Poll finds support for carbon tax, other climate change steps

Tom Hughes
Tom Hughes, of Energy Independent Vermont, speaks at a Statehouse news conference Thursday morning. Photo by Mike Polhamus/VTDigger
Nearly two-thirds of Vermonters believe the climate is changing because of human activity, and at least as many support various programs meant to limit humans’ contribution, according to a recent poll funded by a coalition of environmental advocates.

Although 81 percent of Vermonters believe the Earth’s climate is changing, only 63 percent agree with the current broad scientific consensus that humans caused that change, according to the poll. Still, 78 percent of Vermonters would like to see the state obtain 90 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2050, and 75 percent support the state’s efforts to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, the results suggest.

Vermonters by a 2-to-1 margin said they’re more likely to vote for candidates in whose campaigns these issues play a central role.

These and other figures were released Thursday morning by Tom Hughes of Energy Independent Vermont, a coalition that includes the Conservation Law Foundation, the Vermont Public Interest Research Group, the Vermont Natural Resources Council, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility and others.

About two-thirds of the state’s residents support putting a new tax on oil, gas and other fossil fuels as long as it is paired with tax cuts in other areas and rebates for low-income Vermonters, Hughes said. Often known as a carbon tax, this idea found support from a minority of gubernatorial candidates.

Democrats Sue Minter and Peter Galbraith said they would back such a tax in Vermont, but only if other states in the region followed suit. Minter and fellow Democrat Matt Dunne said they’d prefer to see what Minter called a “cap and invest” strategy and what Dunne called a “cap and trade” approach.

All three Democrats said Vermonters must invest in energy efficiency and conservation measures, which Galbraith said would achieve 10 times the carbon reduction per dollar than an equivalent investment in any new source of energy generation.

Neither Lisman nor Scott returned multiple calls for comment Thursday about the environmental issues addressed in the poll.

Scott’s communications director, Ethan Latour, said his candidate “believes in science, he believes climate change is real, and he believes human activity is a contributing factor.”

Latour said he couldn’t expand on how Scott believes humans contribute to the phenomenon without more information from the candidate, who he said wasn’t available.

Scott has said in the past that he doesn’t support a tax on carbon pollution, Latour said, because it would make Vermont less affordable.

Environmental advocates have offered two pieces of legislation in the last year to tax carbon pollution, which they say would replace existing taxes and distribute revenue to lower-income Vermonters to avoid adding to their tax burden.

The poll results came from 600 Vermonters who said they’re likely to vote, and it was conducted between June 26 and 29 by Fairbanks, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates.

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  • Lydia Cale

    They refused to release their methodology or the complete results. Can you spell “fraud”?

    • Neil Johnson

      It’s propaganda to print it. Who do you think pays the bills at “news organizations”?

    • Willem Post


      Based on the likes and dislikes regarding the comments on this article, the overwhelming MAJORITY of VTDigger readers is critical of the way RE is practiced by cliques of insiders in Vermont. Hopefully, that becomes less when “I have a dream” Shumlin, and others, are voted out and gone.

      Vermont’s whole RE set-up would evaporate, if the excessive federal subsidies were eliminated. Such excessive subsidies benefit a few, but subvert Vermont’s economy and the way of life of the many.

      A $500 million ANNUAL carbon tax (by 2025) would hugely increase the power and legislative sway of these cliques of insiders.

      They would have much more money “to play with”, all in the name of saving the world, Vermont being a leader, and other such malarkey.

      Of all the political entities in the world, an extremely tiny percentage has:

      – A 90% RE goal of ALL energy, not just electrical energy which is only 35% of all energy.

      – A “revenue neutral” carbon tax. In practice, “revenue neutral” means money gets taken from your pocket and put into someone else’s pocket, after fat “management fees” are deducted.

      Vermont has far too much government as it is.

      In fact, Vermont’s near-zero, real-growth economy, since about 2006, has trouble coughing up more and more taxes, fees and surcharges, each year, to support the out-of-control spending habits of its overgrown and bloated government.

      Here is a study ranking Vermont being the THIRD HIGHEST TAXED in the US, and that study does not count hidden and not so hidden feea and surcharges!


    • Alan Johnson

      Lydia, I’m very concerned about this, but I can’t find anything here that suggests they refuse to release their methodology or the complete results except your comment. Has some one asked them to release it?

  • Elizabeth Parker

    I am encouraged to see the results of this poll on energy use. 78% of Vermonters want to see 90% of Vermont’s energy coming from renewable sources by 2050. Our economy is being hemorrhaged by payments for fossil fuel to the tune of $1billion+ a year to out of state fuel suppliers. Funding the transition from fossil fuel to renewables is one of our most important economic and environmental priorities for our legislature in the next session. I support a carbon pollution tax with a sliding scale so that the 25% of Vermonters who earn under 125% of the poverty level will not suffer from a regressive tax. There are ways to provide rebates or other solutions. Funds raised from the tax will go a long way toward funding low income Weatherization, better heating options and public transportation. I ask all our legislators to make the carbon pollution tax their priority.

    • John Freitag

      A stand alone carbon tax in Vermont is unworkable and beyond the capacity of our State Government who after millions upon millions of dollars and years of effort can not get Vermont Health Connects to work properly or be able to audit and detect fraud in the oversight of our EB-5 programs. If people want to try to go it alone, a pilot program that puts a carbon tax on airline tickets would be a good step. Airline travel has a huge carbon impact and is, for the most part, discretionary or by those who can afford it. Unfortunately, I am afraid like other carbon tax ideas unless instituted nationally people will start avoiding Vermont. Air travelers will tend to gravitate to Plattsburgh and other out of state airports rather than pay the additional costs of a carbon tax.

    • No thanks. Pure income redistribution with the government skimming 10% off to “fund” itself. It will not work.

      • We need to do something. Burning fossil fuels has raised atmospheric CO2 levels 33% higher than any time in the past 800,000 years. In the last 180 years, global average annual temperatures have risen faster than any time in the last 11,000 years. See for yourself at https://goo.gl/DmL3lD and https://goo.gl/sQsrAQ.

        We need a suite of policies and programs to accelerate the transformation of our energy system away from fossil fuels and to carbon-free energy. A carbon tax is one part of that suite. It can help finance adoption of low-carbon alternatives. It can fund development of low-cost, low-carbon alternatives that the private sector will not develop. It can fund programs to help all Vermonters, especially low-income and rural Vermonters, determine how to cost-effectively reduce their carbon footprints. Lacking a carbon tax to fund and motivate the transformation of our energy system, the transition will take longer, cost more and leave us with a less livable world.

  • George Plumb

    Great to read that about two-thirds of Vermonters support a tax on carbon pollution! It will provide an incentive to reduce our carbon footprint and benefit Vermont’s economy.

  • I recorded the press conference if anyone would like to see the results.


  • I posted the video I shot of the press conference here http://bobthegreenguy.com/eiv-survey-results/

  • Bob Atchinson

    Dear Energy Independent Vermont Coalition,

    Please count me among the majority of Vermonters who believes that our planet is in a dire situation, and that by reducing our need for excess energy, particularly in the housing and transportation sector, we can then leave the remaining fossil fuels in the ground, and mitigate climate change This opens the door for cleaner, greener energy production, and gives us a slim but positive chance of saving our Planet Earth for ourselves and our children.

    • Kim Fried

      Bob, you miss the point completely, these folks want huge destructive ridge line industrial wind development and industrial solar, wherever they can get it, as fast as they can get it, to hell with the environment, wildlife and neighbors. “Destroy to save” is their true motto not to mention the obscene profits, please don’t forget that Bob.
      As for the grand children be prepared to take them to the Gramby Zoo, to another state to see unmolested mountains, and you should start feeling badly about Vermonters who’s lives will be destroyed that have to live next to these industrial developments, that is if you care.

      • Alan Johnson

        Kim, I assume by “these folks” you are referring to Energy Independent Vermont (EIV)? If so, it should be noted that Vermont Natural Resources Counsel (VNRC) is one of the primary contributors to EIV. VNRC works tirelessly to protect our natural environment and have directly fought some renewable projects because of the exact concerns you site. It would seem that you are very upset about something you don’t understand very well, though it is hard for me to be sure due to the ambiguity in your comments.

    • James Rude

      I think Mr. Carlin summed it up pretty well regarding people ruining the planet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7W33HRc1A6c

  • Willem Post


    Here are some numbers mentioned in prior VTDigger articles regarding the proposed Carbon Tax.

    Vermont’s Comprehensive Energy Plan, CEP, has a goal of 90 percent of all of Vermont’s energy (not just electrical energy, which is only about 35 percent of all energy) from mostly homegrown, renewables by 2050. A very tiny percentage of political entities in the world have such an extreme goal. In 2015:

    – World CO2 emissions were about 38,000 million metric ton.
    – Vermont emitted about 8.3 million metric ton, of which about 70% from buildings and transportation.
    – If Vermont were to disappear, it would make no difference.

    The proposed Carbon Tax, which would:

    – Apply to gasoline, diesel, etc., for vehicles, and to heating oil, propane, natural gas, etc., for space heating, cooking, domestic hot water, etc.
    – Impose a $10 per ton tax of carbon emitted in 2017, increasing to $100 per ton in 2027 and beyond.
    – Generate about $100 million in state revenue in 2019, increasing to about $500 million in 2027 and beyond.
    – Be added to the prices of gas stations and of fuel oil distributors.
    – Increase the prices of other goods and services would increase, making Vermont’s near-zero, real-growth economy even less competitive.

    Drivers could expect a 9-cent tax increase on a gallon of gasoline in 2017, increasing to about 89 cents per gallon in 2027 and beyond.

    Homeowners, schools, hospitals, businesses, etc., could expect a 58-cent tax on a gallon of propane and $1.02 on a gallon of heating oil and diesel fuel in 2027 and beyond.

    A typical household with two wage earners, two cars, and a freestanding house would pay about $979 in additional taxes on 1,100 gallon of gasoline, plus about $816 in additional taxes on 800 gallon of heating fuel, for a total of about $1,795 in 2027.

    The much ballyhooed proposed “offset”, i.e., reducing the state sales tax from 6 to 5 percent would save that household about $200 in sales taxes, for a NET TAX INCREASE of $1,595 in 2027 and beyond.

    The remaining carbon tax of $460 million ($500 million, less $40 million in sales tax reduction) would be used on various “worthy” programs and projects, as determined by legislators and various RE special interests*.

    The carbon tax would cause an orgy of feasting of unprecedented proportions, as it would be used to subsidize:

    – The building of wind and solar systems on at least 100 miles of pristine ridgelines and many square miles of fertile meadows. Such systems produce variable, intermittent, weather-dependent, energy at 2-3 times wholesale prices (subsidized) and 3-5 times wholesale prices (unsubsidized). New England wholesale prices have averaged about 5 cent per kilowatt-hour for the past five years, due to an abundance of nearby, domestic, low-cost, low-CO2-emitting natural gas.
    – The weatherizing of buildings of low-income households and providing them with PV systems and heat pumps; likely a major benefit for rental property owners.
    – The purchase of electric, plug-in, light duty vehicles (cars, SUVs, minivans, 1/4-ton pick-ups) and installing charging stations everywhere.
    – Whatever other programs and projects legislators and RE special interests desire.

    *Energy Independent Vermont, a coalition that includes:

    – The Conservation Law Foundation
    – The Vermont Public Interest Research Group
    – The Vermont Natural Resources Council
    – Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility

  • Tom Sullivan

    “Scott has said in the past that he doesn’t support a tax on carbon pollution, Latour said, because it would make Vermont less affordable”

    Thank You Phil Scott

    • John McClaughry

      Bruce Lisman called the idea “insane”, which goes well beyond Scott’s (typically) cautious demurring voice.

    • Peter Everett

      It would “make Vermont less affordable”? I know that this sounds strange, but, is Vermont affordable now? Just this morning I read that Vermont ranks 50th (50 states and D.C.) out of 51 for seniors. The only place less affordable is Hawaii.
      So, if the state wants to pay my way out of the state, I’m more than willing to leave to greener pastures. I can’t afford the expense as I, too, am a senior citizen caught in the “Progressive Trap” of taxing everything, any time anywhere to fix problems they have created through the overspending of their social programs. The intent may be all well and good, but, as all Progressive programs they can never be self sustaining. They constantly need more funds, just to stay even. Taxpayers can continue to fund the programs. As Margaret Thatcher said, “socialism works until the people paying for it run out of money”. I’m just about out right now. Try to get blood out of a stone….it ain’t going to happen!!! Politicians…face facts, you’re destroying this state, plain and simple. Beautiful state to visit, god awful state to try to live.

      • Ed Brault

        My wife and I hit the “affordability tipping point” four years ago when I retired. We put our So. Burlington condo on the market, and two years later, it finally sold. We headed for South Carolina, and are very happy down here, and have found a literal enclave of expatriate Vermonters living here in the Charleston area.

        • Tom Sullivan

          Hey Ed,
          We’re beginning to have the “where do we want to retire” discussion ourselves. My question is:

          Do you blame progressives for not being able to retire in Vermont?
          Also, what would it take for your family and fellow Vermont expatriates to relocate back to Vermont? Thanks…….

  • Tom Sullivan

    “Woolf says that for businesses that plan around the cost of energy, a carbon tax could make Vermont an unappealing location to do business”

    “And for individuals looking for a place to settle, Woolf says, a carbon tax would make it hard for Vermont to compete. Dr. Art Woolf, professor of economics at the University of Vermont

  • Are these carbon taxers willing to charge a carbon tax on all the non-renewable resources it takes to build their wind towers, their solar arrays, and their Priuses? All of these consume non-renewable resources just so the consumer using the end product can self righteously brag, “Look at me, you peons! I’m an environmentalist, so you must pay for me twice!”

    • John Greenberg

      Clara Schoppe:
      “Are these carbon taxers willing to charge a carbon tax on all the non-renewable resources it takes to build their wind towers, their solar arrays, and their Priuses?”

      I can only speak as one carbon taxer, but my answer is: yes, of course. How would you exempt them? WHY would you exempt them?

      • To which I will add a second ‘yes.’

  • Paul Lefebvre

    Do any of the 600 Vermonters who responded to the poll live in the country? A carbon tax will hit rural Vermont the hardest because there is no available public transportation and, whether we’re working, shopping or playing, we get there by driving our own cars. Of course we could move and live in “growth centers,” but that’s not what attracted many of us to make our homes in Vermont

    Paul Lefebvre

    • David T Gross

      Paul, damn fine point! I would expect nothing less from you. You are obviously allowing your background as a journalist to influence your opinion with those pesky things called facts and figures. As you well know, I am not a big fan of your party affiliation, but this is a perfect example of where any sane person can agree that the State is not looking in the right area for a solution. Public transportation works, and returns benefits to the community many times beyond its operational costs. Thank you for advocating this position in Montpelier!

    • Jessie McIndoe

      Rep. Lefebvre, you are quite right. I believe it was the megalomaniac David Blittersdorf who has decided that no one (except himself of course) should have the right to live on a ten acre lot along a Vermont dirt road. Blittersdorf expects we little useless eaters to live in identical, windowless concrete boxes in filthy cities like Burlington while he pastes junk wind turbines and ridiculous solar panels all over the countryside:


      This is what these carbon-taxers and green scam supporters really want…until it comes time for them to get shoved into a little concrete box.

  • This is good news for Vermont. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get rid of our fossil fuel usage any smart way we can.

    • fred moss

      Did Hillary Clinton run this Poll. I believe this like I believe she is not lying.

      I suggest anyone who feels we need to pay more in taxes start doing that NOW. You can send in more taxes then required at any time.

      The comments about not using fossil fuels is ridiculous. Really people, grow up. You probably used 50 products derived from fossil fuels before you walked out of your house.

      • John Greenberg

        Fred Moss writes: “You probably used 50 products derived from fossil fuels before you walked out of your house.”

        There is clearly no question that we live in a culture which had depended heavily on fossil fuels for more than a century. Conceding that fact does not imply that we should continue to do so, especially in the face of increasing evidence – not only from climate change scientists – that such use is harmful both to the planet as a whole and to all human populations in particular.

        The essential idea behind carbon taxes effectively acknowledges the very reality Mr. Moss is highlighting. There would be far less need to tax carbon if we were already using fossil fuels sparingly. The whole point of carbon taxes is to change consumer (and thereby producer) behavior. Change won’t happen all at once: some products are harder to replace than others. Carbon taxes provide one economic incentive to make these changes happen sooner than they would if no tax were imposed.

        In other words, far from being the impediment to carbon taxation that Mr. Moss insinuates, the fact that fossil fuels are omnipresent is actually the prime motivator. If we are to continue to inhabit this planet, we need to change our lifestyles; carbon taxes provide one inducement to do just that.

        • fred moss

          Carbon taxes are not going to change behavior. The 20 year old with 6 electronic devices and a Bernie sticker on their car will just pay more for each device. They probably will not even pay the cost because of social engineering by one party. The point of a carbon tax is power and greed by a select group of people/politicians. The Champlain valley was carved by glaciers, those glaciers didn’t melt because of fossil fuel use, they melted because of cycles the planet experiences. You could put man kind back in the dark ages and have no measurable effect on the planet.

          • John Greenberg

            Fred Moss:

            “Carbon taxes are not going to change behavior.” Why not? Are you suggesting that unlike everything else in economics, the price of fossil fuel has no impact on its consumption? On what basis? Suffice it to say that this is a novel theory, totally unsupported by decades of factual evidence.

            As to your comments about climate change, if the overwhelming consensus of reputable scientists doesn’t lead you to believe in anthropogenic global warming, I see no point in trying.

          • fred moss

            Overwhelming consensus?? Please tell me you are not referring to the 97% of the world’s scientist study?? Really??

            Why did the glaciers that carved the Champlain Valley melt again??

    • Willem Post


      Almost everything manmade that surrounds us was made with fossil fuels during the past 150 years.

      Where would asphalt come from? Back to dirt roads?

      Without economically viable energy storage, which has not yet been invented, nor deployed, variable, intermittent wind and solar energy are useless.

      In the world, about 80% of ALL energy, not just electrical energy, which is only about 35% of all energy, is from fossil fuels. The world uses 8000 million metric ton of coal per year, of which China uses about 4000 million metric ton.

      Whatever Vermont does is just a drop of water on a hot plate.

      Vermont would be much better off to concentrate on energy efficiency, and let China, etc., concentrate on reducing coal consumption.

      Increased EE would REDUCE the energy bills of already-struggling Vermont households and businesses trying to make ends meet in Vermont’s near-zero, real-growth economy.

      • John Greenberg

        Willem Post:

        “Without economically viable energy storage, which has not yet been invented, nor deployed, variable, intermittent wind and solar energy are useless.”

        That’s not even close to being true, Willem, and you know it. Even though “economically viable energy storage … has not yet been invented,” countries all over Europe are now getting significant portions of their electricity from “useless” “intermittent wind and solar energy.”

        • Willem Post


          The OTHER generators, most likely fossil fuel fired, that do the peaking, filling and balancing are REQUIRED to make useful variable, intermittent wind and solar energy.

          Without these OTHER generators that wind and solar energy would be useless, unless massive, economically viable energy storage systems were available, but, as I mentioned, that has not been invented, nor deployed.

          • John Greenberg


            Your reply is an effective acknowledgement that your original post was simply wrong. You now admit that storage which hasn’t been invented is NOT the only way to make intermittent wind and solar generation useful, since “OTHER generators, most likely fossil fuel fired, that do the peaking, filling and balancing are REQUIRED to make useful variable, intermittent wind and solar energy.” That, I suppose, should count as progress.

            Your new claim uses the hedge words “most likely” to modify “fossil fuel,” since you are also well aware that hydro can also be used to “do the peaking, filling and balancing.” Indeed, you’ve said so yourself, incorrectly, as it turns out, in referring to imported hydro power from HQ. So, in instances where there is a lot of hydro power within a grid’s area, hydro is one non-fossil fuel possibility. Geothermal power, where available, is another. Pumped hydro, a third. My list doesn’t purport to be exhaustive.

            Finally, your new claim fails to acknowledge that backup power resources are needed on ANY grid. Indeed, that’s why there are fossil fuel peaking plants in New England in the first place. Fifteen or twenty years ago, there were virtually no renewables generators of any scale in New England, but there were peaking plants and pumped hydro storage.

            In sum, taken as a whole, your statement is simply misleading: solar and wind generation are perfectly usable on many grids and in many situations WITHOUT utility-scale storage, which is precisely why they are taking on greater roles in many countries with the resources and the foresight to employ them. Moreover, utility-scale storage does exist and is in use, and there are certainly plenty of forecasters who believe the prices will decline significantly in coming years.

            It never ceases to amaze me how short-sighted the Vermont opponents of these resources are: while the rest of the world is investing billions (trillions?) of dollars of new capital to grow these resources, Vermont opponent complain that they are “useless.”

          • Willem Post


            “Without economically viable energy storage, which has not yet been invented, nor deployed, variable, intermittent wind and solar energy are useless.”

            In the vast majority of the world’s geographical areas, hydro plants are NOT available, but fossil fuel plants are available to perform peaking, filling-in and balancing services. Without the fossil fuel plants, wind and solar energy would be useless, could not be used on the grid.

            There are people who want to do away with fossil fuel plants, but that cannot happen in the vast majority of world’s geographical areas, unless massive, economically viable, energy storage systems are invented and deployed.

            If the world were to close down its gas, oil and coal plants, the capacity of the remaining generating plants would not be sufficient for peaking, filling and balancing larger quantities of wind and solar energy. Massive, economically viable energy storage systems would be needed to provide additional peaking and filling-in services.

          • John Greenberg

            Willem Post:

            “In the vast majority of the world’s geographical areas, hydro plants are NOT available, but fossil fuel plants are available….”

            First, please present some evidence for that statement. As I think of at least several of the countries which have made the most progress with wind and solar photovoltaic resources – e.g., China, Denmark, Spain, and Portugal – they all have sizable renewable backup resources available in their “geographical area.”

            There may well be some geographical areas which have few easily exploited natural resources for renewably generated backup power, but I very much doubt it’s the “vast majority of the world’s geographical areas.”

            Second, as noted above, hydro is not the only non-fossil resource and utility-scale battery development is well underway.

            Third, the world is obviously making a transition from fossil fuels – which have been used for the last century or so – to other resources. So, as you note, fossil fuel plants ARE available, and, in fact, being used for backup.

            Your comment ignores the fact that it’s BURNING FUEL that produces pollution (including, but not limited to, greenhouse gases), not the existence of fossil fuel power plants per se. When a substantial quantity of renewable power comes on line, some of the existing fossil fuel plants are no longer needed and can shut down; others may simply burn less fuel than they would have without the renewable power. In consequence, the environment is substantially improved by building and running intermittent renewable plants, even if backup power is coming from fossil fuels.

            If, at some future point, fossil fuel backup power can be economically replaced by renewable backup resources or batteries, so much the better.

            “If the world were to close down its gas, oil and coal plants, the capacity of the remaining generating plants ….”

            There’s an apt Israeli saying: “If grandmother had wheels, she’d be a bus.”

            The world is not going to shut down its fossil fuel plants until it’s prepared to replace them with alternative sources. That’s hardly rocket science, Willem.

            Finally, it’s worth pointing out that I haven’t said anything here that you don’t already know, so it’s again noteworthy that you choose to try to mislead readers who may have less of a grasp of these issues. Is there any other plausible explanation for your actions?

          • Doug Hoffer

            “In the vast majority of the world’s geographical areas, hydro plants are NOT available.”

            Not true. Not even close. Hydro resources are available in almost every country in the world. In most, hydro resources are a substantial percentage of total generation.

            Percent of total electric generation from hydro.
            56% Central & South America
            17% Europe
            16% Africa
            15% Asia & Oceania
            13% North America

            The only area really shortchanged on hydro resources is the Middle East at 2%.

          • Willem Post


            Thank you for your comment.

            For hydro plants to be available for providing peaking and filling-in services to other grids, they must have large storage reservoirs.

            Then they could be connected to grids that have insufficient hydro plant capacity, so they can provide energy services to these grids.

            Europe is slowly connecting national electric grids into a larger grid that would serve the continent.

            Within Germany, the North grid is very weakly connected to the South grid and building HVDC lines has been delayed by at least 10 years, due to NIMBY and high costs.

            BTW, run of river plants are largely unsuitable to provide these services on a year-round basis.

            The other areas you mention are much less connected than Europe.

            That means in the vast majority of the world’s geographical areas, hydro plants are available to perform services for their own grids, but not for other grids, because they are not connected to them.

        • Willem Post


          Wind and PV solar energy are weather-dependent, variable and intermittent, i.e., therefore are not steady, high-quality, dispatchable, 24/7/365 energy sources.

          In New England, Germany, etc.:

          – Wind energy is near zero at least 25% of the hours of the year (it takes a wind speed of about 7 mph to start the rotors), minimal most early mornings and most late afternoons. About 70% of annual wind energy is generated during October – April, and about 30% during May – September.

          – PV Solar energy is zero about 65% of the hours of the year, minimal early mornings and late afternoons, minimal much of the winter, and near-zero with snow and ice on the panels. However, in the US southwest, CSP with at least 10 hours of storage provides steady, high-quality, dispatchable, 24/7/365 energy.

          – New England has poor winter conditions for PV solar energy, due to snow, icing and clouds. Monthly min/max PV solar ratios are about 1/4. On a daily basis, the worst winter day is as low as 1/25 of the best summer day.

          – Often both, wind and PV solar, are simultaneously at near-zero levels during many hours of the year. See URL, click on Renewables. In the Fuel Mix Chart you see the instantaneous wind and PV solar %.

          – Germany has very poor winter conditions for PV solar energy, due to fog, snow, icing and clouds. Monthly min/max PV solar ratios were 1/14.9, 1/12.4, and 1/8.8 for 2013, 2014, and 2015, respectively.

          That means, in New England, Germany, etc., without adequate and economically viable energy storage systems, almost ALL other existing generators must be kept in good running order, staffed, fueled, and ready to provide steady, high-quality, dispatchable, 24/7/365 energy. At higher wind energy percentages, a greater capacity of flexible, mostly gas-fired, generators would be required to operate at part load, and ramp up and down, which is inefficient (more Btu/kWh, more CO2/kWh) to provide energy for peaking, filling-in and balancing the variable PV solar and wind energy.

          In New England, as an alternative, the hydro plants of Canada could be used for near-CO2-free peaking, and filling-in, but that would require several 1000 – 1500 MW HVDC transmission lines (underwater, overhead or underground).

          However, Canada, our friend and ally, could do much more than that. It has huge quantities of EXCESS hydro energy, which it is EAGER to sell to New England.

          As a result, New England would not need to spend tens of billions of dollars and desecrate hundreds of miles of pristine ridgelines and many square miles of fertile meadows and its ambiance with thousands of 500-ft tall, noisy, wind turbines and solar PV panels; the wind turbines often imported, the solar PV panels often made in China with energy from dirty, inefficient coal plants.

          • Willem Post


            Norway generates 98% of its electrical energy with hydro plants, which also perform peaking, filling-in and balancing services for Norway.
            When it is windy in Denmark, it generates excess variable wind energy which is sent to Norway; its hydro plants modulate water flow through turbines to absorb the variable energy.
            BTW, when it is windy in Denmark, it also is windy in the Netherlands and Germany and these countries also send their excess variable wind energy to Norway.
            When it is not windy in Denmark, it generates insufficient wind energy. It makes up the shortfall by importing hydro energy from Norway.
            Denmark wants to minimize the use of CO2 producing gas turbines and coal plants.
            The energy from Norway is not constant, but slowly varies up and down with demand in Denmark. Any fine-tuning regarding frequency and voltage is done by Danish generators.
            This Norway-Denmark setup has been working for about 40 years.

            A set-up similar could work between New England and Quebec.
            Quebec already exports large quantities of hydro energy to New England and New York State.
            The FERC likely is fully aware of that set-up.
            The FERC likely would be fully aware regarding any future increased energy flows.

            Here is a new development regarding increased energy flows you may have missed:

            The heads of state from Canada, Mexico and the United States announced a historic partnership last week that aims to have 50% of all North American energy come from clean generation (renewables, hydro, nuclear) by 2025. This requires:

            – Collaborating on cross-border transmission projects, including for renewable energy. At least six transmission lines currently proposed or in permitting review, such as the Great North Transmission Line, the New England Clean Power Link, and the Nogales Interconnection, would add approximately 5,000 MW of new cross-border transmission capacity.
            – Conducting a joint study on the opportunities and impacts of adding more renewables to the power grid on a North American basis.
            – Canada generation is about 81% clean (renewable, hydro, nuclear)
            – US generation is about 33% clean (renewable, hydro, nuclear)
            – Mexico generation is about 25% clean (renewable, hydro, nuclear)

            It looks like the power experts in Canada, the US and Mexico would like to see more cross-border energy. That energy likely will come from Canada. Any detailed, technical co-ordination issues between grids will be solved as needed.


            BTW, H-Q already has available, right now, at least 5000 MW of hydro capacity, and is building about 5000 MW of additional capacity during the next 10 years.

            BTW, GMP is still refusing to use 200 MW of reserved capacity, which likely will be available about the end of 2018.

          • John Greenberg

            Willem Post:

            Thank you for making my point in your own words.

            “Norway generates 98% of its electrical energy with hydro plants, which also perform peaking, filling-in and balancing services for Norway.
            When it is windy in Denmark, it generates excess variable wind energy which is sent to Norway; its hydro plants modulate water flow through turbines to absorb the variable energy.
            BTW, when it is windy in Denmark, it also is windy in the Netherlands and Germany and these countries also send their excess variable wind energy to Norway.
            When it is not windy in Denmark, it generates insufficient wind energy. It makes up the shortfall by importing hydro energy from Norway.”

            You’ve just provided an excellent example of how intermittent wind and solar generation can be used with backup services provided by hydro rather than fossil fuel resources and WITHOUT energy storage. Last year, wind furnished roughly 40% of Denmark’s power; renewables (largely PV solar) generated 30% of Germany’s consumption.

            Given that none of this is new to you, why would write a sentence like this one: “Without economically viable energy storage, which has not yet been invented, nor deployed, variable, intermittent wind and solar energy are useless,” knowing full well that the facts have shown otherwise, as you point out “for about 40 years?”

            Can there be any motivation other than deception? If so, please explain it.

          • Willem Post


            Germany has very little hydro capacity to balance its very large quantities of wind and solar energy, so it sends some of its excess energy, via Denmark, to Norway.

            The rest of that excess is sent to Poland, the Netherlands, France, Czech Republic, etc., for balancing by THEIR generators.

            When there is little wind (about 30% of the hours of the year) and minimal or zero solar (about 75% of the hours of the year), Germany imports from these areas.

            When Germany exports it usually is at low wholesale prices.
            When Germany imports it usually is at high wholesale prices.

            These nearby countries make a profit doing energy trades with Germany.

            Your statement: “You’ve just provided an excellent example of how intermittent wind and solar generation can be used with backup services provided by hydro rather than fossil fuel resources and WITHOUT energy storage.”

            Hydro plants are best for CO2-free balancing wind and solar energy. Norway has large reservoirs with water which provide YEAR-ROUND STORAGE for its hydro plants.

            Balancing with run of river plants, on a year-round basis, is limited, because higher flows occur only a few months of the year.

            BTW, Hydro-Quebec also has large storage reservoirs, so it could provide YEAR-ROUND CO2-free balancing for New England, just as Norway does for other countries.

            That way New England does not need to use its CO2-producing gas turbines for balancing.

            H-Q can much more than balancing, because H-Q already has available, right now, at least 5000 MW of hydro capacity, and is building about 5000 MW of additional capacity during the next 10 years.

            BTW, GMP is still refusing to use 200 MW of reserved capacity of the APPROVED, Blackstone-owned, 1000 MW HVDC line, which likely will be available about the end of 2018.

          • John Greenberg

            Willem Post:

            So intermittent renewables CAN AND DO work without fossil-fuel backup and you even provide examples. So why did you deny it in the first place?

          • Willem Post


            All over the world, fossil fuel plants are used to make wind and solar energy useful.

            There are folks who want to do away with FF plants.

            That would leave:

            – Hydro with large STORAGE reservoirs*, as in Norway and H-Q.

            – Concentrated Solar Power, CSP, with at least 10 hours of STORAGE, as in the US southwest.

            – Energy STORAGE systems, as with batteries.

            – Plus flywheels, compressed air storage, etc.

            * Run of river hydro plants typically are unsuitable for year-round peaking, filling-in and balancing, because of insufficient flow for most of the year.

            Hydro with large reservoirs is by far the lowest cost and cleanest (least CO2, etc.) for making wind and solar energy useful.

            New England is very lucky to have NEARBY H-Q with large excess hydro plant capacity.

            Just as Norway performs for Denmark, H-Q could perform for NE.

            However, Norway does not have 10,000 MW of hydro plants available and being built duringthe next 10 years, so H-Q can do much more than Norway, i.e., also SUPPLY energy that is low-cost, clean, renewable, STEADY, dispatchable, 24/7/365, year after year, under long-term contracts.

          • Willem Post


            Your denigrating statements do not enlighten anybody, and are a poor way to make any argument.

            If you have such superior knowledge about grid operations, please display it.

    • Kim Fried

      And while we’re at it get rid of wildlife, mountain tops and Vermont citizen’s quality of life. Islene look around and it’s not hard to see that these out of state, out of country and a few Vermonter developers don’t care about a “smart way”, they care only about their PR programs and their fat wallets.

      • John Greenberg

        Kim Fried:

        The pollution from burning fossil fuels impacts “wildlife” and “Vermont citizen’s quality of life” a good deal more than renewable power projects and energy efficiency do. Odd that you never express the slightest concern about that.

        • Kim Fried

          In your opinion only. Destroying to save is your solution and you are correct I won’t have any thing to do with this insane strategy.

          • John Greenberg

            Kim Fried:

            It’s not my “opinion” that pollution from burning fossil fuels has major impacts; there are numerous scientific studies making precisely that point. Indeed, according to tonight’s “Marketplace,” (http://www.marketplace.org/) another such report came out just today.

            It’s also not my “opinion” that this pollution kills more wildlife and impacts humans more than the negative effects attributed to wind and solar projects. Again, there’s a literature out there of peer-reviewed studies reaching precisely that conclusion. In previous comments here, I’ve cited them and will be happy to do so again if that’s really necessary.

            Finally, I said nothing whatever about “destroying to save.” Not only are those your words rather than mine, but nothing I’ve said comes close to suggesting any such strategy.

            Here’s the simple truth, Mr. Fried. As long as you’re using fossil fuels while you’re opposing renewable power development, you’re contributing to the pollution these fuels cause. You’re destroying. Period. No saving.

            Since you obviously believe that large scale renewables projects are too destructive to deserve your support, if you want to stop destroying you have two choices: 1) find a less destructive means to generate power than EITHER fossil fuels OR large-scale renewables or 2) stop using power.

            The salient fact is that after dozens of comments, your “solution” remains a mystery. Meanwhile, the pollution from fossil fuels continues to accumulate and to kill.

  • Future poll`s should define the area polled to show that the entire state is fairly represented.?

  • A poll initiated by independent Energy Vermont produces results that totally supports the agenda they’re pushing………how surprising.

    What would Independent Energy Vermont think and say if tomorrow the news was Exxon Mobile had released poll results indicating that Vermonters opposed a carbon tax?

    The only appropriate place for the results of this poll is with the Castleton poll results of a couple years ago that indicated that Vermonters heavily favored industrial wind developments in their communities. We now know what absolute junk that particular Castleton poll represented, yet it was endlessly pushed by VPRIG and allies.

    This latest poll just presents more very questionable numbers produced by organizations with well defined agendas……only to be read with the greatest of skepticism and doubt.

  • Adam Haggett

    If I’m living in soro, would it take job in w leb or barre direction? I m driving toward the cheaper gas,

    I could see how a carbon tax in the burlington area, going to improve public transportation infrastructure, could be beneficial.

  • Stephen Trahan

    So a poll claims Vermonters want a carbon tax? Tax-paying Vermonters are voting with their feet by leaving the state for more affordable locations. Our population dwindles every year, and tax revenues are coming up short more often than not. The people who pay the bills are leaving the state – permanently. You want to talk about the year 2050? By then the only people still here will be freeloading liberals paying homage to wind towers and yelling “tax the rich.” There won’t be any serious businesses left and the people who were paying the bills will be living and working in a much more affordable state.

  • Neil Johnson

    Did you poll all your lobbyist friends?

  • Neil Johnson

    Want to see the most powerful lobbyist in Vermont? Here’s a list directly from the article.



    These and other figures were released Thursday morning by Tom Hughes of Energy Independent Vermont, a coalition that includes the Conservation Law Foundation, the Vermont Public Interest Research Group, the Vermont Natural Resources Council, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility and others.

  • Steve Woodward

    It’s like a game of whack-a-mole with these guys and their polls on the carbon tax. This crowd will not be happy until they have siphoned off every penny of extra income that hard-working Vermonters have earned. All in the name of “saving the planet”, and “doing our part”. We all know that they need the funding for their liberal utopia, where everyone gets a trophy.

    The tired old argument that it will save Vermonters in the long run, is a farce. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the current roster of lawmakers would be responsible with the money generated from this new tax. We all know they would blow through it just like a child with their allowance.

    Here’s a perfect example of why we need different leadership in Montpelier, starting this November. Time to broom out the moonbats, and reestablish some commonsense in the Statehouse.

  • John McClaughry

    Could we have the actual questions asked, please? I have to suspect that one was “would you favor a small fee on fossil fuel distributors to achieve correct pricing that would end carbon pollution, with most of the proceeds returned to taxpayers?”
    Mike’s use of “carbon pollution” is peddling VPIRG propaganda, and should have been edited to something like “greenhouse gas emissions”.

  • I do not believe this poll. It was done by proponents of the Carbon Tax. It is one sided and completely biased.

  • Steve McKenzie

    After review of the FM3 poll result presentation on the EVI website:

    Slide 17: “Vermont has a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the pollution causing global warming, to 80 to 95%….”

    An extremely leading question in that it A)states global warming is happening and B)states greenhouse gasses are the sole cause of any/all global warming.

    These ‘statements’ contradict the first two questions (slides 4 & 7) which first asked respondents if global warming is actually happening and, if it is, what is causing it.

    Slide 21: The “question” presents a very cursory, misleading summary of the EIV carbon tax ‘proposal’. Based on EIV’s prior statements and website contents, they are presumably referring to H412 as the ‘proposal’. The mechanics of H412 have nothing in common with the language in the question. Further, EIV’s website continues to make the misleading case that the forecasted economic benefits presented in REMI study results are linked to H412. The REMI study assumptions have little if anything in common w/H412.

    Based on some of the pro-carbon tax comments already coming in, many are continuing to blindly use the EIV-provided talking point bullets from their website.

    There is nothing stopping all the pro-carbon tax supporters from forming their own ‘tax club’ and donating proceeds as they see fit. If the benefits are so overwhelmingly positive and every little bit helps, why the continued wait for legislation?

    Lastly, I find it curious that VTD has three lead-page stories (as of this morning) focused on this ‘poll’.

  • Rob Roper

    Here’s the actual question asked in the poll. It is extremely misleading:

    “This Energy Independence proposal would do the following: Establish a statewide Energy Independence Fund to help Vermonters reduce their home heating and transportation costs and weatherize public buildings, like schools; Finance the Energy Independence Fund with a carbon pollution tax paid by the companies that import oil, gas, or other fossil fuels into Vermont. It would not apply to electricity; Cut state taxes for all Vermonters and Vermont businesses, with additional rebates for low-income Vermonters, so that we are protected from fossil fuel companies passing on their costs. Does this sound like something you would support or oppose?”

    First, “cut state taxes for all Vermonters”. No, this proposal is a substantial net tax increase. Yes, they propose to move the tax shells around the board, but the pea winds up in their pocket. This statement refers to the part of the proposal that would reduce the state sales tax from 6% to 5%. All well and good, but is this really going to have a major positive impact on people crossing the border to shop in zero tax NH? Doubtful. Employers would receive a per-employee rebate — the largest employer being, of course, the state — but this is not a tax cut, it is supposed to mitigate, in part, the cost of paying the tax. To describe it as a tax cut is misleading.

    The question also fails to mention that the Carbon Tax proposal being discussed would specifically raise the cost of every gallon of gasoline purchased by 89¢ when the tax is fully implemented, a $1.02 increase for diesel and home heating oil with similar increases for propane, natural gas, kerosene, butane and aviation fuel. Kind of an important detail that, if revealed, might impact support for this scheme.

    The question is a craftily misleading when it describes “additional rebates for low-income Vermonters, so that WE are protected from fossil fuel companies passing on their costs. “WE” only applies to households earning 200% of poverty level or less — about $25,000 a year. Any household earning more that that receives no protection whatsoever from the price increases outlined above. Vermont’s middle class will be hammered by this tax.

    So what’s the carbon footprint from all the smoke being blown with this question?

    • Jamie Carter

      Exactly, if the question said do you support an $0.88 tax on all gas, diesel, propane, natural gas, heating fuel to be used as determined by legislators in Montpelier I think the results would have been very different.

      This poll was done by a group that has an agenda and there was never any doubt what the results would show. You could get the people to support Putin for POTUS if you worded the question correctly.

    • Barrie Bailey

      You speak about raising the cost of fossil fuels until we pay about a dollar more in ten years. This is the time to do it when fuel prices are so low. Remember when it was $4.00. If we could handle that ,we can handle an increase starting at 10cents and gradually going up to a dollar.
      I support this tax as it reduces our fossil fuel use and raises taxes the carbon we need to reduce and lowers the taxes on employer, income and sales taxes.
      It is working in Washington State and British Columbia and is being reviewed by all the other New England states.

      • Jamie Carter

        Why raise an $0.88 tax only to redistribute 90% of that. If you want $0.09 for energy efficiency then place a $0.09 tax over 10 years. $0.01 / year. There maybe support for that, but I don’t trust Montpelier nearly enough to give them 10 times the amount they need for them to decide how they are going to give it back to me or others. Moreover, who gets to determined how that is used? We have an electical surcharge to reduce energy use but you can’t take advantage of it because there are so many restrictions… I will never support such a blatant scheme on Vermont taxpayers.

        • John Greenberg

          Jamie Carter:

          “Why raise an $0.88 tax only to redistribute 90% of that?” Because the larger figure constitutes a disincentive to consumption, which is the goal of the tax. This really isn’t rocket science.

          • clyde cook

            Yes Mr. Greenberg, it is an incentive to change patterns of consumption. But one key thing should be remembered, UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES. I don’t care myself, tax fossil fuels all you want. I, and anyone living within 20/25 miles of New Hampshire and perhaps working there, are just going to buy our fuel there. And, I suspect those that live over on the NY/Mass border as well when or if this tax is fully implemented. Hey we’re there gassing up, may as well get all the other things we need there too. ( Wish I had a camera with me a while back, gassing up in Lebanon, NH., look, a Windsor Country Sheriff Police car filling up too. Imagine that. Your tax dollars going to fill a car up in NH, sending the profit and tax revenue out of State.) Welcome to declining gas tax revenues, sales tax revenue, more tax increases in Vermont to just keep level funding. If this is such a great idea, it should be first down on a trial basis just in the Cities of Burlington, Montpelier, Rutland, Brattleboro, and Bennington for a few years to get a taste of how purchasing patterns will change. This is only something that should be done on a National basis. And frankly if it was, I have many doubts about the integrity of how all that money would be distributed and used, much like most bloated Federal programs.

          • John Greenberg

            Clyde Cook:

            I cannot speak for all proponents of carbon taxes, only for myself. But the critique you’re making is valid, and it explains why many of those advocating these policies are seeking to implement them on a regional basis. Some have been specific that they would not implement them until other states join in; others, less so. But it’s clearly a consideration here for precisely the reasons you state.

            As to national policy, I certainly agree that in a better world, we would indeed substitute carbon for other taxes on a nationwide basis. I have long advocated eliminating federal payroll taxes entirely and replacing them with carbon taxes, since it would remove a disincentive to hiring people and to working and replace it with a disincentive on consuming polluting substances.

            But a federal tax would require Congressional action, and there is no possibility that will happen with the currently constituted Congress. My guess is that there would be NO Republican support, and it would be unsurprising if some Democrats (from states heavily dependent on fossil fuels) also opposed the change.

            Unfortunately, while we are waiting for improbable Congressional action, people die every day from the pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, and, in addition, the planet requires urgent action to prevent the consequences of continuing to produce and burn fossil fuels. Hence, some of us see a need to choose options which may not be optimal, but which are better than the status quo.

          • Clyde Cook

            Agreed. Good luck with getting anything done on the federal level, which is where all this craziness originates. But I still have a problem with committing economic suicide. Especially in light of the fact that Vermont’s efforts contribute such a meager amount to the solution. Yup, every bit helps, but I don’t believe this is at all the way to go. This seems to be more of a feel good measure.

          • james willey

            Because the larger figure constitutes a disincentive to consumption, which is the goal of the tax.

            Should read:
            Because the larger figure constitutes a disincentive to free travel, which is the goal of United Nations Agenda 21. it should be more than clear that the ultimate goal of any so-called carbon tax is the depopulation of rural America, and relocation to metro- areas.

          • John Greenberg

            James Willey:

            It’s no doubt gracious of you to re-write my sentence, but I’ll stick to the original wording, thank you all the same.

            I’d also remind you that rural America was populated well before fossil-fuels were used for transportation and there is every reason to believe that it can (and will) remain so with fossil fuel prices higher than they currently are.

    • What is unbelievably remarkable is that representatives from the entities comprising Energy independent Vermont (EIV) fill the Vermont Senate and House committee rooms and provide testimony on energy policy. Testimony based on data originating from the type poll questions cited by Rob Roper above.

      It gets worse, our elected officials can’t see through the smoke being blown and buy the snake oil being sold by the EIV representatives…….they then deliver the EIV talking points to their constituents as justification for their votes.

      Truly “unbelievably remarkable”…….yet its reality in Vermont where special interest groups such as Energy Independent Vermont rule the roost.

    • Willem Post

      Bob Roper,

      RE proponents use the words energy independence, but either do no understand what that implies, or, if they do, engage in a deceptive scam.

      For Vermont to be truly energy independent, it would need to disconnect from the New England grid, and generate all its energy, not just electrical energy, which is only 35% of all energy, from HOME GROWN renewable sources.

  • Jason Wells

    For just one day can VTdigger please relax the comment rules so I can say just what’s on my mind to these carbon taxers? 2/3rds want a new tax? If there ever was a bogus poll this is it it’s more like 2/3rds against.

  • Jan Freed

    Why even bother with the paid deniers and front groups who thrive creating the delay of a false debate?
    A revenue neutral carbon fee with a dividend, makes enormous sense, at the national level!
    Economists and scientists say it is the best solution to the threat of our carbon emissions.
    It is not a tax. This way citizens would RECEIVE the carbon fees as a monthly check, for example. That would protect us from price spikes in dirty energy.

Polluters PAY the fees, so it holds fossil fuel corporations responsible for the damages. or externalitites, they cause, hundreds of billions of dollars per year (Harvard School of Medicine).
    It would more rapidly lower emissions than regulations, as happened in BC Canada with a similar, popular policy. BC lowered both emissions and taxes with their fees.
    A study by respected non-partisan Regional Economic Modeling, Inc. found the dividends would help to create 2.9 million additional jobs in 20 years, while reducing emissions much faster than regulations. http://citizensclimatelobby.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/REMI-National-SUMMARY.pdf
    To those who reject the science: perhaps nothing will change your mind. But what have you got against cleaner air, less asthma in our kids, fewer heart attacks, and more money (the dividend) in your pockets?
    To those accepting the science: Any effort to
 limit the problem of climate change is worth it. For example: the cost of sea level rise ALONE is so great that no effort to prevent it is unwarranted.

    Elon Musk was asked “what can we do? ” Musk: “I would say whenever you have the opportunity, talk to the politicians.,,,,. We have to fix the unpriced externality [social cost]. I would talk to your friends about it and fight the propaganda from the carbon industry.”

    • Steve Woodward

      Jan Freed: Do you even live in Vermont? Have you seen what happens in the Statehouse when they get extra money to play with. It’s feeding time at the zoo with these guys. A neutral tax is a great idea in theory, but as long as we have the current crop of spendaholics running things, it will be anything but revenue neutral.

      Also: Could you please give us the list of “paid deniers”.

    • Willem Post


      The state gving Vermonters back almost all of the carbon taxes they paid by means of a refund check?

      You must be joking. I have a bridge….

      Once that money arrives in socialist Montpelier, there will a free for all gorging and skimming by the RE interests.

    • Willem Post


      I am in favor of an immediate NATIONAL $1/gallon carbon tax.

      I am not in favor of Vermont having its own such tax.

  • Jeff Nichols

    A push poll designed to lobby the Legislature for their own special interest. If Vermont were to enact the tax, a small group of people would feel good about an action that would have zero effect on the Global environment but be economic suicide for Vermont. The other more insidious aspect is the redistribution scheme that would take from Vermonters working hard enough to not be described as “low income”, and make them that much closer to being low income. Goodby middle class in Vermont.

    • Willem Post


      The sole purpose of the carbon tax is to implement Shumlin’s dream of 90% mostly homegrown RE of ALL energy, not just electrical energy, which is only about 35% of all energy.

      The build outs of the RE systems and the transformation of the entire Vermont economy would require a capital investment of about $20 billion from 2017 to 2050, a completely unattainable goal, even if federal subsidies would provide 30% of that capital.

      The end result would be for Vermont having to run their economy on energy that would cost about 2-3 times/kWh than at present, at great uglification of the Vermont environment.

      • John Greenberg

        Willem Post:

        “The sole purpose of the carbon tax is to implement Shumlin’s dream of 90% mostly homegrown RE of ALL energy ….” So British Columbia imposed a revenue neutral carbon tax to “implement Shumlin’s dream?” Carbon taxes have been proposed in the US for well over a decade now and are supported by former Republican secretaries of the Treasury George Schultz and Henry Paulson and Nobel laureate Gary Becker to “implement Shumlin’s dream?”

        That’s quite a powerful conspiracy Mr. Shumlin has going.

        • Willem Post


          The large number of thumbs down to your comment appears to indicate to well-informed VTDigger readers there IS a powerful conspiracy.

      • james willey

        The power to tax is indeed one of the most effective forms of
        regulation. And no more powerful instrument for centralization of
        government could be devised.
        — William O. Douglas

        The power to tax, once conceded, has no limits; it contains until it
        — Robert A. Heinlein

        More wisdom from the founders that’s been ignored, much to our woe.

        It seems that we’ll never learn what so many of them old dead white guys knew intuitively —that taxes, like a stubborn fungal infestation, just keep growing once established.

  • Paul Richards

    I just did a scientific pole of Vermonters; 100% of them said that they do not support a carbon tax. I guess the various pole results now show that most Vermonters do not support it.

  • Annette Smith

    Enough with convoluted schemes and rigged polls.

  • Peter Everett

    This is just another “Progressive/Democrat” ploy to fund failing programs. When will people ever realize that they can be much better off without government entering every aspect of their lives. Government has failed in many of their social programs, and, to keep them ongoing they pour good money into them to try to sustain them. Someday, I really hope that people wake up and see the truth. Until such time that this happens, continue to see more ad more of earnings going to these far too expensive boondoggles. If people are happy with government forcibly taking what they earn, so be it. I, for one, would like to see government back off and let people fend for themselves. These programs are meant to be temporary, but, many of them have become generational. Time for this to end.

  • Katherine Silta

    I read another article elsewhere and the question that was asked was confusing and misleading. There is no question that if it had been asked in a way that people knew what it actually meant, results would be different. The are a relative handful of people in this small state footing enormous tax bills as it is.His is unsustainable and increasing numbers of us will vote with our feet. Then they can scratch their heads about where they are going to come up with the cash they need to run the state.

  • Bruce Wilkie

    It would appear to me that the comment section of this article is just as scientific as the poll released by EIV.
    Judging by the reactions to the comments, Vermonters are against a carbon tax by at least a 4 to 1 margin.

    I live in Holland, VT.
    What chance is there that a reliable, frequent (every 20 minutes) public transit system will EVER be instituted here, or anywhere in the NEK?
    Our daily commute averages 50 miles each way. Should we quit our jobs and go on the dole, because a dollar a gallon tax will bankrupt us?
    What chance is there that elderly, fixed income Vermonters will be able to pay a huge tax on home heating fuel?
    Once again the “intelligencia” in Montpelier and Burlington have come up with a lie that will be great for those living in urban areas of Vermont, but will be the death knell for the REAL Vermonters.
    Lets see how much our food costs rise when trucking companies that utilize Peterbuilts and Freightliners to supply our stores, have to pay $1 per gallon for diesel to fuel trucks that get 5 miles per gallon,

  • The hard-working productive tax paying Vermonter has a hard enough time standing on their own two feet .
    Perhaps two out of three people surveyed are entirely dependent on the state of Vermont for their income for benefits .

  • Craig Davidson

    Wow, very clear support. Great to see!

  • Steve Allen

    Judging by the votes for the comments to this article I find it impossible to believe that the survey was conducted impartially. They must have cherry picked the participants from Chittenden County. The coming State election will determine the future direction for Vermont. Let’s hope the common sense viewpoints expressed in VTDigger are indicative of the political direction we will take.

  • Mariana Garcia

    Washington state is trying to do just that: tax what we don’t want and lower thing we want to get taxed on less, such as the sales tax. CNN wrote a great piece that describes I-732, the climate tax initiative on the November ballot, if you’d like to learn more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/19/opinions/sutter-carbon-tax-washington-british-columbia/