Weiland Ross: Time to assemble a new team

Editor’s note: This commentary is by Weiland Ross, a resident of Sunderland.

The Vermont legislative session that recently ended was perhaps the most harmful session in our history. There were no real accomplishments. They were only able to pass a budget because the Federal government chipped in over one billion dollars of Covid aid.

Our resources, sparser than usual, desperately needed this infusion of cash. No steps were taken to check the ever-increasing demands for education spending. The Act 250 reform bill changed almost nothing, and the governor vetoed it. The various police reform bills did little to improve law enforcement, but did a lot to cast aspersions on police departments at all levels. Their effect will be to make it harder to perform regular police duties and to make our “catch and release” policies even more weighted in favor of release, not catch.

Two laws in particular demonstrate the Legislature’s unwillingness to consider the interests of Vermont’s welfare as being primary. One is the cannabis bill. This bill seems to be motivated by a desire to raise revenue by any means possible, even if it means legitimizing a harmful substance. The contradictions inherent in this bill are summed up if you consider that 30 percent of the taxes raised by the bill must be allocated to be spent on substance abuse prevention programs. This kind of circular reasoning defies logic.

An even worse law was created by the passage of the Global Warming Solutions Act, which happened by overriding the governor’s veto. This bill will do nothing that solves any “global” problem. Our economy is so small that if we shut it down completely and return to the good old days of using real horses for power and burning whale oil to create light, the effect on anyplace beyond our borders will be too negligible to be noticed. Several recent articles and columns have detailed how in a few years all use of fossil fuels and electricity will be controlled by an unelected commission with dictatorial powers of enforcement. If this law is actually implemented, not many people with the means to leave will remain in Vermont. The early 19th century lifestyle will not appeal to many.

The upshot of these two laws is simple. Any senator or representative that voted to override the governor’s veto should not be reelected to office. Any new candidates who have endorsed this act should be rejected. Support for the GWSA shows a total disregard for the welfare of Vermont and is inexcusable.

The important thing is that we need a complete new delegation that will represent Vermont’s people, not the interests of the climate lobby. We have been a one-party state long enough. Our “citizen legislature” has lost sight of the idea that they are supposed to put the interests of of their fellow citizens ahead of grandiose schemes to save the world. Their first goal should be to realize that our state is small, with limited resources, and play the game of policymaking with the resources we have, not the resources they wish we had.

Image courtesy of Michael Bielawski/TNR

7 thoughts on “Weiland Ross: Time to assemble a new team


    The Vermont House and Senate overrode Governor Scott’s veto of GWSA
    GSWA converts the aspirational goals of the CEP, to mandated goals.
    If mandated goals are not attained, there would be mandated financial penalties, prohibitions (you shall do this; you shall not do that), fees and surcharges.

    The “Fight Climate Change” agitators, many of whom would stand to financially gain from the GWSA mandates, have failed to get a carbon tax enacted for five years.
    With GWSA, they get a bonanza beyond their wildest dreams.
    They labelled GWSA as “this year’s must-pass legislation”.


    California: California has had a GWSA law since 2006, which resulted in:

    – Rapid increases of electric rates and gasoline prices
    – Huge DUCK-curves, due to midday solar electricity surges
    – Unwise/untimely/political/ideological shutdown of gas plants, which resulted in rolling blackouts, when, during a multi-day heat wave, solar disappearing in late-afternoon/early-evening (DURING PEAK HOURS), and not reappearing until mid-morning THE NEXT DAY, while all that time wind was minimal.
    – A host of rules, regulations, taxes, fees and surcharges, and penalties to enforce behavior modification programs

    With high levels of weather-dependent wind and solar, huge storage (multiple TWh) would be required.
    That storage would cost several trillion dollars, if materials could be found to build such capacity. It would need to cover:

    1) Single and multi-day heat waves over large areas
    2) Wind/solar lulls throughout the year, as frequently occur in New England
    3) Short-term and seasonal variations.

    The ADDITIONAL environmental impact on millions of acres with wind and solar systems, would be enormous all over the US.

    It would be much better to build millions of PASSIVHAUS-style buildings all over the US.
    They would need only 1/3 the energy of the current energy hogs.


    Vermont: For Vermont, the only thing that makes any sense is to stop “emulating” California.
    Vermont should immediately scrap GWSA, and concentrate on:

    1) Energy conservation
    2) Energy efficiency
    3) Building net-zero-energy, and energy-surplus houses and other buildings, by the thousands, each year. See Appendix
    4) Provide incentives to buy vehicles that get more than 35 mpg, EPA combined; the more above the limit, the greater the incentive.
    5) Charge annual fees, paid at time of registration, on existing and new vehicles that get less than 25 mpg, EPA combined; the more below the limit, the greater the fee.

    The above 4 items would save money for Vermonters, and make the state economy more competitive
    Most of the other energy measures are just expensively subsidized hogwash and behavior modifications that would not make one iota of difference regarding climate change.

  2. My letter to the editor sent out yesterday:
    Why is Vermont’s rental housing so expensive in relation to income?
    Why are neighboring states’ economies much better than Vermont’s?
    Why are Vermont’s taxes near the highest in the country?
    Why does Vermont rank as the least friendly business state?
    Why is Vermont the most expensive state for retirees?
    This is not by accident nor a coincidence. The truth is the progressives’ policies are failing Vermont. People are struggling more now than any period in my lifetime. Food shelters are struggling to meet demands. The legislators completely undermined our governor by over-riding his veto of the Global Warming Solutions Act because he realized it was going to hurt lower and middle income families.
    Then the Democrats run an ad saying “Position Vermont for Economic Recovery.”
    How does that happen with high taxes, expensive housing costs, the loss of good paying jobs, and soon to be unaffordable energy costs? What is next in their misguided agenda?
    I sure hope we don’t find out because their economic recovery is just too expensive for Vermont.
    Keith Stern
    Independent candidate for state senate
    North Springfield

    • Why???

      Because human beings are hazardous to the environment and the species should be discouraged from living here… unless of course, they are ‘essential’.

      • Again – more than 42% of the Vermont workforce works in the government, health and education sectors. Those costs and labor compensation continue to increase while the value of the goods and services it provides continues to decline. Its the big squeeze.

  3. Be sure to vote in person if you can. Mailed in ballots will likely be at risk one way or another.

  4. Weiland Ross, ” Time to assemble a new team ” now that’s an understatement,
    but are Vermonter’s going to make the changes or are the going to keep taking
    it the ” wallet ” with all the liberal nonsense ??

    It’s time we cure the cancer we have in Montpelier under ” The Golden Doom “,
    yes doom !! Look at the condition of the state, Debt we can’t avoid, taxes out of
    control, jobs in the tank and the list goes on and on ……….. Liberals in charge !!

    So to all the remaining real Vermonter’s, grab all your family & friends and head to
    the polls…….Vote these fools out and take the state back.

    Do conservatives have all the answers ” NO ” but we know all the problems with in
    the state came from liberal nonsense legislation and the GWSA is just another one
    to take your money again.

    Wake up people.

    • Amen to that, my friend.

      Vote the incompetent, Dem/Prog rascals out.
      Vote your pocket book for a MUCH smaller state government.

      The state government has to get out of the Education, Healthcare, and Energy sectors.

      The present government acts like a wet blanket on everything we do.

      It has been sucking the lifeblood out of the near-zero, real-growth Vermont economy, for DECADES

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