Roper: Higher home heating fuel prices are just the beginning — gas and diesel are next

By Rob Roper

Vermont’s supermajority just put Vermont on the path to significantly higher home heating fuel prices in the future with the passage of S.5, the Clean Heat Standard bill, over the veto of Governor Phil Scott. But don’t expect the controversy to end there. Home heating is only one area of greenhouse gas reduction required under the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA). Next up is the transportation sector — and higher taxes on gasoline and diesel fuels plus higher registration fees on vehicles that use those fuels.

Rob Roper

The Cross Sector Mitigation subcommittee of the Vermont Climate Council took this topic up at their May 18, 2023, meeting. Vermont signed onto the California Clean Cars II initiative earlier this year, phasing out and eventually banning the sale of new internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. This works by mandating percentages of how many electric vehicles (EVs) must be delivered by manufacturers to Vermont regardless of consumer demand.

The Climate Action Plan (CAP) for meeting the GWSA goals will require putting 126,000 EVs into Vermonters’ driveways by 2030. There are about 7,000 on our roads today. While EVs are growing in popularity, they are not so popular (or in many cases practical with current technology) as to grow in market share that much over that time period without serious government intervention in the form of “carrots and sticks.”

The “carrots” are, of course, major subsides — bribes — given to EV purchasers. These will be paid for by using the “sticks” to beat the hell out of drivers of traditional ICE vehicles like so many cash pinatas.

A presentation by the Agency of Transportation to the Cross Sector Mitigation Committee listed the strategies for achieving these goals as either a “cap and invest” program, a ‘cap-and-trade” program, or a “clean transportation standard,” all of which are just variations on a theme – a hefty carbon tax on motor fuels.

Committee member, Jared Duval, pointed out during this presentation that the assumptions of EV uptake are that the public will actually purchase and put into use all of the EVs delivered to Vermont under Clean Cars II, which even he admits seems like a rosy proposition – at lease without “policies and programs to make sure that all of those vehicles can be purchased and placed in service.”

Ben Eskin of the Agency of Transportation assured Duval that the plan is to ensure that all of the vehicles delivered are bought. “As we do our strategy development it’s almost like what are all the prerequisites that we need to do to make deliverance,” he said. “So, there’s going to be an assumption as we do the modeling that we will utilize whatever infrastructure build-up and incentives are needed to make that up-take a reality.”

What he is assuming is that Vermonters are going to pay for, according to his presentation, “Expanded [EV] incentives, EV charging infrastructure/incentives, Other low-carbon fuel incentives,” and “Fleet transition support, [and something called] Make-ready funding.”

This is all going to cost hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars.

That revenue will be raised by taxing (or some other Rube Goldberg carbon tax scheme) gasoline and diesel motor fuels, and “feebates,” a policy of charging drivers of ICE vehicles more to register their cars and using the money to pay-off those who drive EVs.

While the exact amounts necessary to fund all these programs hasn’t been thoroughly calculated, when VPIRG first proposed their carbon tax to fund similar programs back in 2014, the gas and diesel tax implications were right around an additional $1.00 per gallon. Expect something similar if not more so given the scope of what our elected officials have bought into.

Something to think about — and budget for — if you’re determined to stick around to see how the supermajority’s plans for your life and livelihood shake out.

Rob Roper is a freelance writer who has been involved with Vermont politics and policy for over 20 years. This article reprinted with permission from Behind the Lines: Rob Roper on Vermont Politics,

Image courtesy of Public domain

10 thoughts on “Roper: Higher home heating fuel prices are just the beginning — gas and diesel are next

  1. It’s a spending wildfire in the statehouse. With the incentives and infrastructure upgrades required to ramrod EVs into every driveway in the state and the ever growing taxes and fees, it’s no wonder a parent can’t afford to stay home with their child. No problem though….. universal childcare has got you covered. Mommy…. Daddy….. You are now cleared to work 24/7 and the legislators who voted in favor have just enlarged the already oversized pipeline they’ve got that is directly connected to and sucking away your family’s finances and bright future.

    I have come to a point in my career where I am the one they constantly look to. The treadmill that I am on, and the fruit of my labor has the complete and growing attention of the liberal pukes in Montpelier! I can put in more hours, advance to the higher paying position and see practically no improvement! Thanks to these kind of policy changes that come from legislators in montpelier, my life gets neither easier or richer. Vermont takes all of what rightfully should be a surplus.

    I am disgusted.

  2. Here’s a challenge. Try to make a list of all the things you can buy or do in Vermont that the state doesn’t get a tax, fee or penalty from? Excluded are most foods and clothes. Okay, go!

  3. Here’s a challenge. Try to make a list of all the things you can buy or do in Vermont that the state doesn’t get a tax, fee or penalty from? Excluded are most foods and clothes. Okay, go!

    After you realize this is almost impossible, thank a Vermont voter who continues to vote for your financial disaster that will happen in the near future. The dollars you have now aren’t worth much as it is. Enjoy your misery unless you are a trustfunder implant here to control the rest of us who were born here.


  4. People will by fueling up in NH, MA and NY, and some are going to be registering their vehicles in South Dakota. — The very idea of a state with 650000 people changing the climate of the planet is absurd, and proof the people making these rules are in fact nuts.

  5. As if the high taxes that we pay in Vermont aren’t enough! Now they have to go and add insult to injury. I have said this before, and will continue to say it, the ‘lawmakers’ that voted in favor of higher home heating fuel prices with their newest law, need to be the very same ones who pay for it out of their own pockets! Too high taxes, not nearly enough housing (I have to leave the state until some becomes available, and I am a fourth generation Vermonter), and now this INSANE new law that will make it even more expensive to heat our homes! ‘We the people’ need to protest this in huge numbers at our state house in Montpelier. And we definitely need to vote the lawmakers out who voted for this bill. Enough is enough!

  6. It is because all of these PENCIL PUSHERS have nothing better to do than create havoc on the working class people!! The ones that actually have to work for a living and try to make a living for themselves and their families! Then they tax the s out of them, and tell us we all should drive electric vehicles and just what do they think is going to happen to the electric grid around here??? It will be just like California, well WE ARE NOT CALIFORNIA and the tree huggers in office need to get their head out of their ass and realize that!! Instead they just keep pushing pencils and none of them have smarts enough to realize that Vermonters cannot afford what they are proposing!!!! They need their heads screwed back on correctly!!!!

  7. Vermont should have very low license and registration fees, but it should have a road use tax based on vehicle curb weight.

    That way all vehicles registered in Vermont pay their fair share.

    This is not rocket science

    • Because it’s the reality now Greg. The leftist loons have total power and they’re absolutely going to use it. They got their foot in the door with the unaffordable heat tax on fuel oil and now they will keep the door from closing until they get the same on all natural (not fossil) fuels. Meanwhile Europe is dropping all their push and subsidies for EV knowing they don’t have the juice to plug them all in. Our brain dead climate nazis will not do the same and hold fast to their failed policy that doesn’t do SQUAT..

      • Bob,

        The ones running for office are kabuki artists.

        They have the Good Housekeeping seal of approval of the Dem/Prog uniparty.

        They are advised by election advisors to smile a lot, and to hide behind a disguise of motherhood talking points.

        After election, that disguise is altered somewhat to fit the talking points of current issues to ensure “unity of message”

        Most voters have not a clue what is being done to them behind closed doors and “in the open”, due to decades of pre-conditioning about free and fair and no fraud and other such claptrap

        Oh that?
        Well, it must not have been a bid deal.
        Almost no one was convicted or went to jail

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