And, minor detail, Vermont has no authority to make wholesalers in those states buy Vermont’s clean heat credits. Attempting to do so would violate what is referred to as dormant commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution. Oops.
Any cap-and-invest scheme would eventually make Vermont border gas stations so uncompetitive on price that they would go out of business, long before gasoline is banned entirely.
Who expected the giving season to come in November rather than December? More surprising is the giver, the Governor’s Offices of Massachusetts and Connecticut. What a wonderful present, especially to those of us who are fossil fuels users.
What this means for Vermont is that a foundational component of the Climate Action Plan has been pulled out from under, calling into question both the overall viability of the plan and the judgment of the people putting it together.
Massachusetts and Connecticut abandoned the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) last week, citing high gas prices and irreconcilable differences. Rhode Island and Washington, D.C., also joined the agreement which promised to cut transportation emissions 25% and raise $3 billion for clean energy projects.
What could be more out of touch with voters’ priorities than increasing prices at the pump when gasoline and diesel costs are at multi-year highs with no signs that they are coming down or even leveling off anytime soon? TCI wasn’t popular when gas prices were low.
“The Baker-Polito Administration always maintained the Commonwealth would only move forward with TCI if multiple states committed, and, as that does not exist, the transportation climate initiative is no longer the best solution for the Commonwealth’s transportation and environmental needs.”
It is not likely that a majority of voters anywhere will vote to impose motor fuel taxes and rationing on themselves. Odds are that this measure will pass and Massachusetts will be out of TCI as well. And then there were none.
Voters in Connecticut caught on to the fact that all TCI really is, in practice, is a carbon-surtax on gasoline and diesel fuel, and, even in a very liberal state, they have no interest in paying it.
Van Deusen knows how Vermont politics works. While our legislators may insist that lower income Vermont residents will be better off after TCI because our legislators will get even more money from the TCI regional bureaucrats than they gave in gas taxes, this is unlikely.
The state of Vermont should tax fossil fuels to fund carbon reduction programs required by carbon reduction mandates, a Jan. 15 report by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) recommends. Estimated annual revenue from three proposed revenue sources would total $78 million.
TCI is off the table for now, but schemes like this keep coming back. Gov. Scott really ought to tell his people to take a long vacation from the TCI planning sessions.