12-13-13 – Greenhouse Gas Emissions

by John McClaughry

In 2006 the legislature [Act 168] determined that Vermonters must reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to 25% below 1990 levels by 2012, to combat “global warming”.

A week ago Agency of Natural Resources Secretary Deb Markowitz announced that in fact Vermont’s GHG emissions were exactly at the 1990 levels. That is, we are where we were in 1990, not the “25% below the 1990 level” as required by this ridiculous law.

She told us “The good news is that we are headed in the right direction. Our investments are beginning to work, but we cannot get complacent.”

According to the Associated Press story, a major factor causing emissions to remain at 1990 levels appears to be warmer winters. Sandra Levine of the Conservation Law Foundation was quoted as saying “no one should cheer that warmer winters may be helping. Climate change is an economic and environmental disaster for the country.”

These people seem to think that a few more warm winters and we are ruined!

Personally, I’m delighted when I get through the winter burning less heating oil.

I’m pleased that many Vermonters are rationally combating high oil prices by installing cost-effective insulation and taking other efficiency measures.

I’m delighted that we have longer growing seasons and more plentiful home grown food.

And I’m somewhat concerned that Mother Nature has produced zero global warming since 1998, despite the steady increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere – now at 4 molecules per 10,000 molecules of air. But maybe it’ll start up again.

Here’s my suggestion for legislators: repeal that lunatic 2006 law first thing next month.

John McClaughry is the founder and current vice-president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

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The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.

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