Scott administration still working on $90 million TCI carbon tax

By Rob Roper

Energy News Network ran a story on April 9 about what’s happening with the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI), the proposed interstate carbon tax on gasoline and diesel motor fuels. Sadly, despite all the damage that the COVID-19 economic shutdown has done, TCI is still moving along behind the scenes. Quoted multiple times in the ENN story is the Scott administration’s very own Peter Walke.

“Our ability to work through the details of what that deal looks like hasn’t been significantly impacted,” said Peter Walke, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation. “Most of the teams working on it are working at home and haven’t been affected at this point by the virus.”

TCI would mean an annual $5 billion to $7 billion regional tax on motor fuels, Vermont’s share of which would be about $90 million. That number would likely increase as time goes by. Suffice to say that the last thing Vermont (or anyplace) will need as we try to recover from the economic body blow of this shutdown is a new tax on, literally, the fuel that makes our economy run.

Gov. Phil Scott has hinted that he doesn’t support TCI, but if that’s really the case it’s time for him to tell his staff to get with the program and pull the plug on this “boondoggle,” to use New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu’s word.

TCI was a bad idea before the COVID-19 recession. Today it is absolutely unthinkable.

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

18 thoughts on “Scott administration still working on $90 million TCI carbon tax

  1. Chittenden county, and greater Burlington VT has the most expensive gasoline prices in country if not a close 2nd. Do we really need another huge tax for “feel good” politicians to believe that they are helping us?
    Why not have our VT delegation try to remove ethanol & it’s subsidies from our gasoline industry and save our food, and engines while still promoting sound ecological protocols with voluntary compliance and ideas?
    Stop trying to force this crap on us, we already have been hit severely in our economy.

  2. From my column 1/2/19: “Since there is no form of transportation “carbon pricing” that will not sock it to Vermont consumers through higher prices for gasoline and diesel, the governor should tell Peter Walke to stop flying off to participate in TCI meetings convened to devise some way to put that scheme over on Vermont businesses and motorists.

    • John,

      Wilke, newly appointed to ANR, and a card-carrying member of ENERGY ACTION NETWORK, wants to look important in the world.

      Representing Vermont, doing momentous, groundbreaking, work to save Vermont from climate change.

      It is totally laughable for Wilke to even attend such FUTILE meetings.

      I agree, Scott should put a stop to such wasteful, CO2-emitting behavior, especially with Vermont having a huge budget gap.

      Wilke does not care. It is not HIS money he is wasting.
      He wants to stroke his ego at the expense of taxpayers.

  3. “Our ability to work through the details of what that deal looks like hasn’t been significantly impacted,” said Peter Walke, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation. “Most of the teams working on it are working at home and haven’t been affected at this point by the virus.”

    I see, their ability to think up EXPENSIVE schemes to make our lives more expensive is unaffected by the virus.



    “TCI would mean an annual $5 billion to $7 billion tax on motor fuels in the states that are members of TCI.”


    “Vermont’s share of which would be about $90 million. That number would likely TO DOUBLE OR TRIPLE as time goes by.”


    Suffice to say the LAST thing Vermonters need, as we try to recover from the economic body blow of this shutdown, is ADDITIONAL TAXES on the fuels that makes MODERN economies run.

  4. For those who didn’t believe that the government intended to turn us all into slaves, consider this article and the fact that other such initiatives are being pursued in the face of the “emergency” measures and their results. Worse, Scott & the Legislature will use the fearmongering tactics they learned during this period as justifications.

  5. Have we lost our Sovereignty? I believe we have, this was made quite clear when Cynthia Browning was the only one standing for the people when most were ok to go along with playing fast and loose with our individual rights and personal liberties in the name of a crisis, Cynthia stood up, then she was attacked for doing it.

    Their may not be many Republicans in Montpelier, but where were they when this was going on? Perhaps we have already voluntarily surrendered our sovereignty to the new global order and Cynthia just hadn’t gotten the memo yet?

  6. Walke, head of VT-ANR, is a member of Energy Action Network, which supports any tax, that would provide subsidies and cash grants, and other bennies to the RE businesses of its members.

    EAN recently issued a report with measures to reduce CO2 to “meet Paris” in 5 years.

    EAN did not make an estimate for obvious reasons, but did tout there would energy cost savings

    My cap cost estimate of these measures is about $15.5 BILLION to be spent during 2020-2025 on EV, Chargers, ASHPS, weatherizing of houses, more wind turbines on pristine ridge lines, more solar systems on open spaces, more battery storage systems.

    EAN promises $800 million in energy cost savings during these 5 years, or $160 million/y

    However, amortizing the short life items, EVs, ASHPS, battery storage, at 3.5% for 15 years would cost $1.33 BILLION per year, completely dwarfing the energy cost savings of $160 million per year.

    The insanity of thinking that goes on, and the resulting wasteful spending on dysfunctional energy programs that did not reduce CO2 from 1990-2018, is just one of the main reasons Vermont has a near-stagnant economy, with an ancient housing stock, and a near-stagnant population

    The Socialist-like, too bloated, too large government, is another one.

    It completely dominates the Vermont economy and acts as a damper on just about everything

    Vermont needs glasnost and perestroika ASAP.

    • $90 MILLION carbon tax? These clowns must live on Mars or further from reality. The well is running dry!!!! What is that these idiots salavate like Povlof’s dog every time the word TAX is mentioned?????

    • Addition to comment


      “Meeting Paris”: Energy Action Network, EAN, claims about: 1) $1.115 billion less would be sent out of state to buy fossil fuels, and 2) $323 million in savings from additional, in-state investment (primarily weatherization), would yield net savings to consumers of 1115 – 323 = $792 million during 2020 – 2025, if its measures to reduce CO2 by 2.281 million metric ton to “meet Paris” were implemented by 2025. See Note, and page 4 and 5 of EAN URL

      Capital Cost to “Meet Paris”: The measures are a multi-billion-dollar wish list of EAN members with a cost exceeding $15.536 billion during 2020 – 2025, about $3.107 billion/y. EAN members want these heavily subsidized measures, because it is good for RE businesses.

      Amortizing the cost of the mostly short-life assets (EVs, ASHPs, battery storage systems, etc.), at 3.5% over 15 years, would require annual payments of $1.333 billion, more than offsetting the 800/5 = $160 million/y of energy cost savings.

      It took about 20 years (2000 – 2020) to achieve the existing conditions by spending about $210 million/y, including Efficiency Vermont. The annual spending to “meet Paris” during 2020 – 2025 would be at least 10 times greater.

      These measures would be major burdens on the stagnant Vermont economy, its businesses, ratepayers, taxpayers, etc., while in the middle of a major recession, with decreasing tax collections by state government (room & meals, sales, income, gasoline, etc.), due to the coronavirus.

      EAN Savings and Capital Cost Estimate: The EAN report promises undefined energy cost savings, and lacks a capital cost estimate to “meet Paris”. Why does EAN not provide the spreadsheet that calculated these energy cost savings, as part of its glossy report? Why the reluctance to make a capital cost estimate by private entities and government entities?

      EAN CO2 Reduction: EAN makes CO2 reduction estimates, based on primary energy, and on the artificial/political value of 34 g CO2/kWh for electricity, based on “paper” PPAs, as concocted by VT-DPS, to obtain very optimistic CO2 reductions per EV and per ASHP. See table 1

      EAN Members Eager to “Meet Paris”: EAN eagerly urged the Vermont legislature to “meet Paris” a few years ago, because that would be good for their businesses, and would display proper virtue signaling. However, no entity, including EAN, made a capital cost estimate of what would be required to “meet Paris” at that time, or since.

      EAN Members Eager for GWSA and “Fortress Vermont”: EAN is eagerly urging the Vermont Legislature to pass the Global Warming Solutions (Spending) Act. That act would turn aspirational goals of the CEP into mandated goals. The capital cost of GWSA would dwarf “meet Paris”. That would be sweet music for EAN members; heavily subsidized business and job security for decades at everyone else’s expense, despite the scam not yielding one iota of difference regarding climate.

      NOTE: Ten senior state employees of VT-DPS are members of EAN, including Tierney, head of VT-DPS, and Perchlik, who is on loan to the legislature to help write the GWSA and $1.2 billion “Fortress Vermont” bills to ensure they contain all the bennies for EAN members. Perchlik manages the Clean Energy Development Fund that donates taxpayer money to renewable energy programs. No wonder VT-DPS resorts to artificial/political CO2 calculations regarding Vermont’s electrical sector, and EV and ASHP programs.

  7. Does this ” Wuhan Virus ” scare you it should, and you should also be scared
    of this ” Carbon Tax ” boondoggle.

    It may not kill you today but you will die a slow financial death from it, as you pay
    for this liberal agenda-driven nonsense !!

    Wake up people, they don’t care about your well being, they care about the agenda
    only………………when you take your eye off the ball, it’s too late.

    • The Dem/Prod agenda is to first get more power and control, get rid of Scott, and then enact whatever the h… they want.

      Nothing would stop the deranged mania of the crazed herd

      • They want Americans fighting Americans, granted their are many disolusioned rino’s and socialists hiding in the Democratic Party. Divided America falls and the NWO wins.

    • Are you kidding? The liberals will support him even more and the conservative voters will continue to not vote. Sorry but apathy is running wild in VT.

      • Well not voting or voting democrat is voting for communism. We need to get that message to the masses.

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