WTF?! (Why The Flip?!)

Roll call results on (not!) returning $21 million owed to CVPS ratepayers

By Rob Roper

On April 26th the Vermont Senate voted 27-3 on legislation that would have forced Gaz Metro/Green Mountain Power to pay back $21 million owed to ratepayers as part of their impending merger with CVPS with either a cash payment or a credit/discount on their future electric bills. On April 26th, there were 72 sponsors in the Vermont House of Representatives for similar legislation and, according to that legislation’s lead sponsor, Patti Komline (R-Dorset), commitments from eight to ten more legislators to vote in favor. Easily a majority in the 150-member House.

However, by April 27th over twenty of those committed votes “changed their minds” under pressure from House Speaker Shap Smith and Governor Peter Shumlin. The measure protecting ratepayers ultimately failed on the floor 54-87. (Full Roll Call list on page 1449 of the House Journal.) There is now no guarantee that ratepayers will be paid back their money in anything more substantial than “societal benefits” somehow accrued by letting the Gaz Metro/GMP keep the cash to “invest” in weatherization projects carried out by the politically-connected, quazi-government group Efficiency Vermont.

During debate on the floor, Rep. Paul Poirier (I-Barre City) raised allegations of arm-twisting, including some Representatives being threatened with losing their committee assignments if they did not vote in lockstep with Democrat Party leadership.

The following Representatives have the most to answer from their constituents, as they were originally sponsors of the legislation backing ratepayers, then ultimately voted against their own bill. Why The Flip, folks?

Bill Aswad, D-Burlington

Charles Bohi, D-Hartford

Molly Burke, P/D-Brattleboro

Sarah Buxton, D Tunbridge

Brian Campion, D-Bennington

Kevin Christie, D-Hartford

Allison Clarkson, D-Woodstock

Jim Condon, D-Colchester

Chip Conquest, D-Newbury

Leigh Dakin, D-Chester

Dustin Degree, R-St. Albans City

Eldred French, D-Shrewsbury

Adam Howard, R-Cambridge

Alice Miller, D-Shaftsbury

Anne Mook, D-Bennington

Kesha Ram, D-Burlington

Herb Russell, D-Rutland City

Valerie Stuart, D-Brattleboro,

Tess Taylor, D-Barre City

Mark Woodward, D-Johnson

Teo Zagar, D-Barnard

Tim Corcoran, D-Bennington, and George Till, D-Jericho were original sponsors of the Komline amendment, but were absent for the vote.

2 thoughts on “WTF?! (Why The Flip?!)

  1. Lowell may have good winds and the land was available, but some ridge lines are topographically unsuited for industrial wind turbines that are 459 feet high (about a 40-story building) and have 367.5 feet diameter rotors (a larger swept area than a football field).

    Here are some photos of the destruction which have been sent to ALL legislators and their staffs to make sure everyone has “the picture” and no one can be “not knowing”.

    Click on…. Here ….. at the bottom of the URL to see some photos of the
    destruction of Lowell Mountain due to GMPs 63 MW industrial wind energy

    Here is an article (peer-reviewed by several doctors/professors in energy systems) on wind energy being a major disturbance to the grid and as a result not reducing CO2 emissions anywhere near to what is claimed by wind energy promoters. Please read it and let me know your comments. The article has nearly 5,000 views on THE ENERGY COLLECTIVE website, one of the most viewed articles ever.

    RE promoters and politicians often tout job creation by RE projects, but do not mention the jobs lost in others sectors of the economy.

    Economists have used standard input-output analysis programs for at least 40 years to the determine the plusses and minuses of various economic activities. Numerous studies, using such economic analysis programs, performed in Spain, Italy, Denmark, England, etc., show for every job created in the RE sector, about 2-5 times jobs are lost in the other sectors.

    For every 3 green jobs created in the private sector, 1 job is created in government. Such job creation is unsustainable.

    Job creation in the green sector increases unemployment in the private sector and increases employment in the public sector. Whether these government jobs are good or bad, needed or not needed, is irrelevant.

    Note: This is not the case with increased energy efficiency subsidies. They create jobs in the EE sector, but also create a net increase of jobs in the other sectors, because the reduction of energy costs enables more spending on other goods and services.

    In Vermont, the real CO2 emission culprits are the transportation and building sectors. What Vermont needs is not RE, but a:

    – Gas-guzzler tax, based on mileage (the lower the mileage, the higher the tax).
    – Strict, enforced building energy performance codes (Btu/sq ft/yr for heating, cooling and electricity).
    – Time of day, TOD, electric rate schedules. The rates would vary hour-by-hour as daily demand varies. This would flatten the daily demand curve more effectively and at less cost than Efficiency Vermont’s staff of about 180 people and $40 million/yr budget.

    These measures would require minimal public funds and subsidies, would quickly create jobs all over the state and would quickly and more effectively reduce Vermont’s CO2 emissions many times more at less cost than any RE buildout; for poor Vermont, increased EE is the most rational approach.

  2. Nothing new. Shap Smith is another Peanut Kennedy. Those of you not versed in Verrmont history, Peanut Kennedy was a House Speaker from the old days who punished any party member in the House who bucked him. Ralph Wright was another one. Question is…why do the ignorant voters keep re-electing these losers? The ultimate blame is with the constituents. Another observation. Bill Sayres is part of your radio program, yet he is also a board member of CVPS, who was instrumental in bringing about this farce also. You talk about a double standard with the progressives, yet you don’t seem to mind the one you practice.

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