McClaughry: The endless tax on your power bill

By John McClaughry

Last week Senate President Tim Ashe ominously “turned open the spigot” to move legislation not related to the coronavirus pandemic. The lead bill to glide through the Senate was S.337, which would allow Energy Efficiency Vermont and Burlington Electric the authority to spend some of their ratepayer tax funds on transportation and heating efficiency projects.

To put this in perspective, one of Sen. Peter Shumlin’s big ideas a decade ago was to create a thermal efficiency utility to do just this: subsidize home heating efficiency and vehicle efficiency. Gov. Jim Douglas killed that bill with a veto, but the Democrats keep trying to find some way to hit up somebody to pay for this pet component of the Democrats’ never-ending war against climate change. Last year it was taxing home heating oil to pay for the subsidies, which finally failed, and last January it was the Transportation Climate Initiative to levy a 17 cents a gallon tax on gas and diesel fuel to subsidize mainly electric cars and bike paths, which has been put on hold for now.

The shocking thing about this bill, S.377, was that it passed 27-1. Only one Republican, Sen. Randy Brock, had enough sense to see where this was going — namely, to shift taxes on electric ratepayers to subsidizing heating improvements and electric vehicles, thereby increasing the pressure next year for jacking up electric rates to keep on paying for ever more electric efficiency.

John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.

Image courtesy of VEIC

10 thoughts on “McClaughry: The endless tax on your power bill

  1. The ole bait and switch once again. First the tax is levied for whatever reason then down the line they want to redirect the funds for some cockamamie feel good project. If the need is legit, go through the legislative process and let the folks in on the scam.

    • You should abandon your attempts to pass yourself off as a Republican. All who have seen your posts are now aware you believe that our rights are actually privileges bestowed by government.

      • What the heck are you reading? Your statement may actually be what you believe. How do you know what “all ” are aware of.

        • Have you read any of Mr. Gilhooly’s past posts? I think not. Feel free to continue your engagement with confusion.

  2. I saw the EEVT scam many years ago and decided to withhold those fees from my bill payment. I was told that GMP only collects the money and they must or I would have my electricity cut off. Wait, what??? Unfortunately, my wife paid the late fees when I was out of town, so I had to start all over again.
    I have changed my light bulbs twice, remember the “curly” ones?How much did they spend to get us to buy those toxic bulbs? I have upgraded my appliances twice,installed 10+KW of solar panels, and even have two heat pumps. My EEVT fees are 8% of my bill this month, and the Legislosers voted them another increase this session. Will it ever just go away? Nope, just my solar incentive in six more years. Maybe I should just go away to some other state/country.

    • “Maybe I should just go away to some other state/country”

      That’s what my wife and I did in 2014. Moved to SC where our cost of living is $1000/month less.

      • Ditto., LOVE it down here in the SE. Not a progressive in sight and a liberal down here would be considered a hard right winger up in blue VT.

        Hard to watch family members struggle up in VT when life can be some much better for so much le$$.

  3. For my part, I’m tired of Democrat / Progressives alway attempting to steal more funds from Vermonters under the guise of climate change. The forests in Vermont more than offset any carbon emitted and it is long past due the our representatives start listening to their constituents instead of Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG), Bittersdorf, Sun Common and the rest of these lobbyists. Time to VOTE RED and remove these Communists from our soil!!!!

  4. Why subsidize electric cars? If they’re popular, let them compete on the market. Why should I pay for someone else’s transportation – that I don’t get to use? Do I get a subsidy for a horse which uses entirely renewable fuel for energy and fertilizes that energy production as a byproduct? Cost/benefit analysis: How much can anything Vermont does at whatever cost to its citizens change Vermont’s climate – never mind the world’s? Even Michael Moore has awakened to the fact that this whole costly AGW boondoggle is a scam.

  5. This is outrageous. Is it a done deal or does the House have to vote on it? Will Gov. Scott veto this tax? It is just a tax. Everybody who uses electricity will have to pay it and probably will not benefit in the least. Shame on the Senators who voted for this when so many Vermonters don’t know if they will survive this financial crisis. Efficiency Vermont should be eliminated. Thank you Sen. Brock for voting against this bill. You are looking out for the people of Franklin County and Vt.

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