Statehouse Headliners: As ‘yellow vest’ rally approaches, carbon taxation coming at Vermonters from three directions

By Guy Page

When Yellow Vest protesters against carbon taxation rally Wednesday, Jan. 9 at the Vermont Statehouse, climate change activists will be considering three different types of carbon taxation on Vermonters.

First is a direct tax on carbon fuel consumption. Carbon tax proponents hope a $125,000 “market decarbonization” study expected on Jan. 15 will give legislation a push. The State hired a pro-carbon tax consulting firm Resources for the Future to perform the study.

Guy Page is affiliated with the Vermont Energy Partnership, the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare, and Physicians, Families & Friends for a Better Vermont.

Second is regional pricing on transportation fossil fuels. The Transportation Carbon Initiative (TCI) is a nine-state (plus Washington DC) “cap and trade” scheme in which high-polluting states pay low-polluting states, via an “auction” of pollution credits. The more you pollute, the more you pay. The one-year design phase was publicly announced Dec. 18. Vermont officials insist they will not agree to implementation if the design phase shows it won’t help Vermont. This could prove difficult: 54 percent of all Vermont emissions come from transportation, highest among all TCI members. Maine (just behind Vermont with 52.2 percent), New Hampshire and New York opted to not join the design phase.

Third is payment of “carbon offsets” for all Act 250 development above net-zero emissions. A bill proposed Dec. 14 by the Commission to Review Act 250 would require developers of all projects under Act 250 review to achieve net-zero emissions in construction and operation, or pay “carbon offsets”. Like the TCI, Act 250 carbon offsets are a “pay to pollute” scheme. Costs initially borne by businesses would, necessarily, be passed on to the consumer in the form of higher gas and home construction costs.

At least one legislator who voted for the Act 250 rewrite is livid at the outcome. Rep. Steve Beyor (R-Highgate, Franklin) wrote to Headliners Saturday: “I, for one, wanted the board to look at the whole Act 250 and 248 process, to streamline the process, to make it faster, easier, and cheaper, not to add to and make it harder. I guess that maybe the saying, be careful what you ask for, still applies. As a member of the house committee that requested the study, I am sorry!”

Why do climate-change activists demand carbon taxation? Surely they must know how it will most impact poor, rural Vermonters. The utilitarian answer — it’s the only practical way to make people use less gas and heating oil– was eloquently expressed by activist, writer and Ripton resident Bill McKibben in a 2016 op-ed entitled “Why We Need A Carbon Tax, and Why It Won’t Be Enough”:

“Every action of a modern life involves using fossil fuel. The only way to get enough change is to send a price signal through the matrix, so that everyone from investors to car buyers to electric-toothbrush-users will find their behavior changing automatically. It’s the one big action that encompasses all the others.”

Vermonters utilize fossil fuels out of necessity. To make us “do the right thing” and set an example for the rest of the world, climate tax proponents in government would make our addiction too painful to continue. We are the alcoholics. The carbon tax is the Antabuse.

When the 2019 Legislative Session opens Jan. 9, the Yellow Vests will rally at the Statehouse from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. It will be interesting to see if the financial concerns of rural, grassroots Vermonters move the climate activists in power to consider a more co-operative strategy.

Statehouse Headliners is intended primarily to educate, not advocate. It is e-mailed to an ever-growing list of interested Vermonters, public officials and media. Guy Page is affiliated with the Vermont Energy Partnership; the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare; and Physicians, Families and Friends for a Better Vermont.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Dmitry Dzhus

18 thoughts on “Statehouse Headliners: As ‘yellow vest’ rally approaches, carbon taxation coming at Vermonters from three directions

  1. I commute to work without the option to car pool. Forcing people to use less gasoline, fuel oil, and propane will force them to either stop working and live off the state or move closer to their jobs and burn more wood for heat. Wood is a bio-fuel and, like home grown pot, could never be taxed entirely. The forceful consolidation of population by limiting transportation ability falls into step with the UN’s agenda 21. Consolidation of population makes it much easier to control the citizenry with tyrannical government.

  2. The only people that can make the rally are the ones on We-Fare AKA welfare. All of the rest of us will be working. Don’t expect them to be concerned, they get fuel assistance and free money every month.

  3. And Renewable developers do not abide by Act 250. How much pollution is made to create a wind turbine or solar panels?
    Funny how people can exclude themselves…

  4. The Rally is on the 9th because it’s there first day back in session. If you can’t make it in person wear the vest wherever you are to send the message

  5. Wonder if the loonies who want to bribe out-of-staters to the tune of $10,000 to come to Vermont expect to pay for this insanity by generating funds through the proposed carbon tax?? And these clowns get reelected cycle after cycle as they keep scratching their collective heads trying to figure out why all the young folks leave.

  6. So who started this? How’s the word getting spread?

    The only solution being a carbon tax is such a lie. Sadly the Republicans have no answer for those who are concerned about the environment.

    1) Please show the carbon foot print for every legislator.
    2) All legislators and lobbyists mush first lead by example, please show us how it’s done.
    3) Remove tax on any vehicle getting 30+ mpg city.
    4) Promote geo thermal
    5) Hydro
    6) Work out financing for weatherization through fuel purchase
    7) All legislators must have a zero emissions house prior to signing yes to any bill.
    8) Promote use of LED lighting.
    9) Allow importation of small vehicles, put under farm registration is necessary.
    10) Take off all restrictions on electric bikes/vehicles to allow for creativity, under 38 hp.

    You’d find massive immediate change, voluntarily and without any taxation. Yet we all know the real truth has nothing to do with improving the environment, but lining the pocket of those who are well connected in the government for their “special” green initiatives. That and trying to flip our state to socialism through and environmental tax. Add the special things they are pushing in ACT 250…yeah Vermont is the socialist guinea pig, seriously, every body is brought in state to lead this, how many born in Vermont leaders are pushing this? It’s like a socialist orgy, ew.

    • Another typical left-wing operation that in reality has nothing to do with the environment, weather or any other concern that may be mentioned by these clowns. It is about control and all the money they can rake in under the pretenses that serve them best. The left cannot move the fossil fuel ownership, so the next thing to do is regulate it to the point of death just like VT Yankee was consumed by their wrecking ball. All of this so they control the energy, who gets to use it and for what ever reason. That’s what it is about, folks.
      The climate has been changing since the beginning of earth’s being; why would any reasonable person think that it should be subjected to a man-made change to “direct and manage” the environment/climate? It ain’t going to happen folks. This scheme is a sham designed to extract as much money from us’ns as possible because these people know what is best for us. Vermont is teetering, which way do we go? I fear the worst is about to become reality unless the poplace wakes up, gets involved, and put this non-sense to bed once and for all.

      • Brazil can give us some hope, massive amounts of investment is moving into the country after the socialist repression was lifted. Happening in weeks and months time. No companies want to invest where the government controls everything.

        Vermont can have instant poverty relief and be good stewards of the environment, within a month, we just need to remove these socialist shackles.

        We might want to consider that good stewardship is not against conservative thought, because it’s not. Cars getting better gas mileage is good frugal money management and a positive for the air we breath. In no way shape or form does it support a carbon tax.

        Its interesting that the PSSC crowd won’t accept good stewardship, only taxes.

        • When conservatives dismiss being good environmental stewards they needless shut out 60% of Vermont voters for no reason.

          Conservatives are inherently good stewards, of the environment, business and perhaps most importantly family. Farmers, foresters, fathers, mothers, bosses, want robust strong stewardship, anything else self defeating.

  7. January 9th, the Yellow Vests will rally at the state house. Yeah, a Wednesday when the people who live paycheck to paycheck will be WORKING. Great planning. And no, I have never said this before.

  8. January 9th, the Yellow Vests will rally at the state house. Yeah, a Wednesday when the people who live paycheck to paycheck will be WORKING. Great planning.

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