The Vermont Climate Council is poised to recommend that Vermont join the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI) as a partial funding source for their Climate Action Plan, due in December. TCI is a hypothetical “cap and trade” scheme for motor fuels that several states would have to sign onto to make viable. The Council pursued this policy avenue despite repeated warning signs that TCI was not popular within the New England/Mid-Atlantic region, did not have the support of a majority of state governments, and did not look likely to ever become enacted.
Here’s an intriguing quote from last Wednesday’s Weekly Dispatch: “Freddie deBoer considers himself a democratic socialist, but he’s come to a conclusion that very few of his fellow leftists have. “It’s time for young socialists and progressive Democrats to recognize that our beliefs just might not be popular enough to win elections consistently. It does us no favors to pretend otherwise,” he writes for The New York Times.
If you saw what happened in the Virginia and New Jersey governor’s races, you know that left-of-center politicians nationwide, and especially on the East Coast, are panicking about a similar voter backlash washing them out of office a year from now. Glen Youngkin, now governor-elect of Virginia, and Jack Ciattarelli, who barely missed knocking out New Jersey governor Phil Murphy, capitalized on what a lot of voters see as a tone deafness on the part of Democrats who are pushing highly ideological policies at the expense of their constituents.
It is becoming increasingly clear that the Climate Council will have to choose between a clearly inferior Climate Plan product by the December 1 deadline, or spending more time (and taxpayer dollars) trying to correct the current Climate Plan’s flaws.
The Climate Council’s job is to figure out how to reduce Vermont’s greenhouse gas emissions to mandated levels set out in the Global Warming Solutions Act. Period. That’s all. They are not concerned with the fallout – economic and otherwise – that will occur if we do all the things necessary to meet that goal. This sad fact was on full display during the Cross Sector Mitigation Subcommittee meeting on November 4.
June Tierney of the Vermont Climate Council (also commissioner of the Department of Public Service) made a splash when she called the plan to reduce Vermont’s greenhouse gas emissions a “Mack Truck” getting ready to run down unsuspecting citizens in terms of its immense cost and radical impact on our jobs and lifestyle. At the November 2 meeting of the Council, Tierney doubled down and then some.