Vermont House of Representatives upholds governor’s veto of clean heat standard by one vote

Michael Bielawski/TNR

NOT GOING AWAY YET: Oil and other carbon-emitting fuel could have been phased out of homes and forcibly replaced by newer, electric-based heating systems, but House lawmakers on Tuesday narrowly sustained Gov. Phil Scott’s veto of H.715, maintaining the status quo.

MONTPELIER — H.715, a bill that would have mandated a switch of heating methods and fuels in an effort to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, fell one vote short of the two-thirds required for passage Tuesday in the Vermont House of Representatives.

Following a period of debate on the House floor, lawmakers voted 99-51 on whether to override Gov. Phil Scott’s veto of the highly controversial clean heat standard and pass the legislation. A full 100 votes are necessary to overrule a governor’s veto.

RELATED: How did your local representative vote? Click here to find out

Supporters and opponents weighed in on the issue before and after casting their votes.

Rep. Emma Mulvaney-Stanak, P-Burlington, explained why she voted yes.

“This bill does not go far enough, yet I feel an urgency enough to act on this policy today as we are out of time with our climate crisis,” she said. “I voted to override the veto because the most regressive thing we can do for our planet and for working Vermonters is to continue our reliance on fossil fuels without creating a viable alternative.”

Rep. Brian Smith, R-Derby, explained why he voted no, siding with the governor.

“There’s not enough lipstick in the state of Vermont to make this pig look any better,” he said. “I hope that I do not have to apologize to my constituents for House Bill 715.”

Rep. Mike Yantachka, D-Charlotte, a supporter of the bill, said sea levels will rise and “we might lose a large part of our national coastline” if action isn’t taken.

“We have to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions — this is real,” he said. “We have to think about what we are doing here today for ourselves, but also what we are doing for our children and our grandchildren who may not be able to see and live in the same kind of environment that we have here today. … And that’s going to cost a lot more money than any increases in fuel prices that the Clean Heat Standard might involve.”

state of Vermont

Rep. Timothy Briglin, D-Thetford

Prior to the roll call vote, Rep. Timothy Briglin, D-Thetford, the chair of the House Committee on Energy and Technology, attempted to refute Scott’s claim in his May 6 veto letter that H.715 lacks information on costs and also delegates clean heat standard policy making to an unelected board, the Public Utility Commission.

“I’m confused by the governor’s veto message on this point that this bill does not require the General Assembly to pass a bill that he must sign in order for the clean heat standard to be implemented,” he said. “H.715 clearly states otherwise.”

According to Briglin, the Public Utility Commission shall not file proposed rules with secretary of state or issue any orders implementing a clean heat standard without specific authorization enacted by the General Assembly. The PUC must, however, submit to lawmakers proposed rules for implementing the clean heat standard on or before Jan. 15, 2024 — the whole assembly would have to approve them afterward.

“A bill encapsulating the rules and regulations of a clean heat standard must be passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by the governor in order to go into effect,” Briglin said.

To Scott’s argument that the Legislature does not have information on the bill’s costs and burdens, Briglin said lawmakers would receive a report early in 2024 about the bill’s impact on customers, rates, fuel bills, total energy spending for end users, CO2 reductions, and overall impacts on economic activity and employment.

“Significant financial and economic information is required here,” Briglin said.  “… The granular detail of the clean heat standard will be before the General Assembly in January 2024 for examination, for debate, for markup, change, testimony and either adoption or rejection. If you decide to move the details of the clean heat standard on to the governor, the governor will have the opportunity to either approve or veto.”

The House then proceeded and sustained the governor’s veto by one vote, with all House members present. The result sparked some protest on social media, beginning with a tweet by state Rep. Mari Cordes, D-Lincoln.

Dave Silberman, the high bailiff of Addison County, tweeted that Scott was governing like a “climate change denier.”

But Hayden Dublois chimed in, noting that some Democrats voted with Republicans to sustain the veto.

See how your local House representative voted by clicking here.

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at bielawski82@yahoo.com and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Images courtesy of Bruce Parker/TNR, Michael Bielawski/TNR and state of Vermont
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18 thoughts on “Vermont House of Representatives upholds governor’s veto of clean heat standard by one vote

  1. Thank you to the State Reps that put VT and its citizens first to stop this bill for the moment. There will be time to illustrate/estimate the impacts before the next fight.
    Maybe in the meantime some sanity will befall the climate crisis crowd. They can look at the latest climate data, get some unbiased science from actual experts instead of from the media IPCC echo chamber. We can’t afford the unneeded “carbon” must go hysteria. A good reference- https://clintel.org/usa-wcd/

  2. We have had very few choices made by the Legislature which I would categorize as great for the taxpayer. This vote is great, so to hold it in place, the place where it is now will be the task before us.
    The above can be achieved by a large turnout of concerned people on election day.If that is not done, we are doomed.

  3. Just sent this to Rep. Bock. I guess some people remember what the Democratic Party used to stand for.

    Hi Tom:

    Thank you for this:

    https://vtdigger.org/2022/05/10/final-reading-not-nuthin/

    “On the clean heat standard, Rep. Thomas Bock of Chester was one of three Democrats to vote against overriding Scott’s veto. He didn’t know he’d be the swing vote, he said.”

    My self-imposed fine (taking a 50–75% cut in income to move to Vermont and live simply) is penalty enough, methinks. I don’t want to know what I would have been fined for not having a “heat pump” (whatever that is).

    Best wishes,

    Ellin Anderson

  4. It’s almost like they staged this. huh.

    We know for a fact that ANYONE getting out of line in the marxist camp gets canceled. Even a school principal. Have they done that? Do you hear that? Nope. That’s because it’s staged. We didn’t win anything.

    Staged perfectly to keep everyone fighting, divided, sending them money, while they steal a bit more money here, bit more money there and take away a few more personal rights and property rights.

    Some of the frogs are saying…..hey, they keep turning up the water, pretty soon this will be a marxist/communist/NWO colony of the United Nations.

    Don’t be fooled.

  5. So, this is a prefect play for the uniparty. This guarantees that the Uniparty wins.

    They can campaign against the climate deniers! Did they really want to pass this bill? It doesn’t matter to the Marxist, they win either way. It’s the perfect foil just before this election.

    The world is going to end and the republicans are going to enslave women, they will shout! Oh and that we are racist because we are not allowing, I fact encouraging minorities to become drug dealers and prostitutes…..their words not mine.

    These are the stupid mind games played every election cycle. And because we play into their hands, not setting our own course we loose, for 20 + years in a row.

    One might think they are working against the people at this point.

  6. The Dem/Progs appear to not being able to see the forest for the trees.

    They would have imposed MAJOR additional HEATING COST BURDENS on Vermonters, who have been fearfully looking forward to a DIRE FUTURE with:

    Increased inflation rates,
    Increased interest rates,
    Increased energy prices,
    Increased food prices,
    Increased shipping costs,
    Increased materials prices, such as lithium, cobalt, titanium, aluminum, copper, fertilizers.
    Increased supply chain disruptions

    Most of these are due to the US, the largest economy in the world, being grossly mismanaged by the pump-priming, deficit-spending, and the dollar-printing (to cover deficits) by woke Dem/Prog amateurs, who, after a 2020 Coup d’Etat, have been very busy:

    1) Imposing THEIR disastrous, wokeness onto others, including on our pre-school children, and K-12 children, with corrupted textbooks and CRT programs, etc.

    2) Managing THEIR disastrous, very costly, ludicrous, “open border policy”.

    As a result, the prices of wind, solar and battery systems have become about 25% higher in 2022 than in 2020, which means:

    1) Net-Zero (whatever that means), by whatever date, will be much more expensive to achieve
    2) Electricity used by heat pumps and electric vehicles will be much more expensive in the future; in Munich, Germany the price to charge an EV was raised by 80%!!

    Read this article to get up tp speed.

    BATTERY SYSTEM CAPITAL COSTS, OPERATING COSTS, ENERGY LOSSES, AND AGING
    https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/battery-system-capital-costs-losses-and-aging

    US natural gas prices have surged to the highest level since the financial crisis in 2008, as strong demand for LNG from buyers in Europe and Asia puts pressure on inventories.

    Trading in futures, for gas delivered to the Henry Hub, in Louisiana, is at almost $9/million Btu, up from just over $3 at the same point in 2021, and less than $3 in 2019.

    This is due to Biden’s handlers shipping OUR liquid natural gas, LNG, (and crude oil) to Europe to make the BIG bucks, but that raises prices of many products in the US.

    In Europe, LNG prices are $30/million Btu, the same as Asia. See image and URL

    Prices are due to go much higher after the EU stupidly imposes an oil and gas ban on Russia

    SANCTIONS BLOWBACK ANYONE?

    The Russian ruble is higher than it has been in 4 years.

  7. This just shows one vote can save our state……..we need to see more of this because
    our state is worth saving from the cancerous agenda of the left !!

    They don’t care about your livelyhood, it’s all for there agenda.

    • C,

      It took 51 votes, after the Governor’s veto, plus some sane, courageous Democrats, who refused to

      1) drink the climate Kool-Aid and
      2) participate in a royal screwing of Vermonters

  8. Well that was a squeaker! The question is why. And the answer looks absolutely frightening.
    Given that there is no evidence of human caused climate change (like severe weather, rising sea levels drought, etc. ,etc, etc.) why is this still an issue? And yet many have been utterly convinced this is true. As others have said, the emperor has no clothes! All the dire predictions of the last 50 years have failed but here we are today, one vote from falling off the precipice. What does that mean?

  9. The legislative comments supporting H.715 show a clueless group of virtue signaling elites, propped up by their donors to spout climate rhetoric.
    Rep. Mike Yantachka’s comment about supporting this bill, said sea levels will rise and “we might lose a large part of our national coastline” if action isn’t taken. Sorry Mikey, that line has been used for 50 years- and no sea level rise. And Mikey- do you really think your lord and savior b.h. obama would have purchased a beachfront estate on Martha’s Vineyard if he thought he’d see it underwater or washed away?
    In the battle of platitudes and physics, physics remains undefeated. Ask al gore how his threats and predictions worked out.

  10. Rep. Timothy Briglin is a smart guy…….He’s an ivy league school graduate, has a Stanford MBA and has run an investment firm for a number of years…….His background is quite different than the average member of the legislature who has very little sophisticated business training and actual work experience.

    Based on his education and work experience, one would expect that he would be honing in like a laser on the return on investment (ROI) the people of Vermont would be getting by investing billions of dollars in the clean heat standard and associated climate change initiatives……..If he has, there has been no evidence of such analysis made public…….No ROI evidence to justify enacting H.715 into law.

    Actually, we’ve been told by Rep. Scott Campbell is that he doesn’t believe and doesn’t know anyone who does believe that Vermont can stop or even affect climate change…….This means zero ROI with the clean heat standard and associated efforts. Rep. Campbell’s point of view has been repeatedly cited on True North Reports and the Vermont Daily Chronicle and should have been known to Rep. Briglin.

    When the issue of Vermont having no impact on climate change is raised, the fall back position for the advocates is that Vermont needs to be a leader and send a message to the rest of the world by setting a example with aggressive climate initiatives……..Do these advocates believe that China, India, the rest of the coal burning countries or even the northeast states that have baled out on the TCI are interested in what Vermont is doing?……….Likely zero chances that Vermont is influencing anyone one.

    My point is how could someone with Rep Briglin’s background ignore the return on investment that Vermont would achieve with these climate initiatives?……..However, there are at least 51 astute Vermont legislators who are concerned with ROI and they voted to sustain Gov. Scott’s veto…….Good for them.

    • The answer to your last question may lie in whom funds his campaigns.
      Briglin seems not to represent his electorate as constitutionally required, but something and someone else entirely.

      • Bingo …..UNIPARTY money

        It would be better, perhaps perfectly planned for them to lose this just before an election.

        It’s not always about winning.

        But it IS always about money, power and keeping people divided. Always.

    • Peter,
      Some people attend classes, pass tests, get skills, but fail to get an education. The latter is an entirely different matter.

      The three 24,000 Btu, Mitsubishi heat pumps, with 6 heads, in my well-sealed, well-insulated house, turnkey capital cost $24,000, now have 2 years of data.

      The first year, I save about $200 in energy cost, the difference of using less propane and more electricity

      The second year, the numbers were almost exactly the same.

      I also have an MBA and an MSME from RPI, plus about 40 years of experience in the US energy sector. ROI was a frequent subject during MY career.

      The ROI of my heat pumps is GROSSLY NEGATIVE, if the investment is amortized over 15 years. That annual payment is so large, it completely wipes out any energy savings.

      I am 100% sure Rep. Briglin knows this, because that item comes up in many MBA classes.

  11. ONE VOTE! – One vote away from having our representatives impose one of the most far reaching draconian acts of oppression on the constituency that we’ve seen this year…well give them time they’ll get us yet. Will we be seeing new mange-the-rabble tactics requiring us to join their legislative fight- CO2 crusade? …perhaps prescribing the number of times we can exhale?

    • This is wonderful, because the VT PUC does not have to go through the charade of “justifying the awful heating measure” with dollars confiscated from Vermonters.

      THEY ARE OFF THE HOOK, COURTESY OF 51 VOTES.

      As Jackie Gleason just to say: “How sweet it is”

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