Vermont House Energy Committee: Numerous Proposals, No Money

by Robert Maynard

Despite the lack of real evidence that human activity is a major factor driving climate change, Vermont’s House Energy Committee is desperately throwing everything they can into an energy bill with a $17 million price tag.  The bill itself is designated as H.216 and the first part of the bill is a list of all the supposed calamities that will befall us if we do not take measures to counter human generated global warming.  One problem with the bill’s rhetoric is that even most scientific supporters of the theory do not agree on the supposed magnitude of problems that would result from such warming.  We have experienced warming periods in the past that actually had beneficial effects on human flourishing.  There is also no scientific consensus among the theory’s supporters over what effect the planned actions proposed by climate change activists would have on expected temperature change.  Many argue that such efforts would have little, or no effect.  Finally, there is a growing body of scientific findings that is bringing into question the theory itself.  For a quick summary of the problems some former supporters of the theory now see, take a look at this Youtube clip.

So we are loading up a bill with costly proposals to combat a problem that probably is not really a problem with a set of solutions that probably would not have much of an effect even if there was a problem.  Despite all that is being dumped into the bill, something is left out.  What the bill does not include is an explanation of how to pay for the wish list being dumped into it.  Here is how a recent Vermont Digger article describes this aspect of what is going on: “But there’s one central ingredient missing from the current draft: A big chunk of revenue.”

This was the bill, which originally contained a fuel tax increase, that was one of the reasons for a series of ads recently aired by Vermonters First opposing higher proposed taxes.   Vermonters First was not the only group to oppose this new tax:

However the tax was struck from the latest draft, and the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association welcomed the change.

“There is much relief that there will not be an attempt to increase the cost of heating fuel through a tax,” Matt Cota, director of the association, said on behalf of dozens of fuel dealers.

There is still the Governor’s proposal of taxing “break open” tickets and the fuel tax increase, though removed from the bill, is not actually fully off the table, so groups like Vermonters First and the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association will have to remain vigilant.

Green Mountain Care involves a reform of our health care system that very well could do  more harm than good, has a price tag, which would require an additional $1.6 billion and we are not being told how it is to be paid for.  This energy bill is being loaded with expensive proposals with questionable worth and there seems to be some resistance developing when it comes revealing how it all is to be paid for.  Does anyone else se a pattern developing here?