By Rob Roper
You can’t go on social media without seeing some post poking fun at our current situation along the lines of “how do you like this preview of the Green New Deal?” These are funny because they are true, as demonstrated by the latest op-ed by Vermont’s David Blittersdorf, of AllEarth Renewables.
Blittersdorf is gleeful about the destruction of our economy because of its impact on lowering our carbon footprint. “We may have failed in the past,” he writes, “but in the wake of our newfound global collective awareness of what is essential, we have a new opportunity right now to carry out the big changes necessary.” What’s not essential in Blittersdorf’s world — and of those who share his ideology — is you, your job and your standard of living. And the big, necessary change he sees for the future is making sure those unessential things don’t come back.
What does he want instead? More of your tax dollars to subsidize his own business and protect his own multimillionaire lifestyle. “It’s time to write new laws and invest in new infrastructure to support renewables, combat climate change, switch to electric heating, new transportation systems. … Let’s use this crisis to pivot to increase in-state wind and solar installations.”
Vermont state revenues have been devastated by this economic shutdown. Surveys show that nearly half of small businesses are not confident they will be able to reopen or re-hire employees when this is over. Unemployment services are overwhelmed. Schools have been rocked, and there’s a real worry Vermonters won’t be able to pay their property taxes to support them. Three state college campuses may close, resulting in tremendous economic disruption to large swaths of Vermont. Our hospitals, which aren’t making money doing elective surgeries or providing routine care, will need help getting back on their feet.
How out of touch does one have to be to think that as we try to climb out of this awful hole, that raising taxes to pay for EV charging stations, solar panel subsidies for wealthy homeowners, inefficient wind towers on our ridgelines, and David Blittersdorf’s idiotic, $90 million, seven-mile, train service between Montpelier and Barre will be a priority for anyone?
Well, perhaps the politicians Blittersdorf funds will continue to promote his schemes — if elected. Here’s a small taste of who that is from a 2016 story by Paul Heintz of Seven Days:
Blittersdorf, a wind and solar developer who cofounded NRG Systems and now runs AllEarth Renewables, is putting his money where his mouth is. Over the past two years, he has contributed more than $102,000 to Vermont candidates, political action committees, super PACs and parties, according to federal and state records. That makes him the most generous Vermont donor to state political races this election cycle, according to a Seven Days analysis….
In addition to the $4,000 he’s given to Scott’s rival, Democratic nominee Sue Minter, Blittersdorf has contributed $20,000 directly to the Vermont Democratic Party — and another $20,000 to the party through two businesses he controls, Aeolus Labs and Georgia Mountain Community Wind.
He’s helped out traditional political action committees, such as Vermont Conservation Voters PAC and Renewable Energy Vermont PAC, to the tune of $4,000 apiece. And he’s also dabbled in super PACs: Two weeks ago, he cut a $25,000 check to Vermont Conservation Voters Action Fund.
If you want to understand why Vermont is so screwed up and doesn’t seem to serve the needs of the people, this is a big part of the reason. The people who are buying the majority of our politicians don’t think you’re essential. In fact, they think the opposite — that you’re a problem that needs to be eliminated in order to create a “new normal.”