Senate candidate JT Dodge: NEK lawmakers supported costly clean heat standard

This commentary is by JT Dodge, who is running for state Senate in the Caledonia District as a Republican. The GOP primary election takes place Aug. 9.

Vermont very narrowly avoided a carbon tax.

Gov. Phil Scott vetoed the “Clean Heat Standard,” a carbon dioxide tax. Rep. Scott Campbell (D-St. Johnsbury) and Sen. Jane Kitchel (D-Caledonia) argue that it isn’t a tax; by strict legal definition, it isn’t.

Shayne Spence

JT Dodge

I can understand how difficult it would be for a politician to argue for new taxes without knowing how much they would cost and without taking personal responsibility for the decision.

Rep. Campbell and Sen. Kitchel wanted an unelected board to inform the Legislature as to how much money should be added to the annual expense of heating a home. When the annual dollar figure is released, they could both shrug and say, “Hey, that wasn’t me.”

As if this wasn’t insidious enough, these politicians and the Climate Council appeared to be attempting to portray fuel delivery companies as greedy bad guys. In reality, these legislators support a state-mandated credit system that forces fuel dealers to buy credits from “Efficiency Vermont” and Burlington Electric. If fuel dealers accepted this regulation without boosting fuel delivery rates, many of these vital businesses would be lost.

If Governor Scott had not vetoed this bill, Vermonters’ home heating fuel costs would have been forced up beyond inflation and speculation for potentially the next 50 years.

The Clean Heat Standard is like raising taxes on sugary beverages: taxing the poor to change purchasing behaviors.

The idea behind this is if sugar beverages cost more, then folks will change what they normally consume to other selections, which are theoretically healthier. And this type of tax is almost always sold to us as a “public good.” The climate caucus, lobbyists, and the legislators that voted for this directive explained that this mandated cost added to heat fuel is also to change behavior. They believe that the behavior will be changed to buying an electric vehicle and an electric heat pump, not turning the thermostat down to an uncomfortable temperature, skipping some prescriptions, and/or scrimping on nutrition.

This logic doesn’t really compute. Most Vermonters are of limited means, and are striving to achieve a firm grip on middle-class life. To many, achieving a stable middle-class existence is what resiliency looks like. Full “decarbonization” and “electrification” would destroy Vermonters’ resiliency. As the state with the lowest carbon dioxide emissions and one of the coldest and most rural states, we must maintain a wide choice of fuel types. Anything else will increase and create additional hardships for our rural populace.

I want to take a moment to mention the NEK representatives that had our backs when they supported Governor Scott’s veto of this hurtful bill. The veto was successfully maintained, but only narrowly because the opposition required only one more vote.

To those House representatives that chose political bravery by supporting Gov. Scott’s veto, thank you. I am very proud of all of you and those Vermonters that got the word out. I am confident that when Vermonters realize what almost passed into law they will approach you on the street and thank you themselves. Be proud as you have carried out your responsibilities in a way that reflects the public trust that has been placed in you.

My name is JT Dodge. I am running for Caledonia District Senate in the Republican Primary election on Aug. 9. I plan to challenge Sen. Kitchel and the climate lobby on their support for this terrible idea.

Image courtesy of Shayne Spence

4 thoughts on “Senate candidate JT Dodge: NEK lawmakers supported costly clean heat standard

  1. They don’t really want to reduce the use of fossil fuels for heating. If they did, they would give people a 100% tax credit for monies spent on weatherization. And it would include a provision to reduce the income reported for school tax calculations. Its not hard to figure out this about the liberals and commies controlling your life and making money for them and their friends.

  2. The only behavior that needs changing is the current one in Montpeculiar.. That taxation will fix
    everything attitude without regard for the pain caused the citizens behavior is what has to change.
    How did that sugar tax work out? Since there’s been no media blast of the obese decreasing i’m
    guessing that worked out about the same as a not a carbon tax tax would… Money for nothing..

  3. Rep Scott want to increase the heating costs of a few hundred thousand Vermonters by means of imposing a fee on fuel deliveries, that will be passed on fuel consumers.

    So, if a gallon of propane would cost $6, then the fuel deliverer adds a fee dollar to make it $7 dollars.

    The fuel deliverer sends the fee dollar to the Department of Taxes, which is told to by Dem/Prog legislators to distribute the collected fee dollars to various government programs run by friends and families of Dem/Prog legislators.

    Rep Scott has said this exercise has nothing to do with global warming.

    It has to do with Dem/Progs cementing their centralized, government command/control over EVERYTHING, from cradle to grave.

    They want to meddle into everything, ad infinitum
    They cannot let up, because it is built in their genetic make up.

    The only way to change things is to vote them out, EN MASSE, in November 2022

  4. Here it is again, Rep. Scott Campbell had this to say to me in writing in December 2020:

    “Let me start by repeating that no one, least of all me, believes Vermont can stop climate change — or even affect climate change”.

    Rep Scott has openly admitted that no one can stop or even affect climate change. Yet he is now willing to levy a “non-tax” financial burden on hundreds of thousands of Vermonters to promote a non-solution to climate change that he admits won’t work.

    Its way past time for Rep Scott to reconcile his past words on the futility of fighting climate change to now saddling the people of Vermont with a carbon financial assessment that’s not a tax.

    Prolonged double talk from a politician is not a welcomed experience…….Especially when it hits the peoples’ pocketbooks.

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