Vermont League of Cities and Towns slams GWSA lawsuit provision

By John McClaughry

The Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee is creeping forward with the House-passed Global Warming Solutions Act. This is the legislative atrocity that would instruct the Agency of Natural Resources to do anything necessary to achieve carbon dioxide emissions goals that are almost certainly impossible of achievement — all without any legislator ever voting on them.

One particularly repugnant section would let any climate warrior organization sue the state government to get a judge to demand that the sweeping emissions rules be implemented further. Here’s what the Vermont League of Cities and Towns had to say about that:

We oppose the section providing a Cause of Action to any person based upon the failure to adopt or update the plan or rules. In January we testified that our experience with the law suits surrounding the Lake Champlain Total Maximum Daily Load was that a tremendous amount of money was spent on lawyers and lawsuits that could have been spent on implementing projects to address the problem. For seven years while cases were adjudicated, the regulated community waited to be told what exactly they would be required to do. No one wanted to spend vast sums of money to address stormwater management when there was no assurance that what they did would be acceptable or adequate.

This bill is designed to feed climate change lawyers and send the bill to taxpayers. It’s high time to scrap the whole sorry thing.

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

Image courtesy of Public domain

7 thoughts on “Vermont League of Cities and Towns slams GWSA lawsuit provision

  1. Comments Regarding GWSA, Stage 1:

    – The CO2 reduction by 2025 is not just about enlarging state government by adding scores of employees to various state and local governments for managing expanded existing energy programs and adding new energy programs.

    – The rapid CO2 reduction would be extremely disruptive to ongoing economic activities, i.e., impose significant additional costs (increased taxes and additional subsidies and investments to implement mandates) on the private sector, exactly the opposite of what has been needed for about 2 decades.

    – The CO2 reduction would require adding several hundred million dollars each year, to state and local government budgets, to:

    – Manage expanded existing programs and implement new ones.
    – Distribute subsidies, mostly to RE entities.
    – Implement regulations and monitor mandated adjustments in lifestyles

    NOTE: The RE sector of the Vermont economy, including government, would be celebrating and enjoying long-term expansion, prosperity and security. All other sectors would be mourning their losses and insecurity, all while climate change continued as usual.

    – VT CO2 emissions have been increasing during recent years, due to existing government programs, costing money and increasing everyone’s costs, not being effective at decreasing CO2.

    – Any new government programs, started in haste, would need to immediately reverse the increasing CO2 trend, plus bend the curve down to achieve a lower level, i.e., from about 9.02 million Mt in 2020 to 7.578 million Mt in 2025, a daunting task.

    NOTE: The rapid increase in effectiveness of existing and new programs would happen with essentially the same career-bureaucrats and career-legislators?

    – Vermont’s CO2 was 10.24 million Mt in 2005, 10.19 million Mt in 2015, and 9.02 million Mt in 2018. The reductions in 2017 and 2018 were mainly due to increased nuclear and hydro purchases by GMP.

    – The rapid CO2 reduction is no more than wishful dreaming by career-bureaucrats and career-legislators, who want to have a “second go at it”, and “double-down” by spending $400 million/y for each of the next 5 years, plus more per year thereafter.


    The “Global Warming Solutions Act” bill was passed by the House Energy and Technology Committee on a 7-2 vote and moved to the House Appropriations Committee, which rubber-stamped the bill. A House vote passed the bill, 105 – 37, a few days later. The Senate is next to vote.

    GWSA converts the CO2 aspirational goals of the Comprehensive Energy Plan, CEP, to legal mandates.
    GWSA requires state government to come up with rules, regulations and programs to implement the CEP.
    GWSA sets up a legislatively controlled Council to:

    – Create a plan to achieve the legal mandates of the CEP.
    – Direct the Agency of Natural Resources, ANR, Department of Public Service, DPS, etc., to issue whatever binding rules and regulations they think are needed to carry out the Council’s plan.

    The Legislature controls a Council by appointing a bunch of yes-men?
    The yes-men will rubber-stamp whatever the government entities come up with?

    The Legislature will vote for the funds to implement each binding rule and regulation?
    The Council will vote for the funds to implement each binding rule and regulation?

    Legislators would not vote on each far-reaching rules and regulations that would affect every household and business?
    What if the Council decides to ruin pristine ridgelines for wind turbines to “fulfill the CEP”?

    Table 1
    Stage CO2 Reduction, % Million Mt Million Mt
    1 2025, 26% reduction relative to 2005 (Paris Climate Agreement) 10.240 in 2005 7.578 in 2025
    2 2030, 40% reduction relative to 1990 (CEP) 8.650 in 1990 5.190 in 2030
    3 2050, 80% reduction relative to 1990 (CEP) 8.650 in 1990 1.730 in 2050

    CEP: The capital cost for implementing the CEP would be in excess of $1.0 billion/y for at least 33 years, according to the Energy Action Network annual report. See URLs.

    Spending on government energy programs, including Efficiency Vermont, has averaged about $210 million/y from 2000 to 2015, but Vermont CO2 emissions increased 18% from1990 to 2015.

    GWSA will become a Global Warming SPENDING Act.

  3. I’d comment on this and the previous posting, but apparently True North isn’t interested in posts it finds out of step with its agenda.

  4. A pandemic is needed just in Montpelier.

    The upcoming elections with mail in will be even more biased towards Dem/Profs.
    They will have super duper majorities to pass anything they want, override any vetos.

    Of course there will a mass exodus, but they don’t care.
    The people leaving do not vote for them anyway.

    Count the votes
    Follow the money
    All the rest is BS.

  5. I remember when lawyers could not advertise on TV or radio. Others countries laugh at our system that allows any frivolous lawsuit one can dream of. You are absolutely correct, that they will bring dozens of suits while the taxpayers get to foot the the bill with nothing that will be gained regarding a reduction in emissions that are meaningful. There are more than 57,308,000 million sq miles of land area around the world, vs Vermont’s 9616 sq miles including our lakes and ponds. We could spends billions and it would amount to no more than that little yellow stain in the snow to the rest of the world.

  6. “…goals that are almost certainly impossible of achievement…” – Nonsense. Once the tax and regulator climate, the sporadic availability of electricity and the elimination of public services that are dependent upon energy have reduced the population to small tribal groups who are not permitted campfires the goal will be near achievement. I doubt, under the Constitutional rubric “right to life” that they will be able to outlaw exhaling, but I have little doubt the state lawyers will be working on it. Of course, the success will be limited to the carbon dioxide reduction. The goal of altering the natural changes of climate, not so likely. I cannot comprehend how these Swiftian political operatives think Vermont, short of having a large volcano, is going to change the climate.

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