Roper: Robbing economic rescue to fund the climate plan

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We can argue whether or not the national debt incurred to cover ARPA payments was worth it in hindsight, and if there is money left over it should be returned to the taxpayer (or used to pay back the debt it is responsible for). But one thing should not be on the table — spending the money on a bunch of stuff it was not intended to fund.

By Rob Roper

The Vermont Climate Council and their so-called “plan” to cut the state’s greenhouse gas emissions were dealt another blow when the national Democrats’ “Build Back Better” spending extravaganza wound up in the policy morgue next to the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI). The “plan” was counting on “free” money from the feds to pay for their wish list of projects which, according to one chart presented at the Council’s December 21 meeting, tops a half a billion dollars.

So, what to do? Council member Richard Cowart proposed the following language for the formal recommendation to the Legislature:

Due to the urgency of the climate crisis we urge the legislature … that the opportunity to invest ARPA funds be seen through the lens of taking actions to address Vermont’s climate goals. That ARPA isn’t just about recovery from the [Covid economic] crisis in the usual course of business. We are urging looking at this through the lens of climate change.

Except that’s not what the American Rescue Plan (ARPA) is for. At all.

The White House’s information page on ARPA list three primary bullet points for what the money under this plan should be used for:

  • Mount a national vaccination program, contain COVID-19, and safely reopen schools.
  • Deliver immediate relief to American families bearing the brunt of this crisis.
  • Support communities that are struggling in the wake of COVID-19.

There is nothing there about climate change.

ARPA funds are supposed to be used to deal directly with the emergency conditions caused by the pandemic and the government response to it. It is supposed to ensure our schools can remain open and safe, and it doesn’t look like we’ve met that goal to the point where we should be syphoning off those resources to subsidize our neighbor’s purchase of a new Prius.

ARPA funds are supposed to provide “emergency grants, lending, and investment to hard-hit small businesses so they can rehire and retain workers and purchase the health and sanitation equipment they need to keep workers safe.” How do the shops and restaurants on your Main Street look in the wake of Covid lockdowns and mask requirements? Ready to give up their promised economic life jackets so the money can be shifted to “urban tree planting” projects under the Climate Action Plan?

This money was promised to people and businesses harmed by pandemic for the purposes of economic recovery. We can argue whether or not the national debt incurred to cover ARPA payments was worth it in hindsight, and if there is money left over it should be returned to the taxpayer (or used to pay back the debt it is responsible for). But one thing should not be on the table — spending the money on a bunch of stuff it was not intended to fund. If this were to happen in the private sector it would be called fraud. The Climate Council should be ashamed for suggesting it, and our Legislature should loudly declare it will have no part of it.

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

Image courtesy of Public domain

9 thoughts on “Roper: Robbing economic rescue to fund the climate plan

  1. From the real world:

    Hybrid Toyota Camry.
    Initial cost is only about a couple thousand more than a standard Camry.
    45 MPG in a car that easily seats 5 and rides nice and quiet.
    Fuel range is 600 miles.
    Maintenance intervals are 15,000 miles
    The engine runs at a programmed speed, which is best for electric generation.
    Just hit 300,000 miles, no loss of power or comfort.
    Parked IN THE GARAGE DURING WINTER, because no Toyota Hybrid catches fire!!.

    EXCERPT from:


    This article describes the efficiency of electric vehicles, EVs, and their charging loss, when charging at home and on-the-road, and the economics, when compared with efficient gasoline vehicles.

    In this article,

    Total cost of an EV, c/mile = Operating cost, c/mile + Owning cost, c/mile, i.e., amortizing the difference of the MSRPs of an EV versus an equivalent, efficient gasoline vehicle; no options, no destination charge, no sales tax, no subsidies.

    CO2 reduction of equivalent vehicles, on a lifetime, A-to-Z basis = CO2 emissions of an efficient gasoline vehicle, say 30 to 40 mpg – CO2 emissions of an EV


    Real-World Concerns About the Economics of EVs

    It may not be such a good idea to have a proliferation of EVs, because of:

    1) Their high initial capital costs; about 50% greater than equivalent gasoline vehicles.
    2) The widespread high-speed charging facilities required for charging “on the road”.
    3) The loss of valuable time when charging “on the road”.
    4) The high cost of charging/kWh, plus exorbitant penalties, when charging “on-the-road”.

    High-Mileage Hybrids a Much Better Alternative Than EVs

    The Toyota Prius, and Toyota Prius plug-in, which get up to 54 mpg, EPA combined, would:

    1) Have much less annual owning and operating costs than any EV, for at least the next ten years.
    2) Have minimal wait-times, as almost all such plug-ins would be charging at home
    3) Be less damaging to the environment, because their batteries would have very low capacity, kWh
    4) Impose much less of an additional burden on the electric grids.

    Hybrid vehicles, such as the Toyota Prius, save about the same amount of CO₂ as electric cars over their lifetime, plus:

    1) They are cost-competitive with gasoline vehicles, even without subsidies.
    2) They do not require EV chargers, do not induce range anxiety, can be refilled in minutes, instead of hours.
    3) Climate change does not care about where CO₂ comes from. Gasoline cars are only about 7% of global CO2 emissions. Replacing them with electric cars would only help just a little, on an A to Z, lifetime basis.

  2. Vermont RE folks are pushing for ELECTRIC VEHICLES

    EXCERPT from:


    THETFORD; July 2, 2021 — A fire destroyed a 2019 Chevy Bolt, 66 kWh battery, battery pack cost about $10,000, or 10000/66 = $152/kWh, EPA range 238 miles, owned by state Rep. Tim Briglin, D-Thetford, Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Technology.

    He had been driving back and forth from Thetford, VT, to Montpelier, VT, with his EV, about 100 miles via I-89
    He had parked his 2019 Chevy Bolt on the driveway, throughout the winter, per GM recall of Chevy Bolts
    He had plugged his EV into a 240-volt charger.
    His battery was at about 10% charge at start of charging, at 8 PM, and he had charged it to 100% charge at 4 AM; 8 hours of charging.
    Charging over such a wide range is detrimental for the battery. However, it is required for “range-driving”, i.e., making long trips. See Note

    NOTE: Range-driving is not recommended, except on rare occasions, as it would 1) pre-maturely age/damage the battery, 2) reduce range sooner, 3) increase charging loss, and 4) increase kWh/mile.

    Charging at 32F or less
    Li-ions would plate out on the anode each time when charging, especially when such charging occurred at battery temperatures of 32F or less.

  3. A Tesla Model S owner in Finland decided to blow up his electric car with dynamite after it needed a battery replacement, which Tesla said was going to cost $22,000.

    A mannequin with the face of Elon Musk was placed in the driver’s seat before the explosion.

    • Go look at Rich Rebuilds and he shows a Tesla quote for around $22,000 for a new battery install in a 2013 Model S.

      They repairs the defect cells for about $7,000, if I remember correctly.

      Tesla always wants to install a new battery at full price
      A model 3 battery replacement is quoted at $16,000 by Tesla.

      See here at 1:28 mark for the invoice The TRUTH about the $22,500 Tesla battery repair – YouTube

      GM is paying only $1.8 billion to change out the batteries of 140,000 Bolts, sold during the past 6 years, or $12,000 per car, because they kept on catching fire.

  4. The whole climate fighting cabal of blaming the CO2 of burning fossil, is nothing but a red herring to slowly wean the world away from burning fossil, because we will run out of fossil within the next 50 to 100 years.

    As fossil becomes scarcer, it would become hugely more expensive, as demonstrated regarding very-high-priced, scarce gas in Europe at $65/million Btu

    It would take that long to convert the entire world.

  5. Taxes, high or low, have zero effect on climate, or weather, or environment.

    Once that money is in the hands of government, any government, it is lost.

    In Vermont it will do only harm to every citizen.

    Humans must wage a JIHAD against this religious climate-fighting hysteria.

    Vermonters must turn out to vote EN MASSE, to PERMANENTLY drive career RE politicians, and career RE bureaucrats, out of our affairs

    Excerpt from:


    Distrust in Government

    I am not surprised at the lack of public trust in Washington, DC, and elsewhere. The games of smoke and mirrors played in Washington are off-the-charts outrageous.

    Never, ever, has there been such a level of deceit, as Democrats have inflicted on the US People, since January 2021, after using a fraudulent election in 2020 (see Appendix), to achieve a coup d’etat, to relentlessly push for a major increase of:

    1) The size and intrusiveness of government, and
    2) Democrat command/control over the federal government and the American people.

    Here is a most egregious example:

    Build Back Better’ Would Cost $4.490 Trillion Over the Next Decade, if Provisions Were Made to Last 10 Years

    PHASE 1; All BBB programs have carefully chosen expiration dates to lower the cost

    BBB Bill “Shaping” and Cost Estimating

    The cost of the original BBB bill was $6.0 trillion, as crafted by extreme-leftist Sanders, Chairman of the US Senate Budget Committee. When his proposals proved to be a non-starter, he was told to “whittle it down” to an alleged $3.5 trillion, which, he declared, was the “absolute minimum”. Whittled down means, he shortened the duration of some programs from 10 years to 1 year, or 2 years, etc., as explained in next sections. See table 1

    Manchin, moderate Democrat, US Senator of West Virginia, knows how to co-operate with moderate Republicans.
    He had stated, he had reservations about the BBB bill, and would consider a bill costing about $1.5 trillion.

    Senators Sanders and Wyden, and White House staff, and Pelosi’s staff, etc., aka “the Shapers”, further whittled down the cost of the BBB bill from $3.5 to the magic $1.75 trillion, to placate Manchin, mainly by tossing some programs and shortening program durations even more. Be sure to view table 1

    At this point Manchin, who had been largely kept out of the loop, made more and more noise.
    He and 80-year-old Sanders had frequent shouting matches about:

    1) BBB budgeting smoke-and-mirror shenanigans, such as short program durations to reduce costs
    2) BBB causing a major increase in the size, bureaucrat headcount, and intrusiveness of the federal government
    3) BBB worsening high inflation rates in 2022, and beyond
    4) BBB worsening multi-billion US budget deficits in 2022, and beyond
    5) BBB worsening the rapidly-growing US national debt
    6) BBB worsening US trade competitiveness and US trade deficits
    7) BBB worsening the precarious financial condition of the Social Security and Medicare Systems. See Note

    The resulting BBB bill became a Green New Deal cornucopia for boosting Democrat constituencies. See table 1
    The BBB bill, aka “budget reconciliation bill,” had morphed into a vast expansion and increase of:

    1) The socialistic welfare state for individuals, and
    2) The decades-long bonanza for multi-millionaire subsidy-seekers in the renewable energy sector.

  6. It’s pretty sad. But, it’s in step with robbing the coffers of the USPS and Social Security by the US Congress. Politicians are all a bunch of money grabbing weasels, or maybe egg sucking dogs. But even worse are the skunks on the VCC. THE GWSA and TCI are scams to rip off the tax payers with a goal that is impossible to accomplish in the time frame set. Once the scam is realized for what it is, the RE industry leaders will be fat with our cash, and climate change won’t be the least bit subdued.
    There is no way the VCC can accomplish it’s goals without advanced planning and engineering of the grid upgrade. The dream of an EV in every garage and fossil fuels obsolete, without ruining the economy, is such an enormous undertaking that it is unachievable with the outlined plans.
    The VCC is similar to the emperor and his new clothes. The VCC thinks it has a real plan, but in reality, it only has a thong.

  7. I thought so–money to be ear-marked for compliance. Hence, the schools being bastions thereof…sick. We need some ALPHA males to step up–seriously. BTW: $600 was deposited into my checking account earlier this year. I didn’t ask for it. Then, several months later, the IRS contacted me about returning said amount with a fee @ $100 attached. Loan shark anyone?

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