Statehouse session starts with yellow-vested carbon tax protest

MONTPELIER — Dozens of protesters wearing yellow vests showed up at the Statehouse on day-one of the 2019 legislative session to tell lawmakers that a carbon tax should not be on the agenda.

A snowy Wednesday morning forced about 50 participants indoors, where the No Carbon Tax Vermont rally continued. Protesters wore the vests in imitation of the demonstrators of riots that broke out last month across Europe in response to carbon taxes proposed in France and other countries.

Michael Bielawski/TNR

Bad weather forced protesters to take their signs and speeches inside, where the demonstration continued.

In the Green Mountain State, the most recent attempt at a carbon tax was last year’s ESSEX plan, which would have forced fuel distributors to pay a 32-cent excise tax per gallon for gasoline, as well as 40 cents more for diesel and heating oil, and 24 cents more for propane and natural gas. It failed to gain traction, even among the liberal majorities in the Vermont Legislature.

It’s widely expected that with new supermajorities at the Statehouse (more than two-thirds in both chambers this year), Democrat and Progressive lawmakers will again attempt to pass a carbon tax.

Several speakers gave presentations throughout the morning, including familiar faces such as Ethan Allen Institute President Rob Roper, as well as some new voices.

J.T. Dodge, of Newbury, helped coordinate the event. He emphasized that any time the price of energy goes up, it affects costs for nearly every other aspect of the economy.

“There are 70,000 Vermonters right now that are food-insecure,” Dodge said. “That’s a big deal, and you can’t tell me that turning the price of tires up and turning the price of gas up and turning the price of groceries up and turning the price of car inspections up … [is a good thing]. Turning these things up isn’t gonna help the average Vermonter.”

Roper, who spoke next, noted that the new legislature is heavily influenced by green energy insiders who stand to gain financially from a carbon tax.

“SunCommon, which is the for-profit VPIRG spinoff that makes money putting solar panels on people’s homes, they have two employees who are now representatives in the House, plus the wife of the president of that company,” he said. “Think about that — SunCommon and VPIRG now have more representation in the House of Representatives in Vermont than any district in the state.”

Those representatives are Mike McCarthy, D-St. Albans; Becca White, D-Hartford; and Kari Dolan, D-Waitsfield.

Guy Page, a resident of Berlin, shared some of his past personal struggles with heating his home. He said a new tax on heating fuel could be devastating.

“Not so long ago I was a roofing contractor, a bus driver, working four jobs in all and not able to make enough money, and having to fill that oil tank with three kids in the house and a sick wife,” he said. “And every winter, it was, ‘Am I going to be able to fill this tank? Am I going to be able to keep my family warm?'”

He said it was upsetting to think that the state of Vermont “on purpose would make it harder for people to fill those tanks and get to work.”

Burlington resident Skyler Bailey started his speech by asserting that while he believes in man-made climate change, he does not support a carbon tax. He said the oft-repeated claim that carbon taxes reduce carbon output is false.

“The authors of the ESSEX plan, despite their lofty claims, provided not one shred of cited information about whether their proposal could be expected to decrease greenhouse gas emissions at all,” he said.

He added that some societies that have carbon taxes now have greater carbon output. As an example, he argued that Germany, which carbon tax proponents say reduced emissions 7.5 percent after taxing carbon, had already seen a 21.2 percent decrease in carbon output 10 years prior to adopting the tax.

Fairfax resident Bob Shea also spoke, and said he no longer trusts that Vermont’s Republican governor is opposed to a carbon tax.

“Let there be no doubt that Phil Scott supports the carbon tax, as evidenced by the fact that he appointed carbon champions and global warming fanatics to his carbon tax study committee,” Shea said. “Now Mr. Scott asserts that he will not support a carbon tax, but he knows that its supporters have a veto-proof majority. There’s nothing like having it both ways.”

Other notable speakers included Casey Cota, who runs Cota & Cota, a Vermont fuel company. He said the tax is unnecessary because home heating oil usage has dropped from 170 million gallons to around 70 million gallons since 1970, even without a tax.

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North Reports. Send him news tips at and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Image courtesy of Michael Bielawski/TNR

21 thoughts on “Statehouse session starts with yellow-vested carbon tax protest

  1. Both Mitsy and Tim say in is not on the front burner then the next week it is ready to vote on. We have to keep pressure on the Legislators to stop this.
    Here in the NEK, the business I am associated with has anywhere from 10 to 15 tractor trailers delivering or picking up goods. How much will 80 cents/gal add to the cost of production when these trucks average 6 miles/gal? Or the number of employees that commute 30-50 miles per day. It just might be cheaper for them to stay home. You can also count electrical car hook-ups in the NEK on 1 hand!
    Keep it up Vermont Legislature and you won’t have any businesses to kick around.

    • Chet upstate NH would welcome your business I’m sure. NH has indicated they are not interested in the regional carbon tax. You an your employees would certainly sleep better at night knows your economic livelihood is secure.

  2. My heart, thoughts and prayers are with all Vermont natives who struggle with simple things as fueling up gas and oil tanks. This carbon tax would only further disrup the pockets of hard-working Vermontains.’ Yellow vests are an inspiration to all those who wake up every morning and go out to work to provide for ourselves and our families.
    Even though I am here in Los Angeles I feel your pain. We too have many transplants who are trying to change the landscape of our city. Liberalism is a cancer! It must be stopped! Voices will be heard!! Fight On!

  3. I still believe that native Vermonters could outvote the newcomers who now control Montpelier but I could hold quite a large gathering of native Vermonters I know that no longer vote. Very sad.

  4. Carbon tax. It’ll be just another cancer that working Vermonters will have to endure. It’s great for the cities that aren’t so affected by fuel cost to get to work, to shop and recreation. We have to travel for everything. Granted, it’s our choice but that’s the nice part of being free to live where we chose.
    These liberal transplants that have taken over our State don’t care about our way of life, their aim is to control our lives and they keep voting these fools in.
    Vermont should go to an electoral system similar to the nations which would truly mean that every vote counts. It would remove some of the strangle hold the cities have on the rural communities.

    • Amen, 2 senators per county needed. 25% of the Vermont legislature comes from Chittendon County, 23 of the 30 current Vermont senators are not native born. 6 of them are from Chittendon County, 3 of them are from Washington County. The republicans are afraid to be republican. Our Governor is a RINO (republican in name only). I had to vote for him because of the alternative. We have two years to work on this. Every voice on the conservative side needs to speak up. There is no one else to do the work. True Vermonters need to come out of the woodwork and take this state back. Remember the phrase TAKE BACK VERMONT? Either things are going to change here soon for me or I am going to be looking at Live Free or Die across the border.

      • I’m with you. I’m getting disgusted with this State. The republicans are silent and it isn’t looking good..

  5. Democrats want open borders, and if there are walls, they want them to be porous, i.e., kept in poor condition, easily climbed over, and crawled under.

    There is a whole infrastructure, on both sides of the border, of Democrat-supported government programs to help legal and illegal immigrations get drivers licenses, voting rights, permanent residency and work permits (green cards) and citizenship.

    The folks who benefit from this will vote Democrat forever.

    It is all about getting, and maintaining, and permanently enlarging the Democrat power base at the expense of the Republicans, as has happened in California, the 100% RE state with solar panels mandated on every roof, and wannabe copycat Vermont.

    I hope Trump will declare a national emergency and get a proper, 30-ft tall, steel wall built. It is al least 40 years overdue.

    The French are leading the way in Europe with their yellow vest protests. That movement will become unstoppable the more it is resisted by governments.

    The French government enacting anti-protest laws will make matters much worse.

    France needs a 25% surtax on fashion, perfumes, cosmetics, upscale watches and jewelry, upscale air travel, upscale cruise ship travel, private planes, company cars.

    The last thing the French people need is an other carbon tax on gasoline, diesel fuel, fuel oil and propane. In Paris, gasoline costs the equivalent of $9.00/gallon, of which 70% is taxes.

    How much of a TIN EAR does Le Roi Macron has?

    Does he not get it?

  6. Casey Coda mentioned Vermonters reduced fuel oil use from 170 million gallon in 1970 to 70 million gallon at present.

    Remember, all that happened without any help of Efficiency Vermont.

    People insulated and sealed their houses and bought more efficiency furnaces and over time the fuel oil reduction took place WITHOUT ANY GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS AND WITHOUT ANT CARBON TAXES.


  7. Once again, they gather together each January to foist their loony tune agenda on the folks regardless of what the folks want. It’s their way or the highway yet year in and year out they keep getting reelected. You tell me.

  8. Hey, Vermonters take your lead from Paris, this is how you stop this Boondoggle !!

    You’re newly elected Progressive DemocRATs will try and push there agenda, they
    don’t care about the average Vermonter. All they care about is an agenda and they
    have the upper hand ( seats )

    Follow the money !!

  9. Thank you TNR for your unbiased & truthful report. The effort by Vermonters who oppose a Carbon Tax has just begun. Proponents of this idiotic concept are on an agenda to increase poverty and cause more undue hardship to the people of Vermont without regard for any consequences. How would creating a tax stop ANY changes in climate? It makes about as much sense as removing all water to stop it from raining.

  10. When future events are scheduled, a good idea would be to note same through True North Reports. True North Reports is catching on because mainly the reporting of news that the liberal venues do not touch.
    I asked VT Digger why they did not cover this and never received an answer.

    TY TNR.

    • James- I have posted a comment with VT Digger and wasn’t accepted. In fact they blocked me, my post wasn’t offensive. They are a Liberal rag and don’t appreciate anything a “possible Conservative” says. They are like THE COMMONS in Brattleboro. As long as Liberals in the state, they will exist to spew their crap.

      Hope you didn’t donate to them, they have a link where you can. Hope they run out of money and the staff go on welfare, both of them. I don’t bother wasting my time with them. THE COMMONS paper makes a nice bird cage S collector.

  11. The truth of the matter is that honest hard-working everyday citizens in the state of Vermont are being scammed by the snake oil salesman with this ridiculous climate change global warming nonsense which has been disproven and discredited 15 times over and in fact this whole carbon tax scheme is nothing more than another way to get their hands into your tax Pockets when you’re already destitute from paying the outrageous fees in this state already. it’s about time the people in this state smartened up like you folks did with this protest and told our legislators that we are just not going to put up with any more of this crap and if they don’t stop it they’re going to end up with a revolution on their hands in this state

  12. Vermonts effect and reaction to climate change is all about the left needing to feel smart and morally superior. Vermonts effect on climate change isn’t even measurable.

  13. Global warming/climate change is the biggest racket since war. I used to believe it too. The first person with serious credentials I met who expressed doubt about global warming was a PhD physics professor who taught infra-red thermography. This involved the physics of long and short-wave infra-red, and how heat works. He knew the subject inside and out, and he just could not understand how global warming was supposed to work. The numbers just didn’t add up.
    A simple understanding is that incoming sunlight contains shorter wavelength IR, and heat from the Earth radiates into space, as long-wave IR, and greenhouse gases inhibit this outward, long wave radiation. So far so good.
    But the amount of carbon dioxide (about .04%) is negligible, and its effect is weak.
    The biggest “greenhouse gas” by far is water vapor. Don’t want to say too much, might give them ideas.
    The biggest man-made “climate change” is deforestation, and paving, like cities. And the “stratospheric aerosol injection” er chemtrails that anybody who looks up can see on a sunny day.
    The elites know all this, and know it is a scam, and a racket. It is a big shakedown, in the name of the technocracy, which is replacing governments with bureaucrats around the world, robbing us and stealing our liberty.
    People are catching on, though. Yellow vests!

    • Gordon,
      You are absolutely correct.

      Water vapor is the culprit and smog, deforestation, and urbanization, and industrial agriculture are contributing manmade factors.

      Reduce the world population to about one billion people would be a much better approach to save the other fauna and flora than all the other schemes that have been devised.

      The ignorance of lay folks and legislators is being used by self-serving scammers to scare them to support a slew of taxes, fees and surcharges to set up government programs to “solve/fight” the global warming strawman they have put up.

      The long overdue YELLOW VEST movement in Vermont would have never happened, if it had not been for the courageous French leading the way.

    • Water Vapor is indeed the culprit to any warming. However, there is no money to be made reducing water vapor. It’s a dead end for the greenies. They learned from the Acid Rain folks.

  14. Thank you Mike for your honest reporting…

    Facts were presented that shoot down any reason to have a carbon tax because wherever it has been implemented it has never done anything to reduce the carbon footprint.

    Thank you to everyone who showed up at this wonderful event to educate the public about the false propaganda that is being shoved down the throats of vermonters claiming to save the environment when it does absolutely nothing at all except line the pockets of those that represent big business..

    It is a sad day in the state of Vermont when legislators tied to big companies that would profit from this kind of legislation are allowed to vote to push this agenda forward.

    I am asking all vermonters to educate yourself on this subject and to pay attention to the fact that Rob Roper presented here today the point out the autocracy of those that are supposed to be defending the rights of vermonters

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