Special Report: New renewable standard would revolutionize energy use in Vermont

Tony Klein

Rep. Tony Klein, D-East Montpelier, chair of the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee, Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

Cheat sheets, glossaries and power supply pie charts cover the table in the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee as first-year committee members decipher H.40, a bill requiring electric utilities to cut carbon emissions in Vermont.

“If you have your glossary, bring it out,” chairman of the committee Rep. Tony Klein, D-East Montpelier, told his fellow legislators as they dove into the complicated renewable energy bill three weeks ago.

The cramming session was just the beginning of the rapid paced development of a complicated piece of legislation loaded with dense regulatory lingo that lawmakers don’t have much time to finalize. If they don’t replace the current system this legislative biennium, electric rates could jump 6 percent statewide, and as high as 20 percent for Burlington customers, according to state officials.

That’s because Vermont’s electric utilities are having trouble participating in a regional renewable energy credit program in which they earn, on average, $50 million per year. Utilities use the money from credits to hold down rates.

Because Vermont’s current renewable energy program is different from all the others in New England, utilities are not able to sell cash credits for their renewable power into a regional marketplace. Without this revenue, rates could jump 6 percent for most of Vermont ratepayers as soon as next year.

“We’re committed not to let that happen,” said Darren Springer, deputy secretary of the Department of Public Service. During the opening weeks of the legislative session, Springer presented an idea for a new renewable energy program to the committee.

RESET, as the bill is nicknamed, would for the first time require utilities to sell renewable electricity to customers. This will increase the cost of electricity.

Currently, utilities own renewable electricity in their portfolios, but they do not own credits that account for the environmental attributes of the power, known as renewable energy credits, or RECs. Utilities must accumulate a certain number of credits to meet the statutory obligations.

What is a REC?

One megawatt-hour of renewable energy generation creates one renewable energy credit, or REC, to account for the environmental attributes of the electricity. Unlike the physical electrons, the REC is an economic currency that accounts for the “renewableness” of the electricity.

Utilities can retire, purchase or sell the credits in order to meet state renewable energy policy obligations. Many states require utilities to own a certain amount of credits in order to encourage renewable energy generation, which reduces the greenhouse gases that cause climate change.

Most Vermont utilities sell RECs, generating $50 million per year used to reduce electric rates. Some utilities also purchase RECs out of customer demand for low-emission renewable electricity.

The RECs are traded on a regional market among states that share the New England electric grid. The price for an REC changes based on supply and demand. RECs for wind and solar, for example, sell at a high price because they are in high demand. RECs from hydropower or biomass sell at a tenth of the cost because they are in low demand.

The proposed program is similar to those in the other New England states — and the majority of states across the nation. As a result, Vermont utilities will likely be able to sell — as well as purchase — renewable energy credits in the regional marketplace. Currently, utilities are having trouble selling credits because Vermont’s policy is different from other states.

Rep. Robin Chesnut-Tangerman, P-Middletown Springs, has been involved with local energy issues for more than a decade and has also installed solar panels on his home.

He said he understands the impact the bill will have on utilities, electric consumers and the environment, but the learning curve was steep during his first few weeks as a legislator.

“I have layman’s experience with renewable energy, which didn’t prepare me at all for policy,” Chesnut-Tangerman said.

Energy transformation

The proposed program would be among the first in the nation to require utilities to attempt to change the vehicles customers drive and the way they heat their homes.

Under the RESET program, utilities would be responsible for reducing their customers’ total fossil fuel emissions by taking aim at Vermont’s dirtiest energy sectors: transportation and heating.

Utilities would have to match a certain percentage of their retail sales through reductions in their customers’ fossil fuel consumption. Regulators have broad discretion in how to implement the proposed program, but it would likely transform the traditional utility business model from an electricity provider to an all-energy manager, utilities say.

“It’s pushing us to do things we haven’t done before,” Vermont Electric Coop CEO David Hallquist said.

The concept underpins Vermont’s 2011 Comprehensive Energy Plan. The state cannot reach its greenhouse gas reduction goals without targeting fossil fuel emissions coming from vehicles and oil furnaces. According to the state, those two sectors produce more than three-quarters of Vermont’s carbon emissions.

Klein said the so-called “energy transformation tier” is the “cornerstone” of the bill. He said it removes a financial barrier preventing long overdue thermal efficiency improvements across the state.

“The biggest obstacle has always been ‘Where do we find the money?’” he said.

Electric customers would pay for thermal efficiency through new fees on their electric bills or through their electric rates. The program will likely increase electric bills in the short term, but save on total energy costs in the long run, state officials say.

“Their electric bill will go up, but their fuel oil or their propane bill will go down,” said Asa Hopkins, DPS director of energy policy. “Basically, they’re happy because they are saving money overall.”

The 15-year program is projected to cut Vermont’s greenhouse gas emissions by 15 million tons — nearly equal to taking all automobiles off the road in Vermont for four years, Hopkins said.

Utilities generally support the program, and have successfully lobbied for greater flexibility in compliance. Environmental advocates support the program, but prefer that the greenhouse gas reductions be more aggressive. Republican lawmakers and businesses say the program should do more to reduce electric rates, even if it means scaling back emission-reduction requirements.

House Minority Leader Rep. Don Turner, R-Milton, said the proposal is a fix to a problem that was created in the Legislature when it created the SPEED program in 2005. He said Republicans want to move forward on renewables in a “more moderate manner.”

“I don’t know if it has to be as big as it is,” he said. “It seems like all of the big utilities are on board because they have this big bill hanging around their neck. The rope is around ratepayers’ neck.”

From SPEED to RESET

Vermont’s current program, Sustainably Priced Energy Development, or SPEED, was written with the goal of providing economic incentives for renewable energy development.

Under SPEED, Vermont utilities could sell credits representing the environmental attributes of their renewable power out of state, which allowed them to finance renewable energy projects and avoid some of the upfront cost impacts on rates.

Compliance obligations for utilities

TIER 1

2017: 55 percent
2032: 75 percent

A share of the utility’s retail sales must come from any new or existing renewables. Utilities will likely use hydropower, biomass or any other existing renewable to meet this credit. They could use wind and solar, but it would cost more. Utilities can pay an alternate fee of .01 cents per kilowatt-hour.

The proposal by itself is likely to increase electric rates over the course of the program.

TIER 2

2017: 1 percent
2032: 10 percent

Of the amount in tier one, a certain percentage of a utility’s retail sales must come from new, in-state energy generation sources, such as wind, solar, bio-methane or efficient combined heat and power biomass plants. The program would add 400 megawatts of new distributed generation to the state. The proposal would reduce the solar credit for net-metered projects if customers kept their renewable energy credits.

Utilities can pay an alternate fee of .07 cents per kilowatt-hour.

The proposal by itself is likely to increase electric rates over the course of the program.

TIER 3

2017: 1 percent
2032: 10 percent

Utilities would be required to reduce fossil fuel consumption as a percentage of their retail electric sales. Regulators would calculate each utility’s compliance toward the obligation by converting saved units of heat (British thermal units, BTUs) to units of energy (megawatt hours). Eligible projects include heat pumps, weatherization and electric vehicle infrastructure. Natural gas, a fossil fuel, would not count, but biodiesel would.

Utilities can pay an alternate fee of .07 cents per kilowatt-hour.

The proposal by itself is expected to reduce energy costs and electric rates over the course of the program by 0.6 percent.

Robert Dostis, director of government affairs at Green Mountain Power and chair of the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee when the SPEED program was drafted, said at the time that it was not politically possible to pass a program that was likely to increase electric rates. The state instead passed an “economic development tool” that he described as “very successful.”

“It accomplished what it was set out to accomplish,” Dostis said. “We have a lot more renewables in this state as a result.”

Over the course of the program, Vermont utilities sold the credits for power that was also used to count toward the state’s voluntary renewable energy goal. The credits were also legally sold elsewhere in a process described as “double counting.” Critics say it is deceptive to count credits twice. A law clinic at Vermont Law School alleged that the state’s largest electric utility, Green Mountain Power, misled customers by claiming its power as renewable when it sold the RECs out of state. Federal regulators decided not to investigate the allegations, but asked the utility to be more clear with customers in the future.

That concern has taken root in the region. Last year, Connecticut prohibited the purchase of credits that count toward Vermont’s SPEED program, and utilities have since stopped selling credits to Connecticut. In May, one electricity supplier said it would not purchase Vermont RECs. The market for Vermont RECs was drying up and some utilities had difficulty selling credits to other states.

“It has trickled over into the other markets subtly,” said Patty Richards, general manager of the Washington Electric Co-op. “If we get the RPS, we will be fine.”

In June, Klein met with the Shumlin administration to discuss changes to Vermont’s energy program, with input from utility companies.

Klein, the only representative who served on the committee when the SPEED program was written, said lawmakers knew the state would need to adopt a mandatory program eventually.

“We always knew that this was a potential issue and we just said it was worth going down this path until the day came that they said ‘no,’” Klein said. “Without the SPEED program, we would not have the amount, or maybe any, of the renewables that were built in Vermont.”

Environmental groups push for more in-state renewable generation

Environmental groups want the program to achieve greater greenhouse gas emission reductions in the region. Meanwhile, utilities want more flexibility to comply with the new regulations and industry wants less pressure on rates.

Electricity prices would rise in the short term under the proposed program because utilities would have to purchase renewable energy credits to account for a certain percentage of their power demand. Currently, utilities mostly sell credits generated by their renewable projects.

Under RESET, some of these credits must come from electricity generated in Vermont. The requirement increases 4 percent every three years from 55 percent in 2017 to 75 percent in 2032.

To meet the renewable electricity obligation, Green Mountain Power will continue to sell the high-value credits from its wind farm on Lowell Mountain, for example, and purchase less expensive credits from biomass and hydroelectric plants, Dostis said.

Credits from biomass and large hydro, such as Hydro-Quebec, can be purchased at a 10th of the cost of “class one” RECs, which come from wind and solar farms, among other resources.

No other state in New England counts large-scale, Canadian hydropower as renewable. New Hampshire lawmakers are considering changes to their Renewable Portfolio Standard to allow large-scale hydropower to count toward its goal, citing benefits for electric ratepayers.

Sandra Levine, a senior attorney with the Conservation Law Foundation, said Vermont should set a higher environmental standard for its program — making it similar to the other states in the region.

Levine said there should be a limit on the amount of credits utilities can count from power sources like Hydro-Quebec. She said new large-scale hydro can cause methane emissions and displace indigenous populations, though it is a valuable existing baseload energy source.

“To meet our climate change goals, we need to limit our reliance on large-scale hydroelectric power and, in particular, not rely on having to develop new hydropower facilities,” she said. “We can do that by using the existing hydropower wisely and using in concert with renewable power in the New England region.”

Green Mountain Power will retire the credits from large hydropower to meet its policy obligation at a minimal cost. But Levine said the there is a chance other states in the region may question whether this should be allowed.

Environment groups say the bill also includes an “inadvertent penalty” for customers who generate their own electricity through the state’s net-metering program. Proposed changes to the net-metering law will require customers to purchase RECs from their utility. Currently, the customer owns the credit.

The intent is to help the utilities use net-metered projects to meet their regulatory obligations under the program. Policy experts and renewable energy attempted to safeguard changes to the program, but remain unsatisfied. Changes will be finalized when regulators make planned adjustments to the net-metering law in 2016.

Smaller utilities uneasy with business model overhaul

electric cars

A recharging station for the state’s fleet of solar vehicles sits at the corner of State Street and Gov. Aiken Avenue in Montpelier. Photo by Tom Brown/VTDigger

The administration’s proposal would require utilities to change the way they do business. Rather than just supplying electricity, they would also be required to reduce fossil fuel consumption in the state’s heating and transportation sectors.

“It’s a huge challenge and there are a lot of assumptions, and I think there is a lot that can go wrong,” Hallquist of VEC said.

By generating revenue through additional electricity sales, utilities could offset most of the rate impacts associated with renewable energy procurement, the Department of Public Service says. Take this part of the program out entirely, and rates will continue to climb by up to 4 percent by 2032, officials say.

This part of the program has caused the most angst among utilities. Many asked lawmakers for more flexibility — and many got it.

Springer, of the department, said there are several “escape valves” if a utility has trouble meeting its compliance obligations: It can petition regulators to reduce the requirement; purchase additional small-scale power generation; bank excess credits and use them later; or make up a shortfall in another year.

The purpose of the requirement is to reduce carbon emissions from the heating and transportation energy sectors. Utilities would achieve this by providing financial incentives for wood heating or electric air source heat pumps, coupled with thermal efficiency or weatherization projects. Utilities may also invest in electric vehicle infrastructure.

Much of these so-called “energy innovation projects” would be paid for through new fees on electric bills, investments recovered through electric rates, leasing programs and partnerships, according to the department.

In concept, utilities would act as “general contractors” for all their customers’ energy needs. In 2017, all Vermont’s utilities together would have to install the equivalent of 2,000 heat pumps to comply. By 2032, that climbs to 12,000 heat pumps, for example.

Green Mountain Power, the state’s only investor-owned utility, is already making investments that would qualify under the program.

“We are confident we can make this happen. Frankly, we have to,” said Dostis, of Green Mountain Power.

Hallquist said VEC’s territory is relatively poor and rural — the utility’s territory has 15 customers per mile of line, as compared with GMP’s approximate 20 customers per mile. The low customer density makes it difficult to sell new products, he said. VEC wants to partner with Efficiency Vermont, the state’s efficiency utility to achieve the desired results.

The bill explicitly allows for partnerships, including with other utilities, and gives the Public Service Board broad discretion when assigning credit among the partners.

Committee has all but passed H.40

The potential rate impact remains to be seen because Connecticut regulators have not issued a decision whether Vermont’s RECs under the current program are worthless.

It was not until the opening days of the legislative session that state officials had publicly quantified the potential rate impact resulting from the Connecticut prohibition on the purchase of Vermont RECs.

But the day the bill was introduced to the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee, the members were told there is a looming 6 percent rate shock if they did nothing. Since then, members have heard from experts, advocates and the regulated community pushing the policy in different directions. Everyone supported the concept and goals of the proposed program.

After three weeks of careful consideration, the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee on Friday opened a vote on the bill, currently 6-1-3. The vote will close on Tuesday.

 

 

John Herrick

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101 Comments on "Special Report: New renewable standard would revolutionize energy use in Vermont"

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Don Peterson
1 year 9 months ago

for some reason not obvious to me, hydro Quebec energy was not considered green enough for our legislators. Their answer was to create a new class of renewable energy, one based in the state and sacrificing our mountains in the process.

So now we have to eschew cheap hydro Quebec power in favor of expensive mountaintop power. Don’t worry though, the ratepayers will gladly pick up the tab, once they understand that it’s all to save the planet….

Richard Ratico
1 year 9 months ago

Don,

“sacrificing our mountains”

A wee bit of perspective is in order here. This morning ISO-NE has coal use at 12%

Mountaintop removal mining takes up to 400 vertical feet of a mountain and bulldozes it into the streams and valleys. Nearly 1.2 MILLION acres have been mined in this fashion in Appalachia alone.

The Lowell wind farm is 135 acres in size. 2800 acres have been conserved as part of the deal.

This is what mountaintop removal looks like:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoOIB3_7bzU

By contrast, here is a very critical analysis of wind energy development.
http://docs.wind-watch.org/Wind_Development_Wildlife_Habitat_Vermont_NH.pdf

You decide.

Glenn Thompson
1 year 9 months ago

Richard Ratico,

“A wee bit of perspective is in order here. This morning ISO-NE has coal use at 12%”

You forgot to add, the current combo of Oil and Coal makes up 36% of the grid. For a moment this morning….Solar and Wind made up 0% . I’m pleased to inform you, Wind is now making up 2% of the 6% renewables. 0 % from Solar. I’m assuming no one as of yet has swept the snow off all those Industrial Solar Panels? Awesome performance!

Willem Post
1 year 9 months ago
Richard, One of my neighbors has used a squeegee to rake the snow off his FIELD-MOUNTED panels, but the ROOF-MOUNTED panels of the other three neighbors are STILL covered, and have been covered for weeks, a good reason solar energy is shown as being near-nothing on the ISO-NE website. Almost EVERY morning of the YEAR I notice near-zero wind when I get up. What ARE we to do when there is no wind and no sun? Just hibernate, like some animals? Put EVERYTHING on hold, including making breakfast? Going from “55% RE by 2017” (3,049,200 ridgelines and meadows + 30,800… Read more »
Richard Ratico
1 year 9 months ago
I can’t help but notice your and Glenn’s attempt to divert the discussion from the points I raised. But no one’s surprised by that. How can you argue against such graphic evidence? The fact is wind energy is a great fit in Vermont. It sits lightly on the ridge tops. The disruption is minimal compared to that of other energy sources except solar. GMP didn’t build a turbine in your front yard because, as you’ve discovered, a wind resource doesn’t exist there. There’s plenty of wind where the turbines are built. That’s why they build them there. Have you never… Read more »
John Greenberg
1 year 9 months ago
Willem: Snow on solar projects may, as you suggest, be “a good reason solar energy is shown as being near-nothing on the ISO-NE website.” But it’s not the only reason. Another reason, in ISO-NE’s language, is that “… PVs aren’t typically connected to the high-voltage transmission system that the ISO manages—many are located “behind-the-meter” or connected directly to a home or business.” http://www.iso-ne.com/aboutiso/fin/annl_reports/2000/2014_reo.pdf, p. 28 (p. 30 of pdf) To be clear, ISO-NE is talking about not just off-grid installations, but also installations which are net metered, and where most of the power is consumed by the owner/generator. In these… Read more »
Willem Post
1 year 9 months ago
John Greenberg, My neighbor has a solar system with 2 smart meters. One measures the AC output fed to the grid, the other the consumption by the house, including by the solar system; solar systems DO use electricity to run themselves. GMP knows, second by second, what are the energy flows of EVERY solar system in ITS service area, and may be, or is, required to report the sum of these solar system flows to ISO-NE, as would ALL OTHER utilities in Vermont and NE states. It would be good to determine the exact situation and, with a PR release,… Read more »
Richard Ratico
1 year 9 months ago

Willem,

“just look out of the window when getting up around 6 or 7 AM”

Your ability to determine wind generation at ANY point in time, by looking out your window, is PRECISELY the same as if you gazed at your navel instead.

John Greenberg
1 year 9 months ago
Willem: First, I stand by my remarks above. I already cited ISO-NE directly to the precise point in question. What GMP (or any utility) knows or doesn’t know is hardly germane to what shows up on the ISO-NE snapshot you referred to. In addition, you’re missing my point. There are many of us who are grid tied AND producing small amounts of electricity for our own use. In our house, for example, our generating systems (solar and wind) are exceedingly small. Most of the energy we use still comes from the grid. I no longer have any way of tracking… Read more »
Richard Ratico
1 year 9 months ago

Willem,

“solar systems DO use electricity to run themselves.”

Just how much energy do these grid tied systems use, Willem?

james taylor
1 year 9 months ago
More bad news for the moon bats and gorebull warning. There have been two notable historical periods with decades-long episodes of low solar activity. The first period is known as the “Maunder Minimum”, named after the solar astronomer Edward Maunder, and it lasted from around 1645 to 1715. The second one is referred to as the “Dalton Minimum”, named for the English meteorologist John Dalton, and it lasted from about 1790 to 1830. Both of these historical periods coincided with below-normal global temperatures in an era now referred to by many as the “Little Ice Age”. In addition, research studies… Read more »
Glenn Thompson
1 year 9 months ago
James Taylor, “It is common sense to believe that the sun has more influence on global temperatures than a trace gas.” No Doubt! And there is plenty of articles and data out there to support it. Trying to convince the crowd who believes filling the planet with solar and wind will control the climate…… is a harder sell! This is one of many articles out there on the Sun-climate connection! “The Sun is the source of the energy that causes the motion of the atmosphere and thereby controls weather and climate. Any change in the energy from the Sun received… Read more »
John Greenberg
1 year 9 months ago
James Taylor and Glenn Thompson: Exactly what do you think global warming is all about?? OF COURSE, the sun has the most influence on global temperatures: in fact, that’s the whole BASIS of the greenhouse gas theory. The sun warms the earth. Some of the heat is reflected back into the atmosphere, and greenhouse gases trap it. Excess greenhouse gases are created by the activities of humans, primarily the burning of large quantities of fossil fuels. Without man’s intervention, the heat escapes through the layers of the atmosphere into space and temperatures remain within the bounds of ordinary climatic impacts… Read more »
Glenn Thompson
1 year 9 months ago
John Greenberg, “Exactly what do you think global warming is all about?? OF COURSE, the sun has the most influence on global temperatures: in fact, that’s the whole BASIS of the greenhouse gas theory.” Except your greenhouse gas theory gets totally blown out of the water if one studies the warming period during the Medieval era followed by the Little Ice age…when man contributed almost nil to CO2 emissions? You don’t suppose there is another factor that is the main contributor to Climate Change other than CO2 gases? The Little Ice age! http://www.eh-resources.org/timeline/timeline_lia.html The Medieval era! http://dailycaller.com/2013/12/13/study-earth-was-warmer-in-roman-medieval-times/ The article I… Read more »
Steve Comeau
1 year 9 months ago
It is also true that any change in the energy from radiated from the Earth’s surface and atmosphere will affect climate. It turns out that CO2, methane, and other traces gases greatly influence the amount of energy that is radiated from the earth out into space. These gases and clouds are a large part of control the “energy balance” of the atmosphere. As the gases increase concentration less energy radiates to space, then the earth energy balance shifts; in this case to warmer. It is hard to predict what will happen and how quickly it will warm because the dumping… Read more »
John Greenberg
1 year 9 months ago

Glenn:

I’m not going to debate climate change with you. If the world’s climate scientists can’t convince you, I’m sure I can’t and in any case, I have no inclination to try.

My comment above was written to insure that no one took at face value the suggestion that climate change theory somehow minimizes or ignores the role of the sun in heating the earth. No more, no less.

Willem Post
1 year 9 months ago
Richard, Klein said. “Without the SPEED program, we would not have the amount, or maybe any, of the renewables that were built in Vermont.” This statement should read: Without the 30% federal cash giveaways* (scheduled to end at the end of 2017) donated to in-state and out-of-state multi-millionaires with lucrative, no risk tax shelters, plus the 5-yr accelerated depreciation, plus the 25 – 30 c/kWh+ being paid to these multi-millionaires by Vermonters for that variable, intermittent, solar energy, there would have been very few, if any, SPEED solar systems built in Vermont. * If a 2.2 MW solar plant on… Read more »
Richard Ratico
1 year 9 months ago
Willem, Those of the “put all your eggs in one basket” school of energy generation might take the trouble to boost your numbers (and ego) on the energy misinformation site to which you linked, I will not be among them. We already get a substantial percentage of our energy from Quebec. Where is the wisdom in committing to significantly more, except as intermittent balance to intermittent homegrown local distributed RE? A very long, very vulnerable (terrorists, ice storms, coronal mass ejections, drought) extension cord to Canada, on which we are totally dependent, makes very little sense. The power seems cheap… Read more »
John Greenberg
1 year 9 months ago

Willem,

What is the government contribution to “cheap” natural gas?

Willem Post
1 year 9 months ago

Richard,

““just look out of the window when getting up around 6 or 7 AM”

Your ability to determine wind generation at ANY point in time, by looking out your window, is PRECISELY the same as if you gazed at your navel instead.””

But Richard, I did correlate my early morning observation with the ISO-NE website on many such days, just to check, and true enough they agree.

No navel gazing was involved.

I leave jumping to conclusions and navel gazing to others.

Richard Ratico
1 year 9 months ago

Willem,

Your naval gazing not withstanding, the FACTS demonstrate the Vermont wind capacity built to date is performing nicely.
http://vtdigger.wpengine.com/2015/02/18/green-mountain-power-delivers-good-neighbor-promise/

Willem Post
1 year 9 months ago
Richard, Every crowing story has a silver lining. 2014 was a GOOD wind year in New England. Almost all wind turbines did better. “In 2014, Kingdom Community Wind generated 179,385,000 kilowatthours” CF = 179,385,000 kWh/(63,000 kW x 8760) = 0.325. Lowell is grossly UNDERPERFORMING in a GOOD wind year, because in a NORMAL wind year, with the bigger rotor, the CF was predicted to be 0.3587, i.e., it would be higher in a GOOD wind year, say 0.37. Green Mountain Power testified to the PSB, the CF would be 0.3587, “with the bigger rotor”. See URL http://vce.org/2011-6-20_ALB-CFT_First_Comments_GMP_Filings(7628) GMP had to… Read more »
Richard Ratico
1 year 9 months ago

Willem,

The corollary of your criticism of Lowell is that the rest of NE wind wildly overproduced.

Darryl Smith
1 year 9 months ago

More more “Think globally, Destroy locally.

Willem Post
1 year 9 months ago
Don, If I were a CEO and Vermont was my company, to ensure its economic viability, I would immediately follow the advice of Dostis of GMP and buy as much low-cost, near-CO2-free, STEADY (not, intermittent, not variable), RENEWABLE energy from Hydro-Quebec as possible for 5 – 7 c/kWh (per Dostis), before anyone else beats me to that good deal. NO STATE AND FEDERAL SUBSIDIES WOULD BE REQUIRED to buy the hydro energy. The hydro plants were built 30 years ago, but demand growth did not take place, so all sorts of extra capacity, MW, is available. The Canadians are eager… Read more »
Rep. Warren Van Wyck
1 year 9 months ago
A simple bill could have dismantled the double-counting (to some states) SPEED program and established a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) that other states would have accepted. With an acceptable RPS, there would not be rate increases of 6% or 20%. Most of the bill (H.40) is a laundry list of renewable energy requirements and fossil fuel reduction goals that will certainly lead to more expensive electric rates, more economic malaise (solar jobs are a flash-in-the-pan — read about Spain), more bureaucrats shuffling papers and more farm fields covered with acres of black solar panels. Therefore, I vote against it. —… Read more »
Scott Woodward
1 year 9 months ago
There’s a small twist in H.40 that I think merits reconsideration by the bill’s drafters. For a number of reasons, it seems like a bad idea to have inserted the opt-out language that transfers property rights (ownership of the REC’s generated from residential PV) from the property owner to the utility. The current language makes this choice elective. It sends a negative signal to property owners in Vermont when property they rightfully own is given to someone else, here, the utilities, through an opt-out provision. Opt-out provisions give the appearance of being underhanded. I see the reason for wanting to… Read more »
1 year 9 months ago

You’re right about revolution. A couple of years down the road when the rate payers pick up the “new tab” resulting from this bill it could certainly result in a rate payer revolution and possibly more. Hey, let’s be happy, it may be the FIRST state revolution.

Annette Smith
1 year 9 months ago
Dostis and Klein still don’t seem to get it, assuming that John Herrick quoted them accurately. They are both saying that SPEED resulted in a lot more renewables in Vermont. They still neglect to acknowledge that those renewables are helping MA and CT meet their RPS, and therefore Vermonters are not getting renewable energy while paying very high social and environmental costs to host them. Good job reporting on a very complicated subject. However it isn’t quite true that “everyone” supports the bill. I testified https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYj3QLmxghE with great concern for the lack of new standards to help our communities absorb… Read more »
Willem Post
1 year 9 months ago
Annette, “They are both saying that SPEED resulted in a lot more renewables in Vermont. They still neglect to acknowledge that those renewables are helping MA and CT meet their RPS, and therefore Vermonters are not getting renewable energy while paying very high social and environmental costs to host them.” Vermonters are GENERATING renewable energy, and REDUCING CO2, but, FOR BOOKKEEPING PURPOSES, cannot COUNT that energy and CO2 towards RE goals, because Vermont sold the associated RECs to out-of-staters who use these pieces of paper to avoid doing THEIR part. Vermont getting 90% of ALL energy from RE by 2050… Read more »
1 year 9 months ago
“BTW: Bioenergy is renewable on about a 100-year basis. Cut and burn now, but it will take a forest about 100 years to recover. Those who feel smug about, or are advocating for biomass are significantly misinformed.” Methinks the significantly misinformed must also include the significantly ignorant who are unaware of, or choose to ignore, the use of hybrid poplar sylvaculture to provide biomass while also providing an excellent disposal use of sewage sludge. Currently available equipment also allows direct conversion to chips for immediate transport to generation facilities. That also applies to stands of other low grade hardwoods. While… Read more »
Willem Post
1 year 9 months ago
James, “the use of hybrid poplar sylvaculture to provide biomass while also providing an excellent disposal use of sewage sludge.” What percentage of Vermont’s energy consumption (5,600,000,000 kWh/yr) would that technology provide? 1%, 2%, 5%? There is room for other technologies, but they have to be providing large quantities. If GMP, VEC, et al., were really interested in reducing the electric bills of already-struggling Vermont households and of low/near-zero-profit Vermont businesses, they would get about 75% of their total energy as steady, not variable, not intermittent, hydro energy, at 5 – 7 c/kWh (per Dostis of GMP), from Hydro-Quebec. It… Read more »
1 year 9 months ago
Willem, You keep needlessly giving the hard sell for the Canadian hydro. Makes a lot of sense to me for current conditions in VT; I love the stuff! Actually, have more than a few hours of hydro operation under my belt, so I know the ins and outs of the process. The “uninterruptable” factor only holds true if there is a surplus available due to the downtime required for whatever maintenance may be required on the turbines and/or hydraulics, the generation/switchgear/controls, and the impoundment; it’s generally less than for combustion oriented generation, but still is downtime. Using your numbers, I… Read more »
Willem Post
1 year 9 months ago
James, You did not read what I wrote. You seem to be on a biomass hobby horse. With biomass: Cut and burn now and it takes a forest about 100 years to recover. Are you OK with that? Hydro-Quebec has multiple hydro plants with multiple turbines. It is rare for an ENTIRE hydro plant to be down. Norway gets 95% of its energy from hydro plants. I lived there for 3 years, and NEVER experienced a single outage. The environmental damage to build the H-Q hydro plants was done over 30 years ago. Why be irrational and do more environmental… Read more »
Willem Post
1 year 9 months ago
Anne, The below comment is revised response to James Willey’s comment of February 20, 2015 at 2:48 pm. It has disappeared. Please resurrect it. Thank you, Willem PS. Please disregard the prior comments that are not yet posted. James Willey ” Just a single 25 Mw woodchip plant could/would provide some 4% of that number 24/7 and would contribute to the Vermont economy in the form of jobs and money in circulation from the wages, taxes — wealth created in the state that stays in the state.” You are right about jobs, wages, taxes, etc., but that is not the… Read more »
Megs Keir
1 year 9 months ago

It is appalling to learn that Vermont power producers were allowed to get credit for the same entity (Clean Energy) twice! That sort of thing may happen on Wall Street but it shouldn’t be allowed to happen here. Keep it simple: produce and sell clean energy, and get credit when you sell it, once.

Anna Vreman
1 year 9 months ago
So what happens to electric rates when everyone switches from oil, propane, and gas to electric heat? And why should everyone add another heating system to their home? To the best of my knowledge, heat pumps are not up to the job on sub-zero nights so some other fuel source and another furnace will still be required. Or do we all go back to the baseboard heating we were urged to remove in the ’70’s? As for cars, where do electric companies get the authority to dictate what kind of car one drives? And why would someone who lives out… Read more »
Jamie Carter
1 year 9 months ago
“Under the RESET program, utilities would be responsible for reducing their customers’ total fossil fuel emissions by taking aim at Vermont’s dirtiest energy sectors: transportation and heating.” I’m really curious as to how this would play out. How is GMP going to reduce my fossil fuel emission? Are they going to petition VT Gas to run a line to my area? Are they going to penalize me until I change out my oil furnace for an ELECTRIC one? This seems to be a very poorly thoughtout concept and what’s more disturbing is the bill is “all but passed” and it’s… Read more »
1 year 9 months ago
” Are they going to penalize me until I change out my oil furnace for an ELECTRIC one?” Given the large %age of power used originates outside the state, what’s a few more Gw? Even with in-state generation, consider that even the most efficient combined cycle Gas Turbine generation is at best only 35-37% efficient. Factor in line losses to point of use, you begin to see what a loser electric heat is. Gas is clean and efficient, currently cheap, as heat source fuel IF the selling entity can deliver cost effectively without burdening the consumer with pipeline costs. The… Read more »
Jamie Carter
1 year 9 months ago

If only Gas was available I would have hooked up long ago… it’s not viable if it’s not available.

So I’m still curious how How GMP is going to reduce my fossil fuel usage…

1 year 9 months ago

Can you say “Smart Metering”?

With the above, GMP will be able to control your power usage by switching off “smart” appliances at their whim.

Any power you don’t (aren’t allowed to) consume means that whatever fossil energy is used toward its generation won’t be.

All Hail Bill Gates/Al Gore!!
BTW, Al, How many $Billions in Carbon Credits you got racked up? Oyeah, and the polar ice caps are still there — both of them! But wait, it’s
climate change now; so, it don’t compute??

When are people going to quit buying into all the lies?

Ralph Colin
1 year 9 months ago

And how do the governor, the speaker and the chair of the House Natural Resources & Energy committee propose to keep the cork in the bottle when current residents of the state can simply no longer afford to live here and are forced to move elsewhere?

Or maybe that’s exactly how they propose to reduce all the carbon emissions in Vermont: just drive all the people out. That’ll do it.
Interesting concept[.

Gary Murdock
1 year 9 months ago

“The proposed program would be among the first in the nation to require utilities to attempt to change the vehicles customers drive and the way they heat their homes.”
“Under the RESET program, utilities would be responsible for reducing their customers’ total fossil fuel emissions by taking aim at Vermont’s dirtiest energy sectors: transportation and heating.”

Outrage, contempt, fear, loathing, disgust…these are the only words that come to mind that can be repeated here. Beyond that, all I can say is that I am at a complete loss for words.

1 year 9 months ago

cui bono? The question I always ask.

Farther east, the HVDC transmission lines move the HydroQuebec power to Taxachusetts where it gets marked up and sold and the money goes to Canada.

Why not use VT resources — like wood chips — to generate, put Vermonters to work, and keep the wealth here?

Sill me, it’s the Greenies, stupid.

John McClaughry
1 year 9 months ago
Compliments to John Herrick for a valuable report. However it would have been more valuable if he had found knowledgeable critics to quote. Leaving aside the complicated details, it’s not hard to see where this is headed. Driven by the Governor’s proclamation of “90% of all energy from renewables by 2050” (did anybody ever vote on that?), and accentuated by the “crisis” caused by the rejection by the REC market of Vermont’s double counted RECs that threatens to increase electric rates, we are now with H.40 headed toward making the GMP/PSB/DPS/VPIRG/CLF into an unaccountable fourth branch of government, mandating whatever… Read more »
1 year 9 months ago

Some old dead white guy is credited with saying that, in the end, we get exactly the sort of government we deserve.

Nationwide, the malignancy of socialism is now Stage 4, with little hope of the patient’s survival.

ray giroux
1 year 9 months ago
Stack and pack housing walkable communities improved bike paths Urban renewal (protect open land) sustainable development (no development without paying large price, only stack and pack gets the fast track) renewable energy (would someone please explain what this term really means?) hybrids electric cars carbon credits (so a dirty corporation can continue to operate by buying credits from a clean corp) Are we being led to a place where we no longer have a say over our lives, our livelihood – where and how we can live? Are States and Corporations dictating to us what our future will be like,… Read more »
1 year 9 months ago
renewable energy (would someone please explain what this term really means?) That big yellow-orange ball is the source of the energy we use, whether stored in fossil deposit or in plant life. The only truly renewable energy source I am aware of is the cellulose created via photosynthesis, most readily available as trees and plant waste e.g. sugar cane bagasse, hemp fiber. I’m sounding like a broken record saying it, but Vermont’s abundant forests can and should provide viable heat and power sources while putting Vermonters to work. That we are allowing the Green Maskers to dictate otherwise shows that… Read more »
Linda Baird-White
1 year 9 months ago

“The proposed program would be among the first in the nation to require utilities to attempt to change the vehicles customers drive and the way they heat their homes.”

Just One Darned Green Mountain Moment here….. Guess he didn’t get the memo. Last I heard we are governed by state government with elected officials (not a dictatorship). Totally smacks of single payer tactics – Cart before the horse, yet again and Spend More before fixing what’s been broken for a long time. Got my dander up too.

Kathy Leonard
1 year 9 months ago

Just wow.
So…electric utilities including international entities such as gaz metro would control – by means of higher electric rates – how we drive and how we heat our homes?

This is so convoluted and so wrong… The DPS and PSB do not have a handle on renewables regulation as it is, and it is being proposed that they would in effect regulate transportation and home heating policy too?

Whoa! Stop!

Kathy Nelson
1 year 9 months ago
“Their electric bill will go up, but their fuel oil or their propane bill will go down,” said Asa Hopkins, DPS director of energy policy. “Basically, they’re happy because they are saving money overall.” Excuse me but what planet is this public servant residing on? If the only way one has to heat their home is an oil furnace (with no financial means to replace that essential unit) then how will one save money on oil/propane while paying more for electricity? Heating with electricity, which tends to fail during those winter storms (which will are likely to be more prevalent… Read more »
Jan van Eck
1 year 9 months ago
Without wishing to detract from Kathy Nelson’s post above, I would merely mention that electric snowmobiles are entirely viable, from an engineering viewpoint. This is because the snowmobile is a lightweight device (or can be built lightweight) and thus would use small energy flows to operate recreationally. You might not be able to run a lunatic 100 mph down the middle of rural RR tracks (which is not very bright anyway), but you can easily ride through the back country on a silent electric snowmobile. We are developing one now, for introduction in about four years. Manufacture will take place… Read more »
Nancy Fried
1 year 9 months ago

Tony Klein is trying to ram this legislation through. He and his committee need to slow down and really study the ramifications of what he is proposing. There are a lot of people with real concerns with this bill.

Willem Post
1 year 9 months ago
Nancy, Klein held his “hearings”. Chap Smith stuffed the committee with 7 new members who likely do not have an inkling of the complexities of H-40. It looks the 4 holdovers and 6 of the 7 will vote for it, just to get rid of it. Let the House figure it out, just the House did with dysfunctional SPEED about 5 years ago. Here are the production results for the heavily subsidized SPEED Program, 2.2 MW or less. Note the RISING cost trend. It is mindless idiocy to be for SPEED, as it ultimately render uncompetitive Vermont’s private sector. Vermont’s… Read more »
1 year 9 months ago

Correct Ray, Rockefeller`s (John “donated” the property where UN headquarters sits) United Nations agenda for the 21 century/sustainable development. What a kind dear philanthropic soul. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludlow_Massacre
People haven`t a clue. A woeful act of willful ignorance.
And 90% by 2050? Straight from the UN. As (democrat) Rosa Koire says: It`s easier to list what isn`t agenda 21 than what is.

1 year 9 months ago

You neglected to plug the book:
“Behind the Green Mask”, Rosa Koire.

Catch her interview on Glen Beck (one of many, just “google”):

james taylor
1 year 9 months ago

Good read. The best thing about that book was she was an ally of the liberals and climate change, until of course it directly effected her world. Kinda like a kid following Obama until they actually get a real job and have to pay taxes.

1 year 9 months ago
I’m still awaiting my copy, thus will need to read before I know exactly what you mean by “effected her world”. Koire has more a libertarian mindset, having become disillusioned with the divergent path the current Demo’ party has taken while sounding more like war hawks than the opposition. Similar to Ron Paul, who has long been disillusioned with the Republican party which he terms as ‘having lost its way’. A commercial real estate appraiser, Koire has become intimately familiar with the hoax of urban renewal. Listening to her speak is like deja vu for me; I grew up in… Read more »
John Greenberg
1 year 9 months ago

” the plummeting dollar”??

The dollar is rising against most world currencies.

1 year 9 months ago
Hold that thought, John. Those ratios will be meaningless soon, as every fiat currency will be virtually worthless in the coming global crash. Be sure to pile up all the dollars you can in the meantime; they’ll give you lots of the warm fuzzies — until you try to use them to actually buy something. The gold-stockpiling Chinese will soon own the gold-backed dominant currency of the world. Nations like US that produce damn near nothing that the world wants to buy will be in severe pain. The Chinese have already used a large chunk of the $Trillion+ of US… Read more »
Ralph Bollard
1 year 9 months ago

From the article “Electric customers would pay for thermal efficiency through new fees on their electric bills or through their electric rates. The program will likely increase electric bills in the short term, but save on total energy costs in the long run, state officials say.”

We already pay the darn VT efficiency charge. What does that get us. 99 cent bulbs full of Mercury and goofy commercials. Great!!!

Jeff Nichols
1 year 9 months ago

First in the nation in mandating what it’s citzens can and can’t do and forcing ideology from people like Klein into their lives. Thanks very much, I really don’t want him in mine.

1 year 9 months ago
Scratching the surface of H.40, brings to mind the push to pass Obamacare and Nancy Pelosi’s infamous words: “ You have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it.” As time has proven, most of those voting in favor of Obamacare had no idea of what they were voting for. If one is to believe New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer and others in his party, pushing Obamacare through was the wrong thing to do at the wrong time. Will Vermont now repeat the Obamacare experience by pushing through H.40 without really understanding it? H.40 represents a gigantic… Read more »
Willem Post
1 year 9 months ago

Peter,

It works like this from one Rep to another: I’ll hold my nose and vote for single-payer, or whatever, and you hold your nose and vote for H-40.

Willem Post
1 year 9 months ago
Peter, The DPS wrote H-40 to Vermont on the path towards “90% of ALL energy to be RE by 2050”, not just electrical energy, which is just 1/3 of ALL energy. Klein, like a good soldier, is rushing H-40 “through committee”, holding pro forma hearings, calling in the usual “experts” to testify to make it all look good, all as pre-planned in strategy sessions behind closed doors. After a quick 10 to 1 vote to approve, Klein’s committee is more or less done with H-40, at least for a while. If the good part-time Legislators on Klein’s committee, most without… Read more »
1 year 9 months ago

Wait until next year, Willem.

The formerly great republic of Vermont is losing yet one more wage paying manufacturer.

Plasan Carbon Composites, located in Bennington, will be folding its tents and relocating to Michigan. Its 200 plus employees will face the uncertainties of also relocating or, more likely joining the rolls of the Bennington County unemployed.

More than one excuse is given, including lack of qualified help. The unhospitable business climate of Vermont is charitably not mentioned.

Willem Post
1 year 9 months ago

James,

Carbon fiber costs about $16/lb.
Most of that cost is energy, which is much cheaper in Michigan.
Sayonara Vermont.

1 year 9 months ago
Willem, the significantly larger portion of the carbon panel production costs is the epoxy required to bond the fibers, the kW required to heat it just prior to deposition being a much lesser expense. It would appear from the plasoncarbon.com web site that their intentions from the outset in purchasing the automotive side of the Bennington operations some ten years ago were to move them to Michigan. What was left could not survive on its own, and so will follow to Michigan so that Plasan will no longer need its “vacation home” in Vermont’s abusive tax structure and hostile business… Read more »
Gary Murdock
1 year 9 months ago

It’s a tossup as to what sends the shiver farthest up my spine…this bill or Tony Kleins contemptuous stare.

dan burks
1 year 9 months ago

If you guys think rate payers are being set up for serious financial abuse, consider the current plight of whats left of VT’s energy intensive industry that doesn’t even get to vote….and their employees. Two of the biggest competitive penalties a VT manufacturing firm faces are energy costs and transportation expenses….totally out of hand in comparison to the lower costs enjoyed Midwest and Southern competitors. Its becoming clear that the largest threat to what’s left of VT’s manufacturing industry is VT’s Legislature-in-session. Elections do have consequences.

1 year 9 months ago

Before the US of A even was, a wise Brit once said, “While the Legislature is in session, no man’s purs is safe.”

Linda Baird-White
1 year 9 months ago
FUTURE LEGISLATION – RAM PASSAGE Yikes…. a Disaster in the making. “Changes will be finalized when regulators make planned adjustments to the net-metering law in 2016.” 1. Vermonters have learned (particularly through this administration) that one never assumes assurances with predictions of future legislation. We’ve been left holding an empty bag of promises many times before. “The biggest obstacle has always been ‘Where do we find the money?” Electric customers would pay for thermal efficiency through new fees on their electric bills or through their electric rates. The program will likely increase electric bills in the *short term, (but save… Read more »
Lance Hagen
1 year 9 months ago

This has to be the worst piece of ‘crap’ legislation that I have ever read. It dictates totally unreasonable terms and mandates on utilities and utility customers.

Any legislator that votes for passage on this bill, should definitely be held accountable for their action. I surly hope if this bill ever comes up for a vote, that all the really hard questions are asked and there is a clear understanding of the implications of this bill. As it reads now, I wouldn’t vote ‘for’ this bill.

Willem Post
1 year 9 months ago

Lance,

I was told by a Rep H-40 is a DPS bill aiming to accelerate getting 90% of ALL Vermont’s energy from RE by 2050, not just electrical energy which is only 1/3 of ALL energy.

Klein has to process it through his committee and send it to the House for a rubber stamp vote, as was done with SPEED.

Vermont’s economy will be handicapped for many years, because of babes-in-the-woods energy zealots.

Mark Smith
1 year 9 months ago

“consider that even the most efficient combined cycle Gas Turbine generation is at best only 35-37% efficient”

Sorry but you are incorrect.

http://www.siemens.com/innovation/apps/pof_microsite/_pof-fall-2011/_html_en/combined-cycle-gas-turbines.html

1 year 9 months ago

That really is quite a leap forward.

Improved metallurgy, blade gap variability… A lot has happened in the 20 yr since I was in the field. Not to mention not needing a heat soak. Impressive 30 min. start to load. Yeah, a lot has happened since aeroderivatives were used for peaking. That machine is about ten times the size of the ones my company used.

BTW, don’t be sorry for enlightening the neglectful ignorant.

Willem Post
1 year 9 months ago
Mark, The most efficient CCGTs are 60+% efficient. That means they use 3413/0.60 = 5688 Btu to produce one kWh. Gas bought by utilities under long term contracts is about $4/1,000,000 Btu, so the GAS COST of producing one kWh = 400 cents/1,000,000 x 5688 = 2.27 c/kWh!!! There are other costs, such as for O&M and paying off loans, just as with a car, of about 2 c/kWh, for a total of 4.27 c/kWh. Now you know why New England wholesale prices are about 4.5 to 5 c/kWh. RE zealots at DPS, PSB, Legislature, etc., want to FORCE utilities… Read more »
1 year 9 months ago
As an aside, I noted earlier today that the article went on to say: “Combined cycle power plants in the U.S. currently have an average efficiency of less than 40 percent. If all of these units used the new gas turbine from Siemens, additional electricity equal to that used by 25 million Americans could be generated each year — without causing additional CO2 emissions…” which validates my own statement. When technology is already in place, it behooves the owner/operator to undergo the cost/benefit analysis as well as to follow the post installation histories of new tech before jumping in with… Read more »
Paul Lorenzini
1 year 9 months ago
I am personally so excited and proud to know that our elected MP’s are down there in the statehouse figuring out how to turn VT into a global model of cleanness. We need to stop climate change now! It’s too hot in the summer and to cold in the winter and we need to set an example to the world, through our own self sacrifice, no matter how much it costs the citizens of this green state with a bunch of hills, (greenbacks in industrial wind terms). Don’t worry enlightened legislators, we the exceptionally blessed natives will buck up and… Read more »
Paul Lorenzini
1 year 9 months ago

My comment was pure sarcasm. I hope someone got it.

1 year 9 months ago

Am certain that more than one of us “got it”.

Maybe a young innocent is needed to proclaim that “The Emperor is naked!!”

Currently there seems to be a dearth of “adults” who can see things for what the truly are.

Willem Post
1 year 9 months ago

Paul,

The RE aficionados have the rest of us by the you know what.

Every time we protest, they squeeze.

There seems to be no way out until we elect a new governor, etc., plus a thorough buraucratic housecleaning.

A state spending cut of a flat 20% would be a good start to sunset a whole host of useless, wasteful programs.

Milne should keep is powder dry, be ready for action.

walter moses
1 year 9 months ago

Mr Lorenzini, in my experience with cows, it is not the flatulence that contains the most methane, it’s the burp.

Richard Ratico
1 year 9 months ago

Willem,

Obviously he can’t “keep is powder dry” if he hasn’t got any to start with. See Jeff Danziger’s cartoon on the Digger home page.

Bruce Wilkie
1 year 9 months ago

Rep. Klein and his cohorts are bound and determined to have the highest electric rates in the country. Partner this with the highest property taxes and the highest per pupil education costs and they will drive out whatever large employers that are left in Vermont,

Willem Post
1 year 9 months ago
Bruce, Vermont is trying to outdo Hawaii and Alaska, to be No.1, a “LEADER”, regarding household electric rates by using H-40, a mish-mash of open-ended RE glibberish concocted by DPS behind closed doors, to get to Shumlin’s goal of 90% of ALL energy to be RE by 2050. Not even rich Germany has such an extreme goal. Vermont’s economy has been stuck in low/near-zero growth mode since about 2000, largely because of the wet blanket of unwise, excessive government spending suffocating the shrinking, low/near-zero-profit private sector. In Vermont, the sum of local and state tax burdens, plus government fees, plus… Read more »
Peter Everett
1 year 9 months ago
If government is for it, I’m totally against it. Several reasons: 1. It won’t end up as stated, initially. 2. Cost over runs will be massive, much more than we were told. 3. Has anyone ever an effectively run gov’t program? Me neither. 4. Who will have to pay for the mess gov’t creates? We, the taxpayer. 5. Government truly believes the taxpayer has Deep Pockets. So deep that they continually tell us we must pay for their Boondoggle . They never give us a chance to express our concerns. They are the gov’t, they know what is best. Many,… Read more »
John Greenberg
1 year 9 months ago

“Has anyone ever an effectively run gov’t program? Me neither.” World War II? Moon Landing? Social Security?

Peter Everett
1 year 9 months ago

Vietnam, Iraq, Obaacare, possibly…Isis

Paul Lorenzini
1 year 9 months ago

Global Warming, Obamacare, Stimulus, The War on Terror, The War on Drugs, Welfare,

All benefits to the elite, elite in terms of campaign contributions, thanks to Wall Street investment.

John Greenberg
1 year 9 months ago

Peter Everett:

The fact that there are some government programs which are NOT run effectively does not imply that there are none that are. Your logic is wrong.

Peter Everett
1 year 9 months ago
To each their own. My trust in government is not very strong. I’m sure that there are many who feel the same way. I’m sick and tired of being lied to by self serving politicians. Hopefully, some day we will rid ourselves of career politicians who can be replaced with statesmen. You know, those who think of state/country before their political aspirations. Until such time, believe me, my trust in the system is close to zero. Try to look at both sides of an issue, instead of just one side. You may begin to have some distrust, like many of… Read more »
Paul Lorenzini
1 year 9 months ago

Do not apologize. Continue to speak freely. PLEASE!!!!!!!!

John Greenberg
1 year 9 months ago

You’ve put a lot of words in my mouth here. None of the things you claim I said or advocate are things I actually said or advocate. I’ll leave it at that and let my comments speak for themselves.

Peter Everett
1 year 9 months ago
I didn’t not put words in your mouth. Your views are fine, you should stand by them. I stand by mine, which have been derived over many years. What once made this country strong was the ability to share different points of view without the ridicule of those who disagree. If we can’t get back to doing so, soon, we certainly may see the demise of what we have had. My age tells me I may be fortunate not to see the total collapse, yet, I will see the journey that leads to it. What is left to my/ your… Read more »
David Dempsey
1 year 9 months ago

Amen

John Greenberg
1 year 9 months ago
Peter Everett: “I didn’t not put words in your mouth.” There are many instances where you did precisely that. Here’s just one: “Obviously, you, like many don’t think they should be held accountable. Like others, you, keep putting them back in office.” Where did I say or imply that I don’t think politicians should be held accountable? How do you know whether I vote to “keep putting them back in office” or not? Reread your “diatribe” (your word, but accurate) above and you’ll find there are many views which you ascribe to me. I venture to say none of them… Read more »
1 year 9 months ago

“Life is like a box o’ choklits…”

Cordially, Forrest

Paul Lorenzini
1 year 9 months ago

Science is most often true, until politicians buy it.

Jonathan Teller-Elsberg
1 year 9 months ago

Correction: the alternative compliance fees are 1 cent/kWh for Tier 1 (not the reported 0.01 cents), and 6 cents/kWh for both Tier 2 and Tier 3 (not the reported 0.06 cents and 0.07 cents respectively). These numbers come from version 3.1 of the bill at http://legislature.vermont.gov/assets/Documents/2016/WorkGroups/House%20Natural%20Resources/Bills/H.40/Draft,%20Summaries%20and%20Amendments/H.40~Aaron%20Adler~Draft%20No.%203.1%20(2-50pm),%202-13-2015~2-17-2015.pdf.

Paul Lorenzini
1 year 9 months ago

How do you plan to capitalize on those facts Jonathan?

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