABLE, INTERMITTENT wind and solar,
    Additional grid build-outs
    Additional grid-scale batteries everywhere,
    Additional costs for balancing
    Worldwide battery materials supply chains

    This means, as a fleet, EVs would reduce less than 50% of the CO2 envisioned by RE folks’ dream scenarios.
    RE promoters of “GOING EV” are seriously deranged, if they keep spouting EVs have no CO2 emissions.

  5. TCI was going to be some type of UNELECTED, CENTRALIZED, SOCIALIST-STYLE UBER government, worming its way into all of transportation, and then branch out into other areas, all in the name of the “tilting at windmills” idiocy of reducing CO2, which is good for nature, because it promotes biomass growth, and food crops.

    Of course, TCI has no monopoly on idiocy

    Heavily hyped, subsidized EVs are not only expensive, but they are driven only 7000 miles per year, ON AVERAGE (per studies), plus they hardly reduce any CO2 on an A-to-Z, lifetime basis, compared to EFFICIENT gasoline vehicles, that are driven 12000 miles per year, because they are FAR MORE useful.

    My three heavily hyped, heat pumps, turnkey cost $24,000, produced another OPERATING loss.

    I reduced propane by 170 gal, which reduced propane costs by $408, but the cost of my electricity use increased by $680, courtesy of GMP’s high electric rates, politically augmented by taxes, fees and surcharges.
    I AM LOSING MONEY

    Oh, but wait. Amortizing the heat pumps at 3.5% over 15 years costs $2100 per year.
    I AM LOSING EVEN MORE MONEY.

    Oh, but wait. I forgot to mention maintenance and parts for the heat pumps, plus for my traditional heating system, over the years.
    I AM LOSING EVEN MORE MONEY

    All this is a real lousy way to “tilt at windmills”.

    • Here is an expanded comment regarding my MONEY-LOSING heat pumps
      https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/high-costs-of-wind-solar-and-battery-systems

      Heat Pumps are Money Losers in my Vermont House (as they are in almost all people’s houses)

      My annual electricity consumption increased about 50% (the various taxes, fees, and surcharges also increased), after I installed three Mitsubishi, 24,000 Btu/h heat pumps, each with 2 heads; 2 in the living room, 1 in the kitchen, and 1 in each of 3 bedrooms.
      The heat pumps last about 15 years.

      They are used for heating and cooling my 35-y-old, well-sealed/well-insulated house. It has 2” of blueboard (R-10 vs R-0.67 for 8” concrete) on the outside of the concrete foundation and under the basement slab which has saved me many thousands of heating dollars over the 35 years.

      Before heat pumps, my heating propane was 1000 gal/y, after heat pumps, it was 830 gal/y, a reduction of 170 gal/y, or $310/y, at $2.399/gal. Additional electricity costs were $609/y. I AM LOSING MONEY
      Domestic hot water, DHW, heating, requires about 200 gallon/y

      My existing Viessmann propane system, 95%-efficient in condensing mode, is used on cold days, 15F or less, because heat pumps have low efficiencies, i.e., low Btu/kWh, at exactly the same time my house would need the most heat; a perverse situation, due to the laws of Physics 101!!

      The heat pumps would be slightly more efficient than electric resistance heaters at -10F, the Vermont HVAC design temperature. It would be extremely irrational to operate air source heat pumps, at such temperatures.

      I have had no energy cost savings, because of high household electric rates, augmented with taxes, fees and surcharges. Vermont forcing, with subsidies, the addition of expensive RE electricity to the mix, would make matters worse!!

      Amortizing the $24,000 turnkey capital cost at 3.5%/y for 15 years costs about $2,059/y. I AM LOSING MONEY

      There likely will be service calls and parts for the heat pumps, as the years go by, in addition to annual service calls and parts for the existing propane system. I AM LOSING MONEY
      https://www.myamortizationchart.com

      NOTE:
      If I had a highly sealed, highly insulated house, with the same efficient propane heating system, my house would use very little energy for heating.
      If I would install heat pumps* and would operate the propane system on only the coldest days, I likely would have energy cost savings.
      However, those annual energy cost savings would be overwhelmed by the annual amortizing cost, i.e., I would still be losing money, if amortizing were considered.

      * I likely would need 3 units at 18,000 Btu/h, at a lesser turnkey capital cost. Their output, very-inefficiently produced, would be about 27,000 Btu/h at -10F, the Vermont HVAC design temperature.

      NOTE: VT-Department of Public Service found, after a survey of 77 heat pumps installed in Vermont houses (turnkey cost for a one-head HP system is about $4,500), the annual ENERGY cost savings were, on average, $200, but the annual amortizing costs turned that gain into a loss of $200, i.e., on average, these houses were unsuitable for heat pumps, and the owners were losing money.

  6. Hopefully, Scott makes the prudent decision not to sign on to this meaningless, but harmful tax. Amazingly, CT recently declined in reluctant acknowledgement of this nonsensical fuel tax.

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