Roper: You don’t give blood when you’re bleeding

By Rob Roper

This week the Vermont House of Representatives voted in favor of the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA), sending the controversial legislation to the governor’s desk for either his signature or a veto stamp.

Even proponents of the GWSA admit that if fully implemented and all its goals met, the GWSA will have zero impact on future climate trends. It is a very expensive, hollow gesture that won’t accomplish any real “solutions.” But the analogy they trotted out on the floor and in the media in support of moving forward anyway is giving blood. Giving a pint of blood, they argue, doesn’t solve a problem by itself, but if everybody gives a pint of blood it makes a difference. The GWSA is Vermont’s pint of blood.

Rob Roper is the president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

Maybe. But there are times when it makes no sense to give blood regardless of the wider need — like, when you’re sick or when you’ve lost blood yourself and can’t afford to lose any more.

Vermont’s economy — both in terms of state government and for many if not most individual households and businesses — is sick with COVID-19. And, beaten badly, we have lost a lot of blood (or, in this case, revenue).

The Joint Fiscal Office calculates that our state’s General Fund will lose $181 million in FY21. Projections are even higher for 2022. The Education Fund is down $62 million for FY21, and the Transportation Fund is down $63 million.

Vermont’s hospitality industry suffered a nearly 50 percent drop in payroll jobs over the past year. Construction and manufacturing sectors lost 27 percent and 11 percent respectively. Our overall unemployment spiked at over 16 percent.

In other words, now is not the time to force Vermont taxpayers to “donate” roughly a million dollars we don’t have to pay the salaries of three new six-figure bureaucrats plus the travel and meal expenses of 23 unelected “Climate Council” members charged with figuring out a way let special interest groups to sue the state at multi-million dollars’ worth of taxpayer expense. Which is, basically, what the Global Warming Solutions Act does.

Yes, there is a time to give blood. And, there is a time to ask for a transfusion. Vermont and Vermonters right now are in desperate need of a transfusion, not a legislative blood-letting.

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

Image courtesy of Public domain

6 thoughts on “Roper: You don’t give blood when you’re bleeding


    EAN listed the measures required to reduce CO2 from 9.76, in 2016 to 7.46, in 2025, for a reduction of 2.281 MMt.

    The CO2 result would be 8.59, in 1990 – 7.46, in 2025 = 1.13 MMt below 1990, or 13% below 1990

    However, GSWA mandates emissions of 4.30 MMt by 2028, 50% below 1990, just three years later, which surely is a physical and financial impossibility.

    Capital Cost Estimate

    I made a turnkey capital cost estimate of the EAN plan, because EAN did not, but should have.

    EVs: 90,000 x $40000/small EV = $3.6 billion; installation rate 18000/y vs about 750/y, at present
    High-speed in-house chargers: 90,000 x $2000 = $0.18 billion

    “Deep” retrofits: 90,000 x $30,000/housing unit = $2.7 billion
    ASHPs for space heat: 90,000 x $5,000/housing unit = $0.45 billion; installation rate 18000/y vs about 2900/y, at present
    ASHPs for DHW: 90,000 x $3,000/system = $0.27 billion; installation rate 18000/y vs about 1000/y, at present

    Wind turbines: 250000/(8766 x 0.30) x $2.5 million/MW = $0.095 Billion
    Solar systems: 700000/(8766 x 0.14) x $3.5 million/MW = $0.57 Billion
    Expanding/augmenting of the grid: $0.1 billion
    Fortress Vermont to deal with excessive DUCK-curves, due to midday solar surges.
    Energy storage: $0.9 billion
    Curtailment payments: $0.3 billion

    Hydro power plants: 50000/(8766 x 0.40) x $6 million/MW = $0.086 billion

    The turnkey capital cost would be exceeding $9.25 billion, during 2020 – 2025, about $1.85 billion/y.

    Hydro power plants: 50000/(8766 x 0.40) x $6 million/MW = $0.086 billion

    The turnkey capital cost would be exceeding $9.25 billion, during 2020 – 2025, about $1.85 billion/y.

    NOTE: EAN-proposed solar build-outs would be from 438.84 dc, at end 2019 to at least 1000 MW dc, at end 2025
    Solar is the most expensive electricity on the Vermont grid. It would not be smart to have more of it.
    It requires about 3.5 acres per MW, and is charged to the utility rate base at 11 to 21 c/kWh

    NOTE: Current cost shifting to rate payers for solar production of 473,686 MWh, at end 2009, was about $64 million.
    The cost shifting would be at least $130 million, if solar production were increased by 700,000 MWh during the 2020 – 2025 period. See table 4 in URL and Appendix

    Amortizing Short-Life Items

    EVs, heat pumps, battery storage systems, etc., have lives of less than 15 years.
    Amortizing the cost of the short-life assets, $5.7 billion, at 3.5% over 15 years, would require payments of $489 million/y for 15 years, more than offsetting the EAN estimated energy cost savings of 800/5 = $160 million/y, during the 2020 – 2025 period.
    Annual costs are higher, because the amortizing of long-life items is excluded.

    Vermont’s existing RE spending is about $210 million/y, including Efficiency Vermont.
    The additional spending, during 2020 – 2025, would be about 489 – 160 = $329 million/y, per EAN plan

  2. GWSA will result in major bloodsucking from average Vermonters, FOR DECADES!!
    Almost all Vermonters have no idea the extent GWSA will impact their lives, while tiny Vermont is making NO IMPACT on global warming

    GWSA is a gigantic subsidy con game for the RE companies of Vermont.
    It is a bankrupt approach by the Dem/Prog-dominated legislature, instead of having proper/healthy industrial development/growth by the private sector.

    VT-DPS, VT-PUC, VT-ANR, VELCO and the CAPTIVE VT Media have issued reports and articles to:

    – Bamboozle legislators to get them to vote for GWSA (“all we need is this and that, and we will get these fabulous results”)
    – Bamboozle/befuddle the rest of Vermonters, who will be suffering GWSA-induced headaches for decades to come, and who would see no discernible effect on the Vermont climate….

    For some months already, comments are no longer allowed on VTDigger articles, because, regarding GWSA, they would be at least 10 to 1 against.
    The comments likely would sway more legislators to vote no, and likely would sway a lot more voters to oust the RE-smitten legislators in November….

    The Dem/Prog elites likely leaned on VTDigger to no longer allow any comments on VTDigger Articles and Commentaries
    “Seven-Days”, likely was also leaned on. It also no longer allows any comments.
    Vermont’s Media likely are being cowed into silence; “support us, or else no donor support”.

    This article has a detailed engineering explanation of the impacts of GWSA on the VT economy.
    Read the cited URLs to be more fully informed


    Vermont has a Comprehensive Energy Plan, CEP. The capital cost for implementing the CEP would be in excess of $1.0 billion/y for at least 33 years, per Energy Action Network annual report, not counting financing and replacements of short-life systems, such as EVs, heat pumps, battery storage systems, etc. See URLs.

    Most legislators have not a clue regarding the reductions of CO2 and the turnkey capital cost to achieve them.
    This article has some background numbers regarding GWSA.
    This article includes observations regarding the Energy Action Network CO2-reduction plan for the 2020 – 2025 period

    In 2006, the Legislature passed a law that called for CO2 reductions:

    25% below 1990 by 2012, i.e., 8.59 – 2.15 = 6.44 million metric ton.
    50% below 1990 by 2028, i.e., 8.59 – 4.30 = 4.29 MMt
    75% below 1990 by 2050, i.e., 8.59 – 6.44 = 2.15 MMt

    Vermont Gross Emissions, actual

    9.00 MMt in 2012
    9.99 MMt in 2015
    9.76 MMt in 2016

    See fig. 1 of URL

    Vermont Gross Estimated Emissions for 2017 and 2018

    9.41 MMt in 2017
    9.02 MMt in 2018

    See page 18 of URL

    US Gross Emissions

    About 6,700 MMt in 2018
    Vermont emissions are just a tiny fraction of US emissions.

    Enforcement of CEP, courtesy of GWSA mandates

    Emissions in 2028 SHALL be 4.30 MMt, or 50% below 1990
    Emissions in 2050 SHALL be 2.15 MMt, or 75% below 1990, aim-low target
    Emissions in 2050 SHALL be 1.72 MMt, or 80% below 1990, aim-medium target
    Emissions in 2050 SHALL be 0.43 MMt, or 95% below 1990, aim-high target

    See fig 16 of URL

  3. It’s important to remember that this really has nothing to do with the Climate.It’s about Robbery.
    This is about destroying Capitalism. It’s legal theft of the the tax dollars to bleed the state dry and collapse it from within. So that THEN, They can do what they really want to do. The Left is openly stating that they want American destroyed. They tell us this every single day. This is how they are doing it and the uniformed people vote for their own demise and then fund it!
    It’s about dumb Koolaid drinkers, many of them elected, being scammed.

    This is a Pattern, it’s what they do.
    And when you see it, you see it everywhere.
    Why do you think California is set on fire every single year?
    It’s a revenue stream. The insurance goes up, they have to rebuild. People make money all down the line. More control comes down upon the people. This is what Democrat Jobs Programs look like!
    Vote these sick people out of office!!

  4. The GWSA is a classic example of what’s fundamentally wrong in Montpelier. A number of the folks voting for its passage admit the act if signed in to law, will have NO impact on global warming. Then why did they vote for it??? Why? It makes them feel good. There has been far too many “feel good” votes cast by these idiots who are totally out of touch with reality!!!!

  5. A program having costly taxes and onerous restrictions which “will have zero impact on future climate trends” imposed on the citizens of Vermont (who don’t get to vote on it) by dogmatic special interest groups with a looney “right to sue” if goals aren’t met… and if the state cannot afford to meet economically insane targets they’re going to have the cost of defending themselves against the Fanatic Green Berserkers? At taxpayer expense? And whole rationale, the basis for this is the doctrine that man can control the climate (even though they concede that it won’t). The people never should have been deinstitutionalized.

  6. One pint?

    Bull manure

    Dem/Prog elites want to bleed white anyone with a little money (preferably a Republican), so they can pursue their RE dream fantasies.

    They will soon find there is not enough blood left in Vermont to finance GWSA follies, and the feds will not be giving it to them, if Trump gets re-elected.

    Hate Trump is their mantra.

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