McClaughry: Stumbling into battle against climate change
by John McClaughry The Vermont House is struggling to deliver a Clean Heat Standard bill to comply with a carbon dioxide emission reduction mandate that the legislature itself declared in 2020. In that year, in the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA), the legislative majority mandated that Vermonters take large, painful steps to drive down their carbon dioxide emissions by eighty percent just 27 years from now. That reduction would be Vermont’s share of the global reductions enthusiastically agreed to by President Obama and 193 other nations in Paris in 2016, to combat “climate change”. In December 2021 the GWSA- created Vermont Climate Council – our climate government within the government – produced its Climate Action Plan. It proposed urgent steps to drive down emissions from transportation and heating, that together constitute around 75% of emissions. The 11-state Transportation and Climate Initiative was supposed to tax gasoline and diesel fuel to stimulate people to switch to electric vehicles. That grand scheme soon collapsed when the governors involved learned that businesses and motorists would not accept a hefty and rising carbon tax on motor fuel.