11-5-15 – Supporters Scramble to Kill Their Carbon Tax Frankenstein

by Rob Roper

The Green Mountains are now awash with cries of denial from would-be supporters in regard to reports on an impending statewide Carbon Tax for Vermont. “Who us? What? No! Never!” Speaker of the House Shap Smith (also running for governor) says the tax is not and was never going anywhere. Terri Hallenbeck, a reporter for Seven Days, bought that spiel hook, line and sinker in her circle-the-wagons article, “GOP Wants to Stop Carbon Tax, Which Isn’t Moving.”

In a family friendly word, baloney.

This year’s Carbon Tax fury was instigated by a VT Digger article with the opening line, “Lawmakers say they will push for a statewide tax on carbon dioxide pollution.” This is because they are pushing for a Carbon Tax. There are two Carbon Tax bills up for consideration. H.412, the more likely of the two to move forward, has twenty-six sponsors. That’s a lot.

What’s more, this bill has been “on the move” for over a year. There was a similar uproar at the beginning of the 2015 legislative session when legislation for a Carbon Tax first reared its ugly head. The Ethan Allen Institute ran a radio campaign warning Vermonters of what was happening, and our on-line survey garnered over 1500 responses, over 90% of which opposed the tax. Many profanely.

Still, as the 2015 session came to a close, the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee took testimony on the Carbon Tax and prepared a bill for a vote in 2016. On April 14, 2015, members of the Energy Committee briefed the Republican Caucus that they were “laying the groundwork” for a vote on a bill in 2016. (Here’s the video)

The senate actually passed a resolution. SR 7, promising to “take action now” to curb climate change (Roll Call Report), which was certainly planned for future use as a cudgel on a Carbon Tax vote.

Moreover, evidence that the Carbon Tax was on the fast track is in the bill itself:

H.412. Sec. 12. EFFECTIVE DATES (a) This section shall take effect on passage. (b) Secs. 1 through 8 shall take effect on July 1, 2017, except that on passage, the Commissioner of Taxes shall have authority to adopt, for effect on January 1, 2018, rules to implement 32 V.S.A. §§ 5828d and 8811. (c) Secs. 9 through 11 shall take effect on July 1, 2015.

And finally, VPIRG has been carpet bombing the citizenry with college-kid-carried leaflets promoting a Carbon Tax all summer long in preparation for a 2016 legislative push.

The plan was to pass this thing when the legislature returns in January.

Then the voting population registered their opinions. They hate this tax. Pushing for it is political suicide. Hence the mad dash of rats from the sinking ship (Lt. Gov. candidate Kesha Ram, for example: a sponsor of the bill who is now renouncing it), and a scramble for life preservers by those determined to keep a Carbon Tax, any Carbon Tax, afloat (Rep. David Deen, for example, with his grasping promise that Vermont won’t move forward without other states – a provision that does not appear in either existing bill.)

It’s fitting that this whole issue erupted around Halloween. The “green-left” spent a year building this Frankenstein’s Monster of a tax, and now that it’s come to life and is rampaging through the countryside, they need to somehow kill it again, bury it, and burn the evidence.

But only temporarily. As Rep. Tony Klein, chair of the House Energy Committee noted, “…
when’s the last time the legislature ever passed a new tax in an election year?”
 So we can expect this Frankenstein to remain in his shallow grave only until Tuesday, November 8, 2016, soon after which we can expect a rotting hand to dramatically emerge from the soil.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Ralph Colin November 7, 2015 at 7:31 pm

Whether one is for or against any legislation sponsored by the Democratic majority in both houses of the Vermont General Assembly, this should teach everyone a sound lesson on which they can rely at just about any time:

One can neither trust nor rely on anything the D’s say with respect to their
intents to pass a piece of legislation nor with respect to the language in or the
objectives of any given piece, in whole or in part, of proposed legislation they put
on the table. They regularly lie and intentionally deceive at every cross road
and are more observant of in what direction the public wind is blowing at any
given moment than they are of the necessity, or lack thereof, of introducing
any legislation at all.

On this particular issue, those who were formerly leading the parade to stick us with
this onerous and obscene proposed “carbon” tax,, i.e., Democrat speaker of the House and candidate for governor, Shap Smith, and Democrat chair of the Natural Resources and Energy Committee, Tony Klein, thought they could put one over on all Vermonters, but now they’ve read the tea leaves and are running for cover. Are they the type of “leaders” that Vermonters want to have running our legislature?

Think about that on Election Day a year from now.


Robert November 9, 2015 at 6:56 pm

Laboratory rodents can quickly learn that pushing the button that delivers the punishment is to be avoided. Not so with people voting for Vermont Democrats. No punishment is too big to convince them the far left Democrat majority cannot be trusted, and is not operating in voters’ and taxpayers’ best interest. Just in the last election cycle Democrats promised everyone that they “got it” that taxes were too high. Then they went to Montpelier and raised taxes. Once a Democrat arrives at the Statehouse, they’re brainwashed by the Shap Smiths of the Legislature and become liberal puppets. For their part, Democrat voters have been thoroughly brainwashed that Republicans are evil, racist, selfish, uncaring, etc. Notwithstanding that evidence to the contrary abounds, their brainwashing is so complete it does not occur to them to entertain the notion that Vermont Democrats are in over their heads and will not stop until they’ve completed the decimation of our economy. Look for the Democrat supermajority in the Legislature to continue until that happens. Shouldn’t be long now.


Mark Donka November 9, 2015 at 11:20 pm

From speaking with Vermonters I have found overwhelming that they are against a carbon tax. Most have responded with we finally have some breathing room in our budgets and they want to take it away. People in VT need to travel to go to work,the store or take their children to school events. We are a rural state with very limited public transportation. We live in VT it gets cold we have to heat our homes but they want to break our budgets. Or worse they will force older or the less fortunate to make decisions on buying food or medicine.
We need to all work together if we want VT to stay affordable for all. We can do this send a message to our legislators in the voting booths, No more new taxes!!!


Jacob Gregory November 10, 2015 at 1:47 am

I wonder if anyone has thought that keeping Vermont Yankee running and even expanding the use of nuclear energy would make a lot of this heartache and angst go away, at least in the electricity generating sector? I mean, no carbon emissions = no carbon tax. Imagine that. Amazing how that works.


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