John Klar: Scott should follow Sununu and reject the TCI

By John Klar

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu’s announcement that New Hampshire will not join the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) is a promising sign for Vermonters. It is expected that Gov. Phil Scott will face a similar decision in 2020 on behalf of all Vermonters — whether or not to commit Vermont to the TCI.

John Klar

The TCI is a carbon tax, imposed on consumers through gasoline and other fuels. In Vermont, an initial gasoline tax of between 5 and 18 cents per gallon of gasoline is proposed (to be subsequently increased). Various means of spending or redistributing the taxes are under consideration, but the entire proposal is a burden on Vermont taxpayers, unlikely to curb emissions, and inequitable. It also disproportionately burdens rural residents — the residents already most burdened.

I have written numerous articles asserting the unfairness and ineffectiveness of many of these schemes. The TCI is the Queen Scheme. Gov. Sununu comfortably labels the TCI a “financial boondoggle” because it is one. (The Granite State is graced with a rock-solid governor).

Because New Hampshire has openly flouted the TCI, it will be even more unfair (and absurd) if Vermont imposes, and later increases, a gasoline tax. Other states, too, are likely to balk at this now unavoidable imbalance. The higher the tax is subsequently raised, the more Vermonters will drive (extra miles, = carbon and pollution) over the border to save money; the more tourists will select the White Mountains over the Green for vacationing; the more businesses will “steer clear” of Vermont.

Gov. Scott must similarly preempt the expansion of the carbon tax threat. He has said he opposed such a tax (despite creating a committee to study it). He has said he embraces affordability, and this tax hurts the economy as well as the poorest citizens. And as New Hampshire’s Office of Strategic Initiatives Director Jared Chicoine argued, “There are clearly better ways to achieve the purported goals of this program…. This proposal is a huge hit to the wallets of rural drivers.” Gov. Phil Scott would grant Vermonters an early Christmas present if he promptly echoed Gov. Sununu’s brave declaration, and proclaimed that Vermont will not be joining this poorly-conceived lark. Taxpayers might dream of sugarplums instead of credit card balances, and enter 2020 as a happy new year.

If Vermont declared it had rejected the TCI, then too the other dominoes would fall, each state’s refusal increasing the likelihood of the next. But if Phil Scott falters, and signs on to the gasoline tax plan, he not only abandons our New Hampshire neighbor — he improves the likelihood that other states will embrace higher gasoline taxes also.

This magnifies the stakes for the Vermont governor, and for the rest of us. The sensible decision is clear — publicly reject the TCI for Vermont and Vermonters, right now.

John Klar is an attorney and farmer residing in Brookfield, and former pastor of the First Congregational Church of Westfield. He is running for governor in 2020.

Image courtesy of U.S. Department of Agriculture

11 thoughts on “John Klar: Scott should follow Sununu and reject the TCI

  1. As much as I agree with John Klar, I’m afraid that it will never happen for the simple reason that the folks in Montpelier welcome any and all opportunities to raise taxes. Sad but true.

  2. Politicians and their climate ego trips.
    They like to get attention.
    Kissing babies is soooo old hat.
    They need a new bandwagon, with lots of subsidies to hand out to favored friends and family, just like Biden who allowed his son to debase himself by taking $50 thousand per month from impoverished Ukraine, for a total of $3.5 million, and doing no work, nor even showing up.
    His son had been kicked out of the US Navy for drug abuse.
    He also was a real booze hound for decades.

    • Not only slow joe the pedo was being a corruptocrat, it was also Nazi Piglousi’s brood, Traitor
      Kerry’s step son, and the supreme Rino Romney was even on the dirty dealings. The dwellers of the Washington swamp. The coke head Hunter who seems even dumber then his father
      will have to provide his *illicit earnings* to a court hearing the paternity suite against him by
      his one shot hookup he knocked up….
      They do still kiss babies, only now it’s the kiss of death up to making it out of the womb.

    • And Trump is damned for mentioning it. BUT, isn’t Trump the Top Cop for the USA? And isn’t taking bribes from foreign countries, using your position as Vice President with direct connections with Ukraine, and is now himself a Candidate for President, where he could/would continue his extortions. What is a Top Cop to do? Ignore the real corruption out of fear of Democrat reprisals.

  3. I thought for sure that he would have vetoed the incredibly misguided abortion law, but he showed no moral authority and did not in favor of political gain. Sadly, I would not trust him to wind up rejecting the TCI for the same reason.

  4. Vermont’s Governor, let’s see if he’s working for Vermonters or will he fold and go
    along with an agenda from the Liberal legislators push for more foolishness and it
    only takes your tax dollars.

    Vermont probably has the cleanest air in the Nation, but Montpelier Legislators
    believe that we need to follow California’s foolish policies, yes California, the biggest
    polluter on the west coast…great leadership.

    • Bigger picture. Higher the gas. The more people will seek too move closer to the towns/cities they work in. I wonder what goes with all of that..

      Agenda 21
      UNCED, 1992
      Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which human impacts on the environment.

      Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the Statement of principles for the Sustainable Management of Forests were adopted by more than 178 Governments at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 3 to 14 June 1992.

      The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was created in December 1992 to ensure effective follow-up of UNCED, to monitor and report on implementation of the agreements at the local, national, regional and international levels. It was agreed that a five year review of Earth Summit progress would be made in 1997 by the United Nations General Assembly meeting in special session.

      The full implementation of Agenda 21, the Program for Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the Commitments to the Rio principles, were strongly reaffirmed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) held in Johannesburg, South Africa from 26 August to 4 September 2002.

      • Vermont is a test bed for Socialism and Government control. If one gathers everything that has been proposed in Montpelier, laws passed, regulations passed and the people that did so (Mitzy Johnson et al) you have to realize that outside sources, organizations Soros what’s mentioned in Mindy’s comment,VT is a social experiment.
        1) Gun Control one jerk in Fair Haven (I think he was a plant) threatened violence, hence suddenly we have multitudes of gun legislation. The Governor changed his position and caved. WHY and for what reason, so suddenly. VT is a gun safe state.
        2) Abortion, legal to kill (yes KILL) a new born after birth.
        3) Taxation, impose taxes and that means the taxing authority controls and owns everything (property for instance).
        4) How much of a financial burden can people take, the breaking point.
        5) How much Gov control can people take? Reading comments and articles, it’s now.
        6) The last legislative session, “lawmakers” introduced over 600 new pieces of legislation. Why in such a small state so much is needed by the controllers? Some proposals were so stupid, believe proposals were filed to make themselves feel important. A heavy price to pay.
        7) Why is there a disproportionate legislators from a single heavy socialistic county, Chittenden that controls the state?
        8) Why do so many “environmental groups” (minor in numbers) have heavy influence in VT politics?
        9) Why are the Government schools indoctrinating kids to protest any issue? Test results be damned (low learning abilities).

        I could go on………Too many outside influences and socialistic Flatlanders.

        • Totally agree with Tom. The people here are so brain washed they keep voting in progressives and Democrats so this is what you get. And progressives want to take out everything like it never exited and start over with their agenda. Glad I’m not raising kids anymore!

    • Totally agree. And India and china. The u.s. puts out the least and is pretty conscientious about the environment so is VT. I think we are number one for the healthiest state.
      Our kids are leaving in droves as it’s so expensive to live here already. Demographics say even our tourism is falling short and a quarter of our population are seniors. So, I hope its a big NO from Scott or it’s just going to drive more people out of the state!!!

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