Roper: What does a post clean heat standard world look like?

By Rob Roper

As the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee takes testimony on and discusses the clean heat standard bill, S.5, observers become privy to some of the visions for the future that the authors have in mind.

Proponents of the clean heat standard are often at pains to make the argument that the law doesn’t force Vermonters to do anything they don’t want to do (unless you are a fuel dealer; then you will be forced to buy expensive clean heat ‘credits’). Although that sentiment is often on their lips, it is clearly not in their hearts.

On Jan. 24, Sen. Dick McCormack, D-Windsor, went off on a monologue decrying Vermonters who take long showers and people who dry their clothes using a machine instead of hanging them out on a line. If you’re cold, says McCormack, “put on a sweater.”

In the middle of all this, the senator raised a very good question about renewable energy and the policy path he and his committee are ready to commit us to: “Is it possible to provide the energy wants of American middle-class type people … with ‘green’ technology?” He clearly understands the answer to that is ‘no,’ as he later concludes that as they continue to craft S.5, “I hope that our focus will be on requiring less energy [use] in the first place.”

Sen McCormack describes life in a post CHS Vermont:

What McCormack is saying here is that he expects the final version of S.5 to, despite rhetoric to the contrary, force Vermonters to do things they don’t want to do — “require” is a synonym for “force.” And he and his colleagues are planning to advance this legislation with the knowledge that in doing so they will be creating a future in which there is not enough energy produced to sustain a normal middle class standard of living for their constituents — us.

Sen. Mark MacDonald, D-Orange, has repeatedly gone on the record with his desires to bring forth legislation that would force Vermonters out of what he derisively calls gas guzzling “man caves” and into vehicles of his choosing. MacDonald would force Vermonters to drive a maximum of 55 mph and at one point expressed a desire to enforce that by confiscating for multiple weeks the cars of anyone who exceeded his speed limit by 5 mph.

In a recent exchange with representatives of the Scott administration, Sen. Becca White, D-Windsor, argued that her constituents were not interested in knowing what the costs and benefits of S.5 might be before the bill became law.

I would be more comfortable making a policy recommendation knowing that I have costs and benefits from a set of policy alternatives rather than one proposal in front of me,” said Melissa Bailey of the Department of Public Services, sounding a cautionary note about acting too fast without critical data to inform decisions.

White responded, “My constituents in Windsor don’t have the luxury of waiting and feel that there is enough information available to make an informed decision.”

Sen White dismisses concerns about a lack of information on the costs/benefit of the CHS:

What information White supposes her constituents to have — knowing that the costs of the program are unknown (though roughly estimated to be in excess of $2 billion over four years), the renewable energy supply and infrastructure to deliver it are not in place, the labor force necessary to do the work is significantly insufficient, and the overall economic impact of a roughly $500 per average household home heating tax haven’t been analyzed — in order for them to be enthusiastic about this bill becoming law was unexplained.

Rob Roper is a freelance writer who has been involved with Vermont politics and policy for over 20 years. © Copyright True North Reports 2023. All rights reserved.

Image courtesy of TNR

12 thoughts on “Roper: What does a post clean heat standard world look like?

  1. I am telling our people in the North Kingdom to not vote for Brian Smith. He wants us to pay 500.00 more and then in 2035 all electric cars and no one can register a gas or diesel vehicle in Vermont!! Screw our government!!

  2. To us it looks like” Move To NH”, Where they acknowledge voter fraud and are doing something about it, and the common sense approach to this thing called climate change.

  3. They are missing the fact that Globally, Vermont doesn’t matter! If every house in Vermont was “upgraded” to be 100% solar and if every vehicle in the state was exchanged to an electric vehicle, Globally it would NOT make any difference. Likewise if every house in Vermont was setup with a coal-burning stove, Globally it would NOT matter. There are approx 650,000 people in the state, versus a global population of approx 7,765,000,000. Basic math shows that Vermont’s population is less than 0.01% of the global population. Less than 0.01% of the population cannot make a measurable difference! I will respectfully request that I’m over taxed on my heating system when Vermont is in the top 10% of population.

  4. I think all of us normal human beings can see the reality of Vermont’s future due to the legislatures continuing drive to embrace 100% clean energy (or whatever you want to call it). You have to ask the question….why? Is it REALLY to stop global warming, or the newer term, climate change? If a person was 100% behind the belief that humanity was responsible for causing the earth’s climate to change for the worse, then I guess I could see why they behave as they do. Setting aside the fact that “climate change” is not a threat, again, the question is why do they believe this so strongly to the point of severely restricting the quality of people’s lives by imposing legislation that is going to force hardship on mankind? Does their desired level of legislated hardship equal their level of stupidity? Are they all so brainwashed that they truly believe the world is going to end if we do not totally abandon the usage of fossil fuel? I truly don’t get it.

    • People refusing to send these authoritarians to Montpelier to impose their will on the rest of us would be a good start. I miss what we used to refer to as our citizen legislature.

  5. they want all of us to buy electric cars, yet there is not enough power in the grid to heat or cool our homes when the weather is extreme. Let’s not even mention what you have to have done to your homes electric service to plug one of these cars in, or where when you are out and about to plug them in to charge so you can get back home. As for “put on a sweater”, now you are going to tell homeowners and tax payers how hot or cold (in the summer) to keep their homes, where does your arrogance end. Is this one of those do as I say not as I do rules, do you always drive 55 or less ? do you use a clothes line or drying rack to dry your clothes, who are you to tell me where and why I need to spend my money, Some people have medical reasons why they need their homes warmer than others, let us also not forget you have also regulated I HAVE to compost my food scraps, so they don’t go into a landfill, I don’t produce many scraps and I’m certainly a little more conscious of my environment then some, my grandparents were using less, using up, and doing without, long before it was fashionable to recycle, why ? because they were farmers and didn’t waste anything. They had a wood cook stove as well as an electric one, the wood one was used in the winter, you want to guess when the electric one was ? So do not preach to me about what I need to do to help this planet, when America is one of the least polluting countries in the world, go tell China how and what they should be doing to “save” this planet and leave me and the other taxpayers and homeowners alone, we have had enough of regulations and mandates and you knowing what is best.

  6. And people keep voting for these idiots to represent them? Sad!
    Hey, Dick, YOU wear a sweater. Make your constituents sit in a house chamber at 55 degrees. Just you come and try to take my car. I want YOU to be the one who tries it. You, Sir, need to get checked for Alzheimers.

  7. It’s difficult to believe we have legislative people who think and speak as Mr. MacDonald does. Just tell me he will stay away from my shower stall with his timer.

    • Exactly Deb, when they say “we have to force Vermonters” that’s not a citizen representative speaking, that’s a overlord. Confiscating a citizens car for speeding is not the kind of ideas we need floating around the golden domed nut house. Maybe we should spike the water there with Valium… They surely need to calm the F’ down.

    • First step shut off the hot water in the Capital buildings. 50 degrees
      Cold coffee, raw egs, Wash their hands with their mittens on.
      With steam coming from their breathing – we would know they were still alive

      Just shut off the legislatures home electricity, and propane and pipe gas hot water heaters.

      Let them take just on February water bath or Shower with ice water.

      OHYeah, They will wear sweaters in the shower

  8. Hubris is a word used often in describing Vermont’s socialist/elitist politicians.
    macdonald and white have it in bucketfuls. As do most of those that consider themselves in Vermont’s “ruling class”. white’s statement regarding her constituents desire for action, not impacts and consequence is astounding, even for this elitist representative. Her level of hubris seems equal to krowinski, baruth and dozens of others, fully willing to impact negatively every Vermont citizen to achieve a goal lacking positive results. ms. white, if she were able, might want to refer us “deniers” verified facts and information proving her statements regarding climate. I’m not very interested in shouted claims of “settled science” nor studies from VPIRG, CLF or the multitude of NGO’s who derive their incomes from climate evangelism. Climate chicken littles have been crying out for half a century, with doomsday predictions- none which have come to pass. The one sure thing that did happen- all these grifters got rich. Many became so rich that they own private jets, oceanfront houses and drive multiple vehicles- not all battery electric I might add.
    as to mr. macdonald, whom has been a legislator since 1983- his 40 year history in the state house includes such bad legislation as Act 60, the education “reform” act that didn’t, S.88 which became Vermont’s failed attempt at single payer health care and other expensive, wasteful and unneeded legislation now wants us to buy into his hatred of “man-cave” trucks, love of sweaters and general distaste for carbon by tithing the legislature by carbon taxation. Sorry, mr. macdonald- your track record is beyond the pale- it seems that’s just how you roll….

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