By Rob Roper
The Vermont Climate Council continues its discussions about what they plan to do — or more accurately, what they are going to force you to do — in order to lower Vermont’s greenhouse gas emissions.
During the Sept. 2 meeting of the Cross Sector Mitigation subcommittee, talk turned to eliminating fossil fuel use for cooking 100% by 2035 (44–55 minute mark). This means that if your home or restaurant uses gas for cooking today, you better start planning to rip that system out and replace it with electric.
While you’re ripping out your gas stove, you might as well replace your oil and gas water heating systems, which will be illegal by 2035, and oil and gas space heating systems, which will be illegal by 2040. “Ozone depleting substitutes” are also on the list, so that could mean a new refrigerator and freezer.
That’s for existing structures. If you’re starting from scratch, any new construction will have to be “net zero energy” by 2030. How exactly that is to be achieved remains unclear, but it doesn’t sound cheap.
If any of these people realize that we have an overall housing shortage and an acute shortage of affordable housing in Vermont, they clearly don’t care. That maybe unfair — the Global Warming Solutions Act passed by the Legislature really doesn’t allow them to care. The council’s role is to reduce GHG levels to a legally mandated level regardless of any damage done to other aspects of the economy, individual households, or other government priorities.
This is a horrible way to govern. If a committee were charged with finding a way for you to reduce your weight by 40% by a deadline in the not too distant future, they could achieve that goal by chopping off your legs. You’ll bleed to death, but they can check their box. Mission accomplished.