By Rob Roper
Rep. Selene Colburn, P-Burlington, said Thursday on the floor of the Vermont House of Representatives that she had misgivings about supporting the proposed $6.1 billion budget because its insufficient attention to climate change could lead to “planetary collapse.” Seriously, she said this.
Her fellow Burlington Progressive, Rep. Brian Cina, similarly lamented on the floor that if we didn’t do more, Vermont’s winter snow and maple syrup runs would become a thing of the past. While this may be the case, nothing Vermont or the world does will change this one way or the other.
On Wednesday, Steve Crowley, energy chair for the Vermont Chapter of the Sierra Club, and Conservation Law Foundation Staff Attorney Sandy Levine testified before House Energy and Technology Committee on H.462, the “Vermont Global Warming Solutions Act.”
It states: “The purpose of this bill is to create a fair, workable, cost-effective, and legally enforceable system by which Vermont will be able to reduce its economy-wide carbon emissions to zero by 2050.”
Zero. In three decades. By law.
Essentially, this bill would make Vermont an environmentalist police state. It would make it illegal (i.e., enforced by people with guns) to not meet those greenhouse gas emission targets, which we have so far, for all of our “green” virtue signaling, not come close to meeting. Per testimony, “Emissions increased 16 percent since 1990 in VT, while declining nationally and across the region.”
Why is this? Because these policies are impossible to comply with (they are also arbitrary as nothing we do will have any impact on future climate trends), especially without nuclear power in the mix. And according to our Legislature, using nuclear power is the one thing worse than allowing total “planetary collapse.”
But, the attempt would require tens or hundreds of thousands of Vermonters to, for example, switch to electric vehicles, even more to change from oil, propane or natural gas heat to something like an electric heat pump, whether we want to or not.
So, how do you think the state is going to enforce what heretofore have been private decisions made by private citizens? And what’s the cost of all this going to be? That, no one wanted to discuss.
But, as Rep. Mike Yantachka exclaimed at the end of Sandra Levine’s testimony, we have to do this “or we’re screwed!” He actually believes this. A large number of our elected officials believe this. They really think that if Vermont does not build electric vehicle charging stations, put insulation in a few hundred aging houses, and force everybody to buy a Tesla — at whatever cost to the taxpayers or our economy — the entire planetary ecosystem will collapse. This is what is driving their decision making process. And, it’s delusional.