Sen. MacDonald says ‘get a blanket for Christ’s sake’ if you don’t like paying extra for heat

Reading Rob Roper’s recent article about Vermont’s contemplated “clean heat standard,” it was hard to absorb how our legislators can be so completely disconnected from their constituents. As ever-more fantastical utopian schemes are fashioned in small committee rooms, ever-more bizarre outcomes can be expected. These heat standards are a pernicious government creep that will only hurt Vermonters — but that likely won’t stop the Vermont Senate’s Natural Resources & Energy Committee from towing the Progressive Party line of domination.

As Mr. Roper observes:

Senator Mark MacDonald (D-Orange) kicked off a roughly 30-minute discussion trying to get to the bottom of exactly what the committee was voting on with the somewhat bizarre statement, “Before I kill someone to get their clean heat credits, I want to know what the charge is going to be. Embezzlement, scam, securities fraud?”  (20:30-52:00)

But the absurdity got stranger yet. The senators struggle to understand and explain this new scheme — it is evident they don’t comprehend what they are asking everyone else to do. To his credit, Sen. Mark MacDonald repeatedly raises the obvious question — what is this and how do I explain it to my constituents? But then we hear this exchange:

Sen. Chris Bray: “Well for the person who says, ‘I don’t like that. I don’t want to be paying extra.’”

Sen. Mark MacDonald: “Well then, get a blanket for Christ’s sake.”

Coming off a long winter with record-high gasoline and heating oil prices, this flippant comment is far from amusing. Senators who would pass laws they can’t understand seem to have little understanding or compassion for the very real and increasing economic suffering of Vermonters.

But that explains why the Senate committee babbles on interminably without ever addressing the most glaring flaw with this proposed legislation — it is grossly regressive, and transfers wealth from poor people to rich people, just like EV cars and solar panels. Every time the progressives push to “save the planet,” they line wealthy pockets at the expense of poor Vermonters.

Consider this “clean heat standard” — is it equitable? The senators explain that the idea here is to tax people who choose to “pollute” by using fossil fuels, then transfer those funds to the “good guys” who are installing heat pumps. But many of those “bad guys” are elderly retirees on fixed incomes with ramshackle oil burners they are praying will endure one more winter so they don’t have to move in with their kids. The people installing brand new heat pumps, like those installing rooftop solar panel arrays, likely have funds or credit to do so, and may well be constructing a brand new second home or expanding their office — is it “equitable” to punish the old ladies and let the “enlightened” rich people save the planet while granny gets more blankets? The wealthy building new homes love this law: those on fixed incomes are burdened with yet another state plan to push them down even lower.

The frivolous attitude of progressive legislators who never “own” the impacts on regular Vermonters of their fantasy concoctions is revealed in this committee meeting. Sens. Bray and MacDonald engage in a conversation about how they are to explain this plan to their constituents. MacDonald mocks the whole scheme to rounds of laughter:

Sen. Bray: “The problem we’re solving is climate change is a real-world present-day danger.”

Sen. MacDonald: “Oh yeah, right” (he says mockingly, leaning over and laying his hand on Bray’s arm).

Sen. Bray continues, mildly disconcerted: “And we have an obligation to ourselves and others to stop polluting, stop fouling our own nest.”

This is a shocking admission that Sen. Mark MacDonald (unchallenged by anyone) knows that Vermont solving climate change “danger” is just political nonsense — there is no other way to interpret his joking dismissal of Bray’s politicizing jargon.

But even if these senators were sincere in believing this paltry but expensive program will somehow stem global warming, their inability to comprehend or explain it, coupled with the patent regressive impacts never discussed, should be cause to pause.

Will they pause? It is doubtful. What Vermonters are witnessing is a mass subjugation of their families, incomes and rights by a runaway ideology that fancies itself “above” everyone else.

Sen. MacDonald elsewhere inquires: “If we do nothing, which members of our community are going to be in a worse condition?” Sen. Richard McCormack responds, “The world’s population.” Sen. Bray answers, “More locally, I would say low-income Vermonters.”

MacDonald then protests: “So how come the opponents [of the clean heat standard] get away with saying ‘you can’t do this because you’re going to hurt low-income Vermonters’? … They’re the ones getting screwed now.”

Perhaps the senator should chat with those who depend on affordable fuel oil for heat.

As this committee meeting reveals, these policy makers do not fathom their own policies — one senator suggests the tax on fuel will fall on out-of-state companies, as if those businesses won’t pass it on to their Vermont customers! These legislators do not permit economic realities, or the true costs to their constituents of being frozen during a pandemic, to interfere with their well-fantasized plans.

Gas prices are spiking, but these progressive Vermont senators seek to increase heating oil costs unfairly and tell the poor to get blankets, while joking that we Vermonters are going to save the planet.

The higher they climb, the farther they will fall.

John Klar is an attorney and farmer residing in Brookfield. © Copyright True North Reports 2022. All rights reserved.

Image courtesy of state of Vermont
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24 thoughts on “Sen. MacDonald says ‘get a blanket for Christ’s sake’ if you don’t like paying extra for heat

  1. You mean Comrades you don’t want to GIVE
    Everyone a standard blanket
    Every month along
    With a standard meal and a set amount of
    Limited standard fuel .
    We all know it’s not for Christs’ sake or your constituents. Your fruits are showing your poisonous tree .

  2. You mean Comrades you don’t want to GIVE
    Everyone a standard blanket
    Every month along
    With a standard meal and a set amount of
    Limited standard fuel .
    We all know it’s not for Christs’ sake or your constituents. Your fruits are showing your poisonous tree .

  3. This ad was seen in the FPF this morning , it is mind boggling :
    “Keep Vermont Cool
    Paid Ad
    Winters are getting warmer. Summers are getting hotter. To protect what we all love about VT, we need to Keep Vermont Cool. Join scientists, doctors, nurses, athletes, students, and Vermonters from across the state to address climate change here at home.”
    this the website :https://www.keepvermontcool.org/
    So not only the climate activists want you to pay more to heat your home, they encourage you to use less efficient systems, but also make sure that you do everything you can to keep Vermont cool !

  4. An observation; After the revolution historians tell us there were about a million people forced to leave the new Unites States, and some where executed. I sometimes wondered what they did to get on the list. — Now we are seeing first hand what the Loyalists and Tories of that time probably did… I also think if the Americans can’t take back their government in November, that we might be that road again.

  5. I’m considering changing the slogan on my license plates to “LIVE FREE OR DIE” as I’m about to retire but will not choose to live in this communist state.

  6. This man should be shamed right back under the rock he crawled out from under.

    Vamontas, (I say with my strong N’ Hampsha accent) do you recall the old days when we had these outta staters under much better control?
    [we certainly didn’t vote for them because we knew better]
    We did that because we ran our mouths more- and louder- and we didn’t do that hiding behind social media, we did that right to their faces waiting in line at the store or the diner in town.. we did this at the dump and at the coffee shop. We dealt with them face to face when things happened and in real life right then and there- and guess what, we were a much more polite society for it.
    It’s called ACCOUNTABILITY.
    No one would have dared say such a thing back then.. because they’d know they’d be faced with consequences right then and there.
    This right here is why the native population cannot stand outta staters invading our land- because unfortunately, way too many of them wind up being just like this scumbag politician that thinks he’s so brilliant… the farmers, the peasants and the normals always have the last words- he’ll learn.

  7. The only thing to do “for Christ’s sake…” is to vote arrogant elitists out of office and replace them with those who will treat others as they themselves would want to be treated and would govern accordingly.
    Mr.MacDonald’s statement is not only vulgar but is a prime example of the contempt for their constituents displayed by a lot of elected officials.

    • You are exactly right. November can’t come fast enough. This manufactured fuel burden is truly reckless and agenda driven and sadly, at the expense of those who put trust in them.

  8. I just got 12000 BTUs AC unit (2) for (well) under $500, with a 4 yr warranty. Please tell me how, after my last 3 units died, after 10-15 and 20 years, do you expect me to justify spending that kind of money for a “heat pump” or AC. Total house size is 1800sq ft. My fireplace w/ venting kit and my furnace is still cheaper per BTU than what you are talking about. The insulation and the units are easy to use and in the cold times they get packed up. Based on present cost, I am NOT giving GMP any more money than I actually have to. VT has the highest cost in electric in the US. They are pushing solar that gets , last I heard, sent out of state. Also most of our power comes from Canada, you know, that Communist country up north. How does that help We The People.

  9. MacDonald needs to move back to Connecticut..To make a statement like that is stupid. Shows how much he cares about the Citizens of Vermont. He shouldn’t even be in the Legislature. This is what happens when you get these liberal fools from other states who come here and dictate to us. He’s nothing but a rich fool. Vote the fool OUT.

  10. The reason people on the Environment and Energy Committee cannot explain what they are up to, is because they are not qualified to be on such a committee.

    They are CAREER politicians.

    They are POLITICAL appointees, who were put there by the Dem/Prog LEADERSHIP, which has been in cahoots, for decades, with the self-serving, subsidized owners of RE companies, that often employ relatives, and friends, and associates of Legislators.

    One big, well-nourished, happy clique, fleecing Vermonters for WHATEVER reason; COVID, global warming, CRT, Trans teaching, etc.

    Here is my PERSONAL experience with my own heat pumps, which rather closely resembles the disastrous results of the CADMUS Heat Pump Survey performed for the VT-DPS.

    The Cadmus Report, about 80% diversionary chaff and 20% meat, is written, on purpose, in such a way to make it nearly impossible for lay people, to figure out what is what.

    Luckily, I have about 40 years of experience in the energy sector, so figuring out what is what, was not a problem.

    EXCERPT from:

    HEAT PUMPS ARE MONEY LOSERS IN MY VERMONT HOUSE, AS THEY ARE IN ALMOST ALL NEW ENGLAND HOUSES

    Make sure to read the entire URL for full enlightenment

    https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/heat-pumps-are-money-losers-in-my-vermont-house-as-they-are-in

    Vermont “Electrify-Everything” Goals Will Cost $Billions and Will Reduce Little CO2

    The Vermont state government wants to electrify-everything (heat pumps, electric cars, and transit and school buses, no matter the:

    1) Very high turnkey capital cost,
    2) Very meager energy cost savings
    3) Very meager CO2 reductions, on an A-to-Z, lifetime basis.

    VT-DPS Survey of Vermont Heat Pumps

    VT-DPS commissioned CADMUS to perform a survey of Vermont heat pumps, after numerous complaints from HP users regarding: 1) high electric bills and 2) minimal annual savings

    The average energy cost savings regarding HPs was about $200/HP, as proven by the CADMUS survey report of operating data of 77 existing HP installations.

    Those meager energy savings would be more than offset by the annual amortizing cost of $4,500/HP at 3.5%/y for 15 years, plus any annual maintenance costs, and parts and labor costs. HPs are money losers for Vermonters. See URLs

    The result of Vermont’s HP saga been:

    1) Lucrative benefits to the Efficiency-Vermont-Approved HP installers
    2) Lucrative benefits to Canadian-owned GMP, which sells oodles more high-priced electricity.
    3) Everyone else getting royally screwed; an example of “fighting” climate change, a la Don-Quixote tilting at wind mills.

    My Experience with Heat Pumps in my Well-Insulated, Well-Sealed House

    I installed three heat pumps by Mitsubishi, rated 24,000 Btu/h at 47F, Model MXZ-2C24NAHZ2, each with 2 heads, each with remote control; 2 in the living room, 1 in the kitchen, and 1 in each of 3 bedrooms.

    The HPs have DC variable-speed, motor-driven compressors and fans, which improves the efficiency of low-temperature operation.
    The HPs last about 15 years. Turnkey capital cost was $24,000. GMP, the electric utility, provided a $2,400 subsidy.
    http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/vermont-co2-reduction-of-HPs-is-based-on-misrepresentations

    My house has a wall-hung, efficient, propane furnace to provide: 1) space heating, and 2) domestic hot water, year-round.

    The basement has a near-steady temperature throughout the year, because it has 2” of blueboard, R-10, on the outside of the concrete foundation and under the basement slab; the thermal storage of the concrete acts as a temperature stabilizer, which has saved me many thousands of space heating dollars over 35 years.

    Winter Operation: Downstairs heads are used for space heating during winter. Upstairs heads are always off during winter.
    If the sun is shining, my south-facing house warms up, and the HPs can be turned off by about 10 AM. They are turned on again around 4 to 5 PM

    The basement has two small propane heaters to provide space heat to my 1,300 sq ft basement during winter; that heat rises to warm up the first floor. The heaters require no electricity, which is beneficial during a power outage.

    Summer Operation: The downstairs and upstairs heads are used for space cooling during hot days in summer

    Hourly Operating Cost of HPs Versus Efficient Propane Furnaces

    Cold Weather Test: On 22 January, 2022, the temperature was -20F at my house. As a test, I operated my kitchen heat pump. After about 15 minutes, there was lukewarm air coming from the wall-mounted unit, but it was much less warm, than it would be at, say 15F. That lukewarm air did not heat my kitchen from 6 AM to 9 AM, so I turned off the HP and turned on my wall-hung, propane heater.

    Conclusion: 1) The name cold-climate HP is merely an advertising gimmick, and 2) HPs are economic:

    1) Down to about 15F to 20F in my well-sealed, well-insulated house, depending on wind and sun conditions
    2) Down to about 28F to 35F in average Vermont houses, which are energy hogs, by modern standards

  11. There is a disturbing trend of legislation being introduced that is (purposely) so confusing, irrational and convoluted that no one can understand it, or phantom the “unintended” consequences. Legislators’ egos will not allow them to admit that they have no idea what is going on. With no understanding of the issue, the pressure is on the members (especially the newer members) to take the default position, go along with their party’s “leaders”. Unfortunately, the new comers adopt that as their default position and the insanity continues. With the Dems and Progs in the majority and their mindless drones following, that’s why we are where we are…… The legislature is controlled by a relatively small group of very aggressive radicals.

  12. How much coverage of the legislative malpractice on H.715 that has occurred in the Senate Natural Resource & Energy Committee under Sen. Bray’s leadership has the VTDigger provided?…….Has the Digger even mentioned Sen. McDonald’s stunning admission that he doesn’t understand the bill and can’t explain it yet he voted to advance the bill?…….

    Where’s Seven Days, WCAX, Vermont Public Radio and Vermont PBS and where are the VTD trustees who are regularly opine from on high when they perceive the slightest transgression from the right?

    With all the hand wringing coming from the Democrats and Progressives about threats to our Democracy, one would think that Vermont’s media would be all over this mess.

  13. Again, the elitist liberals in the state house are clueless beyond what their donors and lobbyists tell them.
    The legislators that have and will vote on legislation limiting hydrocarbons are complicit in racketeering
    with the beneficiaries being climate evangelists and so called “green energy” providers.
    If any of the legislation to date had any impact on the CO2 levels in Vermont’s atmosphere (it won’t, per the “settled science” muttered from the mouths of legislators themselves) one might think that the GWSA and it’s resulting legislation could be worthwhile. Let me assure those that are undecided-
    You are being lied to. Greatly. By each climate evangelist and every legislator that votes for such stupidity.

  14. Living in Washington Co. for over 40 years I am not surprised by that statement. Exactly why I stopped voting for him.

  15. Qui bono?
    Follow the money.
    Its not ending up in Vermonter’s pockets unless they’ve sold their souls to the communists, and Mammon.
    Corrupt vs the incorrupt.

  16. The bottom line for these closet Napoleons is to demonize average Vermonters in favor of their progressive allies. They actually are passing laws that are designed to hurt certain groups of citizens and they are so proud of themselves for doing so. If you are asking, that can be easily proved.

  17. There is something sick and sadistic about this man. Welcome to Communist Vermont. Thank a Democrat. You can start with that useless, do nothing, Pat Leahy.

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