Vermont Conservation Voters set environmentalist priorities for new supermajority Legislature

The Vermont Conservation Voters is set to push “a range of environmental priorities in the coming session” following an election landslide that gave Democrats and Progressives a supermajority at the Statehouse.

The group, which aims to help elect environmentally-friendly state officials, says its preferred candidates won 28 of 33 races. In all, VCV-endorsed candidates won five statewide officers, 20 senators, and 93 representatives.

“As we face environmental crises that demand action, VCV is thrilled that Vermont voters gave our newly-elected lawmakers a clear mandate to tackle issues including climate change and clean water,” Lauren Hierl, executive director of VCV said in a statement.

Public domain

A carbon tax in Vermont based on the ESSEX plan would impose an excise tax of 32 cents per gallon for gasoline, 40 cents for diesel and heating oil, and 24 cents for propane and natural gas.

In 2018, for example, Gov. Phil Scott vetoed green initiatives such as a bill to reduce toxic chemicals in kids’ products.

The group believes this year the bill will likely have enough votes to pass into law, with or without the governor’s support.

That’s just one of several priorities for the VCV outlined on its webpage. Another initiative is the carbon tax. “We must explore and advance policies like carbon pricing to help Vermonters invest in solutions and transition away from fossil fuels,” it states.

Despite many arguments to the contrary, VCV claims that putting  a tax on fossil fuels and providing a rebate on some Vermonters’ electricity bills would “grow Vermont’s economy, protect the most vulnerable, and drive down our climate pollution.”

Also on the group’s list of priorities are the Renewable Energy Standard’s Energy Innovation Program, energy efficiency funding, and expanding appliance efficiency standards.

The renewable energy standard refers to a quota for renewable energy usage which increases every several years. The next big target is to get to 75 percent renewables by Jan. 1, 2032. Appliance efficiency standards refers to restricting the amount of energy that appliances can use, which saves energy but also may affect performance.

Currently, renewable energy sources such as industrial-scale wind and solar power cost more for ratepayers than their non-renewable alternatives, that’s in addition to their own environmental impacts that local communities must consider.

Also, as for the carbon tax, some think tanks conclude that it’s a regressive tax that does little for the environment.

H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D., senior fellow at the Heartland Institute and managing editor of Environment & Climate News, says that renewable mandates and carbon taxes are going to hurt Vermont’s residents and businesses alike.

“They can impose a carbon tax, they can mandate renewable portfolio standards, but the truth of it is, they’ll be hurting their own citizens and businesses in Vermont,” he said. “If you want to drive businesses out of state, renewable energy standards and a carbon tax are a great way to do so.”

He cited the high price of renewables, as well as their intermittent nature, short hardware life-cycle and high subsidies.

“You are never saving money with those things, and you are never making the system more reliable — you are just making it worse,” he said. “And the worst thing about it, all these people are like, ‘We care about the poor.’ Well, no, you are killing the poor. Energy costs more as a percentage of their disposable income than for the wealthy.”

Burnett also had tough words for appliance efficiency standards.

“It used to take 40 minutes to do a load of laundry,” he said. “Now if I’ve got the wrong kind of laundry in, I’ve got to do three separate loads. I don’t care how much energy it uses per cycle if I’ve got to do three cycles.”

John McClaughry, vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute, recently wrote a commentary on what to expect for the upcoming legislative session. He, too, sees a green agenda coming, including the carbon tax.

“This measure, first offered in 2014, is now disguised as carbon pricing, pollution fees, decarbonization, cap-and-trade, greenhouse gas initiative, etc. after the initial, straightforward “carbon tax” aroused massive resistance,” he wrote.

Brady Toensing, vice-chair of the Vermont Republican Party, predicted after the election that left-wing organizations would be champing at the bit to get this legislative session started to push their agenda.

“I think it’s ‘Katie, bar the door’ for whatever progressive dream they can dream up,” he said.

Other folks on Twitter have stated these progressive agenda items are now a mandate for the supermajority.

Another post, from former VTGOP chair Dave Sunderland, questions how Senator-elect Cheryl Hooker, a Democrat representing Rutland, will feel about a carbon tax.

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

Images courtesy of FEMA/Public domain and Public domain

11 thoughts on “Vermont Conservation Voters set environmentalist priorities for new supermajority Legislature

  1. So not too long ago I looked at the board of the VCV….they shared the same board members as the VNRC…which is a lobbyist group, disguised as a non-profit

    Now the VCV is supposedly grading our legislators on how good they are doing caring for the environment.

    You will notice that they grade our representatives, “coincidentally” on all the topics and policies pushed for by the VNRC….maybe now they are tied in with VPIRG too. Pretty convenient huh?

    Then in our little bid to get a representative in the house, we were countered with massive flyers being mailed out at least 3x….all paid for by the VCV. Most everybody I spoke to did not notice or see the flyer were all paid for by PAC money, the print was very small and not very noticeable.

    See our state is literally run by special interests, lobbyists and PAC money. It doesn’t take much money to sway things in Vermont.

  2. If I remember correctly, we should all be ” Dead ” by now according to Al Gore ???

    The sky is falling……………….

  3. When one can see the licence plate of a Vermont politician in NH. shopping it should tell you that “do as I say, not as I do” is in effect.

  4. As tree hugging,climate change aka the weather is a tenant of the cult of the Left,the Communist’s in Montpelier will of course run amok.

    U.N. Official Reveals Real Reason Behind Warming Scare

    Economic Systems: The alarmists keep telling us their concern about global warming is all about man’s stewardship of the environment. But we know that’s not true. A United Nations official has now confirmed this.

    At a news conference last week in Brussels, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity but to destroy capitalism.

    “This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution,” she said.

    Referring to a new international treaty environmentalists hope will be adopted at the Paris climate change conference later this year, she added: “This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model for the first time in human history.”

    The only economic model in the last 150 years that has ever worked at all is capitalism. The evidence is prima facie: From a feudal order that lasted a thousand years, produced zero growth and kept workdays long and lifespans short, the countries that have embraced free-market capitalism have enjoyed a system in which output has increased 70-fold, work days have been halved and lifespans doubled.

    Figueres is perhaps the perfect person for the job of transforming “the economic development model” because she’s really never seen it work. “If you look at Ms. Figueres’ Wikipedia page,” notes Cato economist Dan Mitchell: Making the world look at their right hand while they choke developed economies with their left.

    • Apparently it doesn’t work too well for those wanting global control, who enjoy the oligarchy system of government……there lies the problem.

      Meanwhile those in the US are prospering, shining light on the world, the place where all other citizens of other countries want to go too…..

      Yes, from an oligarch’s perspective America must fall, with the opening of knowledge and information on a global platform it’s very, very difficult to keep your citizens in the dark about freedom and how your country is so great, when in fact it’s a ______hole.

  5. If The IDIOTIC Carbon Tax becomes law, I will Gas up my Vehicles in New Hampshire and spend my disposable income in New Hampshire also. Any appliances I have to buy will also come from TAX FREE New Hampshire. Solar Panels start to lose efficiency after about 7 yrs. Windmills cause NOISE pollution and Avian deaths and casualties.

  6. A spit in the ocean will accomplish more to protect the environment than all the loony tune programs the prog/lib/dems can dream up.

Comments are closed.