A report by Emma Cotton in Vermont Digger (12/14) touts the new Weatherization Repayment Assistance Program to be offered to their customers by Green Mountain Power, Vermont Gas, Burlington Electric, and other utilities. It will allow homeowners to spread the cost of weatherizing and installing electric heat pumps over years of utility bills, at an extra cost of as little as $20 per month. Says Maura Collins, executive director of the Vermont Home Financing Agency, “energy savings should more than make up for the new charge that will be on your utility bill.” To assist lower income homeowners and renters, the taxpayers are putting in $9 million.
The Washington Post reports that “After two weeks of tense negotiations at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Egypt, known as COP27, diplomats reached a final agreement that yielded a breakthrough in helping vulnerable countries cope with climate disasters.”
Disreputable politicians all too often assign deceptive labels to legislation to mislead voters who don’t pay close attention. A deplorable example of such mislabeling is the forthcoming Affordable Heating Act.
For over 150 years, Vermont has operated the most equitable and dynamic school choice program in the nation. Any parents of any children in towns/districts that do not have a public school (some 90 Vermont towns) can choose any public or approved independent school to send their child with an amount of money following the child that is competitive with, if less than, the cost to educate that child in the public school system.
On November 17 the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules, called LCAR, voted to approve the decision by the Scott administration to conform Vermont’s clean air rules to the latest version set by the California Air Resources Board. Vermont first signed on to the California rules in 1996. It signed on to amended rules in 2001 – as decreed by Gov. Howard Dean over the objections – twice – of LCAR.
One day in 1903 a police officer in Rutland accosted Andrew Rosenthal. We don’t know why he was accosted – whether he was in the act of committing a crime or otherwise attracted attention. In any case he was arrested and cited for “carrying a pistol loaded with powder and bullets, concealed on his person” without written permission from the mayor or chief of police, in violation of a city gun control ordinance.
According to the Energy Information Administration, the price of heating oil, a fuel most commonly used in New England to heat homes, has gone up by 65% since October 2021. Counting propane and kerosene, 58% of Vermont households rely on petroleum heating fuels, other than natural gas.
This fall, the Ethan Allen Institute (EAI) welcomed three new members to its Board of Directors. We are excited and grateful that Lawrence Reed, Matthew Strong, and M. Myers Mermel have joined our organization. Each new Board member brings unique and valuable talents, expertise, and perspectives that will support our agenda to expand our impact in Vermont. I am proud to introduce our new Board members below.
When I heard that David Hill of the Energy Futures Group was scheduled to present its model to Vermont’s Climate Council two months ago, I was skeptical. The Climate Council’s plan, released in December 2021, seemed to rely heavily on a “Social Cost of Carbon” to justify future climate proposals.