Three weeks ago supporters of bold action to defeat climate change, led by Bill McKibben’s 350 organization, held a rally on the state house lawn. All the terrors of climate change and the plight of our grandchildren were trotted out to prod the legislature to act. What was interesting was that some of the climate warriors present weren’t too keen on what has become the centerpiece of the Climate Action Plan, the Clean Heat Standard.
That’s the plan to jack up prices of heating oil by requiring oil distributors to pay other people to assist yet other people to stop using oil heat. Richard Cowart of the Climate Council hatched the Clean Heat Standard when it dawned on the Council members that, with the Transportation and Climate Initiative defunct, their grand Climate Action Plan didn’t bring in any money to pay people to fight climate change.
At the State House rally some of the protesters expressed opposition to bills they decried as “false energy solutions” — including the bill that directs the Public Utility Commission to adopt a Clean Heat Standard.
Notable among the speakers was Liz Medina, the executive director of the State Labor Council, AFL-CIO. Labor had opposed the now-dead motor fuel tax because it landed on the backs of working people getting to their jobs. Now, she said climate change solutions must not be “funded on the back of the working class,” indicating Labor’s opposition to the Clean Heat Standard as well.
Are you listening, Democrats?
John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute.