The following commentary by Steve MacDonald has been republished with permission from GraniteGrok.
Vermont’s misnamed Affordable Heat Act is a dangerous piece of partisan legislation that will cost Vermonters more than money. But many know that and have been vocal in their opposition to it.
Dems in the legislature passed it anyway, and Gov Scott has promised a veto:
From the start of this conversation, I have clearly, and repeatedly said I agree we need to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, including in the thermal sector. However, I strongly believe the right approach is to help people make the transition, not financially punish those who cannot afford to do so, said Scott in a statement.
Unfortunately, the supermajority in the Legislature decided to take a completely different approach by giving an unelected commission, the Public Utility Commission, the power to design and adopt a system — without guaranteeing the details and costs will be debated transparently through the normal legislative process, in full view of their constituents.
I’m not familiar enough with the bill to know its particulars, but my experience with Democrats passing off responsibility to unelected commissions runs long and deep. Whenever possible, Left-Leaning legislators use majorities to create increasing costs through fiscal or regulatory burdens over which they can claim no control.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) gave de facto taxing power to an unelected board whose decisions about the cost of carbon mitigation are an energy tax.
Before 2011, the New Hampshire Dem majority legislature used one-time money to create 800 million in new recurring expenses that taxpayers would have to pay for in successive years (as in, forever). In 2011/2012, the Republican supermajority that followed cut all of that spending out of the budget to the hew and cry of the progressive spenders.
The Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI) is another example. An unelected committee would manage a gas tax regime upon citizens in member states without any accountability to state legislators. It fell apart but has transitioned into irresponsible and unachievable EV mandates in states like Vermont and Massachusetts, where TCI was a beloved evolution of policy to address a non-existent crisis.
This is, in all cases, literally taxation without representation, and elected Lefties love this. A stream of increasing revenue they will happily spend while claiming they have no control over the burdens of its perennial increase. When constituents complain, they feign concern and create a new committee — unelected patronage positions with legislative power, adding to the wall of separation between Elected Democrats and accountability.
The unaffordable heat standard feels like that, and with veto-proof supermajorities in the legislature, Phil Scott’s promise to protect Vermonters appears futile, but is it? The peeps don’t like the rules or the burdens it will place upon them, and so far, Dem legislators have been indifferent or deaf to that opposition. Their belief that they know better takes precedence. You need this; stop complaining, you petulant child.
A Scott veto forces every Dem to double down on that indifference, and they can’t all be in secure seats yet. And while Gov. Phil Scott isn’t much of a Republican; he needs to keep this promise. Make the Democrats stand up again and say, we’re more intelligent than you, we demand this, and you’re going to pay this price.
Make them own it despite public opposition. There is, after all, another election around the corner and another winter between then and now.