Roper: Should Vermont ban the internal combustion engine?

By Rob Roper

If we really want to save the planet from climate change, the real solution is to ban the internal combustion engine. I bring this up because I am told by two legislators in a position to know, that this was a serious topic of debate last week in the House Energy and Technology Committee.

Rob Roper

Rob Roper is the president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

What sparked the conversation was testimony by Jon Erickson, the “David Blittersdorf Professor of Sustainability Science & Policy” at UVM. (Yes, there is such a thing. This is not a belated April Fools Day post, as much as it might sound like one.) The committee was lamenting the fact that Vermont has failed pretty miserably at meeting the emission reduction goals set out by the Legislature, and someone asked what would have to be done if we seriously intend to meet those goals. Answer: ban the internal combustion engine.

Well, it might be the only policy that could get anyone to ride David Blittersdorff’s proposed taxpayer-subsidized train from St. Albans to the Global Foundries campus in Essex, so perhaps that’s why his endowed professor pushed the concept. Although, without a cab ride from Essex to Burlington or Williston, you’d really be stuck in the middle of nowhere when you got off that train — so maybe not.

I’m left shaking my head. This is the most bizarre legislative session I’ve ever experienced. There is serious talk of making Vermonters pay reparations for slavery, the annual joke bill banning plastic bags is now poised to become law, a legislator voted against the $6.1 billion budget because she thinks it will lead to “planetary collapse,” and the chairman of the Transportation Committee doesn’t own a car, so who needs the internal combustion engine anymore.

How do you take all this seriously — except for the fact that these people are spending $6.1 billion of our hard earned money to actually do these things. It’s as if we came across a group of college kids getting all politically philosophical while eating pizza, drinking beer and doing bong hits late night in the dorm and decided, what the heck, let’s let these people run our state. What could go wrong?

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.

Images courtesy of Public domain and Rob Roper

43 thoughts on “Roper: Should Vermont ban the internal combustion engine?

  1. I think that banning the engine as noted is a swell idea. Put it before the voters, with the deal of the day from the state: We will furnish you with a state approved, inspected, ready to go bicycle, complete with winter tires and chains for the days snow would slow us down. The first ones for this new law to apply to are the legislators, for they would arrive in Montpelier on the day it is time to return home for the weekend. There would never be any more bills passed, which compared to this session would be a mighty good thing. I am all for it , Rob with the above ammendment.

  2. What do those of us who own Collector Cars and trucks do? When they BAN IC engines, Will we be Reimbursed the FULL Collector Value of our Vehicles?

    • They do not care if one has collectors car,gas burn gas,gas is bad so by default cars are bad,much the same has been done with firearms nationally and in Vermont recently.

      Unjust taking,no reimbursement,no recourse thru the courts,ie Trumps Bump Stock ban,it’s not about bump stocks it’s about the Constitutional infringements that even allowed it to happen and sets precedence and will be used on whatever they want to in the future,aka collector cars.
      Remember Cars Bad,Guns Bad,any damn thing they want Bad.

    • The short answer is NO.There’s going to be winners and losers in the change.Ski resorts will also lose in this.Trails can no longer be groomed by machines.Many skiers will not appreciate taking electric buses from the border 2 or 3 times per day,leaving their cars at lots on the border.Eminent domain will have to be used to acquire land to be used for parking lots for visitor cars.

  3. These idiots under the dome are beyond belief. The game is to try to out do your left wing comrade, the more ridiculous you can be, the more recognition you get as a extreme flaming liberal activist. That to them is a badge of honor. Facts mean nothing.
    Under A.O.C.’s Green plan, you might as well go back to the horse and buggy (opps, horse poops unacceptable) as there will be no more paved roads. Remember asphalt is made from oil.
    We got rid of the nuclear plant as it was dangerous…. only to now rail against our other power generation methodology. Solar doesn’t work without a grid…. and subsidies for solar at the home level strips profitability form the power companies which are needed to maintain the grid. We need the grid when there is “no sun” or night time, heavy snow, you get the picture.
    I think every legislator must live by mandate, for two years minimum, under any legislation they vote into law. It will be cool to see them peddling their bicycle from the republic of Burlington to Montpeculier in 12″ of snow at 10 degrees, on a dirt road. Remember, there will be no snow plows. I bet there will be a lot less people running for office.
    No more recreation: No boats, no snowmobiles, no light aviation, or any aviation for that matter, no skiing, no more lawn mowing or farming. I give up… the list could go on and on. Why do people vote for these fools. They are really nothing more that protesters in sheep’s clothing.
    These people are insane!

  4. I grew up in Vermont when it was Vermont, not a convenient small state refuge for elite liberals with nutty ideas on how to destroy civilization using Vermont as their convenient model. These people in Vermont want the “Honor” of becoming the first state in America to enter the new Dark Ages like the one ages ago. These people don’t give a whit about you and me or the continuation of modern civilization or any individual rights. They have been totally indoctrinated to believe in total government and a fully controlled mass society run by elites, not the average persin. Hitler and Stalin and Mao and other ambitious power hungry dictators did the same thing , didn’t they? It would be wise to read that history while you are still allowed to do so and beware, snd then act to actually save the planet and yourselves as well..

  5. All the hot air is coming from Montpeculiar’s Assylum for the less abled..
    We could turn the furnace there down to 50 degrees – as a test of the ideas.
    And eliminate all the parking for legislators, and tell them to find another way, a politically corredt way to get to
    “work”.
    Inhaling does no harm, but exhaling contributes to carbon emissions – outlaw exhaling in Statehouse??
    There should be a law forbidding the Legislators from trying to Milk the Bull !

  6. If these economic morons in Montpelier want to end
    the life of the internal combustion engine, why don’t they
    take on NASCAR first. I just dare them. ! dt

  7. I have been stunned by the idiocy demonstrated by this discussion in our beautiful state capital. Vermont’s present state energy/environment policy was defended to me as “Yes unrealistic, but we need a goal”. Now we have time for the legislature to further fantisize about heaven on earth without auto, truck, train or plane.
    Welcome to mid 19th Century modernity. Certainly we will all have a period of starvation until we can get 2/3rds of our population to migrate somewhere and allow us to reach a sustainable subsistence economy. My neighbor in Putney used to talk about her grandfather driving (walking) turkeys to Boston. How crazy can you get? Obviously, far more than I ever imagined. Efficient and technical adaption is necessary and beneficial, what ever is happening with global climate.
    I remember being told years ago by a Clinton appointee that if it did agree with their theory, they would change it. Even the laws of physics. Witchcraft is still alive in our capital

  8. The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’
    Ronald Reagan
    40th president of US (1911 – 2004)

    Is there any part of our personal lives that the government, whether state or federal, does not want involvement?

  9. NEWS FLASH: The legislature is making a 180 degree turn on climate change. Read this commentary by Rep. David Deen, a Democratic state representative from Westminster and the chair of the House Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife Committee.

    David Deen: Rising sea levels’ implications for Vermont
    https://vtdigger.org/2019/04/09/david-deen-rising-sea-levels-implications-vermont/?is_wppwa=true&wpappninja_cache=friendly

    A couple of points:

    Re: “..if ocean levels rise as high as they did during the last period the earth’s temperature increased…”.

    You all remember “…the last period the earth’s temperature increased…” don’t you? About 150,000 years ago when there was a plethora of coal fired power plants, SUVs and jet airplanes creating all that CO2.

    Re: “The rise in sea level will displace over 2 million people just in New England, and those 2 million people rudely jolted by enlightened self-interest will be forced to move away from the inundation caused by the rising sea….. So, they are coming here…”.

    “Oh yeah, we will likely have plenty of people to fill our jobs.”

    That’s right. Climate Change will turn around Vermont’s languishing demographic and economy as the land in Deen’s back yard along the CT River becomes beachfront property.

    Meanwhile: “We welcome them but not their bad habits….”.

    And we’ll have to raise taxes to pay for “… adequate and affordable housing, schools, medical services, homelessness, jobs, and social services…”.

    So, now this past flatlander (born in Pennsylvania) is worried about the ‘bad habits’ of future flatlanders? This hubris and hypocrisy can’t be exaggerated. They aren’t just coming here. Read the article’s commentary – they’re already here.

    • Post Script: I commented about Deen’s article on VT Digger. It was only a couple of sentences and didn’t offend any of Digger’s commentary blocking tenants. None the less, Digger censored the comment. Its little wonder then that the average Vermonter doesn’t consider alternative points of view. Digger ought to lose its tax exempt status.

      • Re Digger

        As Leftist’s/Marxists do not believe in the Constitution,is it any wonder they, Digger, censor the free exchange of ideas.
        However listen to them if forbid some one censored them,the lord above would hear the screams of censorship,also referred to as hypocrisy.

      • It’s nearly impossible to take that entire commentary seriously. It’s just as much of a joke as digger has become.

        Digger revenue stream flatlined last year. Look at the 990’s. Obituaries. Come on.

        I noticed they now recycle reporters like snot rags too.

      • Digger is just a political mouthpiece for the left. They continually censor comments and articles that don’t fit their narrative. The “donors” are mostly beneficiaries of the democrats loony policy, the teachers union is a big digger “supporter.” Vt digger, articles for sale to the highest bidder.

      • I agree with your Digger analysis. It started off ok, but has become nothing but a liberal/socialist mouth piece, and all other comments are banned.

  10. Failing to meet goals set by the legislature? These folks don’t have a clue, all they do is dig through the wood pile until they find some fake scientist who will give them a number they like. Next thing we’ll have to do is replace the engines with rubber bands and wind them up every morning.These guys are out of touch with reality.

  11. ( theme song to the twilight zone starts playing, dni in nu di ni ni nu) welcome to the socialist zone, where Dailey affairs make no common sense. When your supplied your Agenda 21 decoder ring and training manual of how to subvert a country all will make complete sense. ihe goal has been and is subversion.

    1st an innocent game of substituting our constitutional republic for, we’re a democracy’s! Then it a quick trip to the government will save you! Here try our socialism light, we call it democratic socialism. Some call it the socialism zone, where common sense is put behind bars and ridiculed.

    They are not in any way shape or form interested in saving the environment or reducing a carbon foot print at all. We could have ice cars getting 50 mpg for $8k new, but they won’t mallow the here. Nope only the carbon tax will do, which “coincidentally” flips a country to socialism and communism by free college, free health care and complete government control of your life and wages!,

    yup, just a coincidence that all these dots and plans all connect perfectly with a document provided by the United and signed by ghw bush in the 1990’s and is coincidentally a perfect match for the DNC platform and your zoning regulations. Huh, lots of coincidences going on.

  12. The rich, powerful, and politically connected will be above the law as always. They will continue to drive internal combustion powered vehicles if it suits them.

  13. Mmm I’m a proponent to this, and they are here and will continue to get bigger and better… we as a whole world wide with the burning of fossil fuels have really messed this planet up. Heres the deal the combustion engine is only 30% effective in the conversion of energy, volvo has said they will no longer produce anymore gasoline engines… heres the deal yes in the early days of automobiles they tried a form of an electric vehicle and was it was unreliable and very poor… but battery technology was no where near what we have today and the more we figure it out the better they have become… over the course of the 119 years the automobile has been around and how many there are world wide, we as in the whole world have really messed up the ozone and air we breathe and have caused alot of the issues we see today globally in the climate… with company’s such as Tesla, Rivian, GM, Nissan,hyunda/kia making all electric cars that have ranges from 80 miles to 500 miles on a charge this is significantly huge…. no emissions output from the time you turn the car on to the time you shut it off…. yes we need to figure out how to generate way more base end power for grid use and not rely on the coal or nuclear plants…. going green will help everyone and ensure the planets survival in years to come for our families… I’m an automotive tech and we have plateaued with the internal combustion engine as far as efficiency goes…. I hear and see alot of skeptic criticism and no one truly doing their homework with what’s in front of you…think on this… for every gallon of gas burned… the internal combustion engine only use 30% of the power that is in that gallon of gas,, where in an electric vehicle it is about 90% efficient per KW of power used…

    • What was the efficiency of the plant that generated the electricity?

      We could do so much, so much to reduce fuel usage in transportation, we’re completely stifled by regulations. Baby turbines for generating electric power……run on most any fuel. So many things.

    • Please, where will this HUGE expansion of Electricity come from? Recharge your car overnight from your roof top solar panels? Great idea! Global Foundries is already rattling that electricity here is 70+% more expensive here than near Albany – driven by Vt mandates and the kid gloove treatment of GMP’s political correctne$$. If we can drive Global out of Vermont, think of how many fewer commuter trips will be needed, wow! Same activists drove out Vt Nuclear, now want to kill carbon based travel and home comfort!
      Generate electricty from faries wings power.

  14. The Fascist Taliban in control of Montpelier are stupid enough to jump on the Vermont version of Alexandria Occasional Cortex’s Green Raw Deal.
    Wake up Vermont,these people will lead you to a lifetime of hardships and deliver you in chains.

  15. First off the pic on the article is almost as big a trigger to leftarded faction as a MAGA hat…
    The 2×4 barrel carb Cobra 427 was a gas guzzler extraordinaire. You could burn the tires completely off by the time you got it in 4th gear….What a muscle engine in deed. The only thing more beautiful would be a bunch of diesel 4×4’s tearing up the lawn at the statehouse
    gloriously “Rolling Coal” out their stacks much to the dismay of the climate tards inside under the
    dunce dome.
    One suggestion I have that hasn’t been thought of by anyone is a rubber band wind up car. Get a big rubber band, mark the area to wind up to for how many miles your going and start winding…
    Makes as much sense as burning coal to produce electricity to charge letric cars to lower carbon…

    • Oh damn, what a positively juvenile and fun idea, I have experience with doing juvenile things and can do some great doughnuts, count me in! Wouldn’t that be fun fifty trucks making so much smoke, burning so much rubber it looks like the town is burning.too funny

  16. Every day there’s another stupid idea coming out of our representatives. Who really voted these fools in???? We are already the craziest State in the nation with the big mouth Sanders. Where’s their common sense thinking. Unreal

  17. This idea does not go anywhere near far enough. Lets go all the way and if solar and wind can’t provide the electric power we need, we can all live in the dark and cold until the sun shines again, and best of all, we won’t need to plow roads, fix them, or bus kids to school since there won’t be any motor vehicles polluting the sunshine, and everyone can just stay home and home school their kids since there won’t be any more jobs either. — That ought to make the people who live at Mountidiot happy.

  18. Yes, let’s get rid of all forms of combustion engines ” ALL “, then we can watch out legislators
    travel to and from Montpelier Daily, this should slow the gaggle of fools traveling from Burlington.

    Should Vermonters pay reparations for slavery ” YES ” as long as it was you personally, that was brought here by slave traders ( Documentation ) please.

    This is the kind of legislation we get we get from Montpelier, apparently, these geniuses can find
    any other problems within the state, so we don’t have a Debt Problem, Drug Problem Infrastructure
    Problem ( Bridges & Roads ), Job Concerns, Housing Issues, Etc, Etc …..

    Vermont when will you wake up ??

    • The rich, powerful, and politically connected will be above the law as always. They will continue to drive internal combustion powered vehicles if it suits them.

    • Are they going to ban diesel engines on trains? These foolish people are running Vermont off the economical abyss. You will see your tourist business die if people can’t drive their cars.

  19. Another item to eliminate out of existence. First it was guns, now anything on a road with an HIGH POLLUTING ENGINE! Bring back the horse and buggy. I can visualize the politicians won’t ride in them from their distant homes in any type of weather. But, that’s more carbon gas–more horses. A a self-imposed dilemma by the elite. Good way to reduce the size of government.

  20. I guess that means no more farm tractors so we will put all the farms out of business. But on the plus side no more of the dreaded Cow Farts. But hen there will be no more veggies for the people who believe in this nonsense.. But most likely they will have state run farm that will feed those that Govern us.

    • Only the hemp farmers and marijuana producers will be allowed to use motorized vehicles. I do worry about the poor people being able to get high on their limited wages – perhaps government subsidies would help in that arena. Alternatively, groups could start another couple hundred non-profits whose sole purpose would be to obtain grants to reduce the price of cannabis products to the working poor. Perhaps every person who turns in a ‘red flag’ report could get a pound of free pot – surely a slogan such as ‘More pot in every pot’ would catch on.

  21. I seem to recall, in my Automotive history, that Electric and Steam cars lost out to internal combustion in the early teens and twenties because the others were deemed “unreliable” and “not convenient”. Even with current technology the internal combustion car is still the best bet for getting the job done.

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