By Guy Page
Today Headliners catches up on corrections, clarifications, and comments received from our growing list of readers. For example:
After reading the 10/7 column and 10/8 follow-up on the proposed “stealth” carbon tax, Matt Cota of the Vermont Fuel Dealers corrected our 148 million gallon estimate of annual Vermont gasoline consumption, derived from 2017 federal statistic. “On average, Vermont sells approximately 320 million gallons of gasoline and 60 million gallons of on-road clear diesel annually,” Cota said.
Whoa! That means that if the multi-state, regional Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI) “cap and trade” takes effect, and if Vermonters pay the 36 cents per gallon that Californians by 2030 will pay under their similar “cap and trade” program, Vermont drivers (including schools, social services, etc.) could pay an extra $137 million per year, most of it ticketed for the state of Vermont’s low-carbon transportation programs like public transportation, electric cars, bike paths, etc. Of course that estimate is premature because each state would set its own revenue goals. The final draft of the TCI won’t be released until December, and would need approval from both Legislature and Gov. Phil Scott.
The CTI story drew this strong comment from reader CHenry on Vermont Water Cooler:
Carbon Tax, another progressive liberals boondoggle! They keep going to ‘The Well’ (the backs of hard-working Vermonters) to fund their foolishness, as most of their legislation will not stand on its own! We need to send these carpetbaggers we have in Montpelier back home, yes that includes Tim Ashe of Massachusetts. These clowns just don’t get it, and we let them do it!”
The 10/8 column reporting a proposed state regulation banning different pricing for haircuts by race and gender elicited a brisk response from the Office of Professional Regulation (OPR) of the Vermont Secretary of State. OPR says the regulation is meant to protect barbers and hairdressers from lawsuits:
We were specifically asked by the Office of then-AG Sorrell to include in the next iteration of our barbering and cosmetology rules a reminder about non-discriminatory pricing. The purpose was to keep small businesses out of avoidable trouble with the HRC and the courts, not to get them in it.
Clarification noted and appreciated.
Finally, several eagle-eyed readers notified us that, contrary to the photo caption of our Sept. 25 report about unexpectedly high school taxes in a newly-merged district, scenic Ticklenaked Pond is located in Ryegate, not Newbury.
Statehouse Headliners is intended primarily to educate, not advocate. It is e-mailed to an ever-growing list of interested Vermonters, public officials and media. Guy Page is affiliated with the Vermont Energy Partnership; the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare; and Physicians, Families and Friends for a Better Vermont.