Roper: Two GWSA pillars down, one to go

By Rob Roper

The Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI-P), a stealth carbon tax on gasoline and diesel, died last December when the only three states that originally agreed to participate all backed out. That was one down. The Clean Heat Standard (CHS), a stealth carbon tax on propane, natural gas, kerosene, and heating oil was just successfully vetoed by Governor Phil Scott. That’s two. The next piece of the Global Warming Solutions Act up for consideration is Vermont participation in the California Clean Car & Clean Truck Standards — an ultimate ban on internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.

Rob Roper is on the Board of Directors of the Ethan Allen Institute.

In a nutshell, what these California-driven policies do is mandate that 100 percent of all cars and light trucks sold in the state be “zero emission vehicles” (ZEVs) by 2035 with the restrictions on imports beginning in 2026 and ratcheting up after that. For medium- and heavy-duty trucks, the mandated import percentages are 30 percent by 2030 and 40 percent or higher depending upon class by 2035.

At a May 16 meeting of the Climate Council, Meghan O’Toole of the Department of Environmental Conservation explained, “We adopt these rules pursuant to our authority under the Clean Air Act to have unique and more stringent standards that are reflective of the California program. And because of the provisions of the Clean Air Act that allow us to do that, we don’t really have any flexibility in amending the substantive provisions or the stringency of the provisions of these rules. They have to be identical to the State of California’s program.”

So basically, California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, via executive order, is dictating what Vermont vehicle consumers can and cannot buy — if we go along. We don’t have to.

As Julie Moore, Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources said, “[W]hen it comes to the Clean Car & Cleat Truck Standard, our choices are really to adopt what California has proposed, or to adopt the federal level standards.” So thumbs up or thumbs down.

The obvious choice from a practical, consumer-conscious perspective here is thumbs down to California and go with the federal standards. The problems with the California standards are numerous. ZEVs are expensive, inefficient in Vermont’s climate, and the infrastructure doesn’t exist to support them — and demand, though slightly increasing with the help of taxpayer subsidies, is relatively low. Moreover, although there are several other states that have signed onto the California emissions standards, New Hampshire isn’t one of them. All this will do is drive the sales of new ICE vehicles across the river. But, needless to say, sticking Vermonters with this California policy is what the Climate Council is pushing for.

O’Toole went on: “We anticipate that if all of the vehicles that will be delivered to the state of Vermont pursuant to these rules are actually bought by Vermonters and fleet owners in Vermont and placed in service, then we’ll get about a third of the way to our GWSA goal just for the transportation sector. … That’s again assuming that people buy all these vehicles and place them in service on Vermont roads — and retire their ICE vehicles.”

These are gargantuanly unrealistic assumptions. A legislative mandate forcing car dealers to import only vehicles most Vermonters don’t want and/or can’t afford, with the expectation that we are too stupid to cross the river or visit to find the practical and affordable vehicle we want, is delusional, apart from being totally hostile to consumer freedom of choice. Prediction: this results in car lots full of unsold vehicles in Vermont and a run on showrooms in New Hampshire, damaging our economy and doing little to nothing for emissions.

The rational policy choice is to break with California and switch back to the federal CAFÉ standards for Vermont vehicle sales. The Agency of Natural Resources is set to file these rules with the Interagency Committee on Administrative Rules (ICAR) on July 1 with hopes of having all these rules fully in place by the end of the year. Let’s hope someone (i.e. Governor Scott) squashes this nonsense. That would be three strikes and you’re out for the Global Warming Solutions Act.

Rob Roper is on the board of the Ethan Allen Institute.

Image courtesy of Public domain

5 thoughts on “Roper: Two GWSA pillars down, one to go

  1. Commiefornia is on the verge of making driving unattainable for the middle and poor class. Having 8 dollar and higher a gallon “special” blends and now even the
    upper class who can afford golf cart cars can’t go far as there isn’t enough electricity
    to fully charge the one’s they have. Any state following these idiots agenda are not
    working for their citizens same as the greased hair fool. Our marxist ijits here are all
    to eager to jump on the Cal/NY bandwagon of restrictions on Vehicles which hurt us the taxpayer and accomplish diddly squat.. I had to buy a Cal/NY compliant
    converter for my daughters car at $1500 when the non one was $250. Time for
    the voters to wake up or start buying horses and buggies again.

  2. Let’s see100 percent of all cars and light trucks sold in the state be “zero-emission vehicles”
    by 2035 with the restrictions on imports beginning in 2026 and ratcheting up after that, now
    that’s a plan !!

    To all the global crusaders, where is ” all ” the power going to come to keep these ZEV’s
    fully charged …… Oh wait, that would be diesel or coal generating plants that we “don’t ”
    have enough of today, and if this pipedream was to ever come to fruition, well we’ll all be
    in the dark……….and these snowflakes, are going to melt !!

    Fools in charge of a topic, and no solution……Yup, “the California Plan”, now I understand
    the mindset in Montpelier, that’s nothing I’d be bragging about.

    And you talk about a state that’s in dire straits., and that’s who Vermont wants to follow,
    God help us ……………………. Inept is being kind !!

  3. California is totally dysfunctional, loosing 300,000 people per year, despite big illegal infiltration, via just-walk-in open borders, from all over the world.

    My cousin, and her family, and grandchildren, 18 people in all, moved from California to Idaho.

    They bought bigger and better houses at half the cost.
    Schools are not woke, teachers extol FAMILY VALUES, a refreshing change.

    Gas is about $3.75/gal
    State taxes are 1/3 of California taxes
    Electricity 10 c/kWh, vs 28 c/kWh in California
    They all say, should have done that 10 years ago.

    • GWSA is not a legislative act, it is a gross, illegitimate misdemeanor, inflicted on hardworking Vermonters, for no other reason, than increasing CENTRALIZED command/control of government over the lives of Vermonters, FORCING THEM TO DO THIS OR THAT, OR ELSE, and thereby lining the pockets of Dem/Prog special interests

  4. Another prediction Rob: The cost of USED gas vehicles will go to the moon ! If this goes through, I could see someone hoarding used gas vehicles and waiting for the inevitable jump in prices.

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