Carbon Taxes and Special Interests

Update on 10/24/22

My opponent’s campaign finance reports, public documents filed with the Secretary of State as are mine, show that over 47% her funding over the last two reporting periods is from special interests, primarily “Skip” Vallee in St. Albans who owns the Maplefields chain and other fossil fuel interests.

I take no money from special interests. My campaign is funded by the voters.

Original post from September 24

My opponent has charged that I supported a 17¢ per gallon tax on fossil fuels and plan to implement other carbon taxes. Probably several of them. 

The actual story is that I strongly supported the idea of Vermont joining the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI), a multi-state coalition working together to reduce carbon emissions from transportation.

TCI, which was never implemented, was based on the highly successful Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), an 11-state coalition which has been lowering carbon emissions from the electric sector.  Over the last dozen years RGGI has not only lowered carbon emissions considerably, but it has brought millions of dollars into Vermont for our clean energy programs. Vermont was a charter member.

One of Vermont’s biggest challenges lies in being one of the smallest states. The best way for us to multiply our impact and level the regional playing field is to partner with other, larger states to achieve shared goals. RGGI and the TCI were two such efforts.

Somewhere in the depths of a TCI proposal (that never came up for debate because TCI never actually existed beyond the discussion stage) was a proposal to reduce fossil fuel use and fund efficiency efforts by use of a surcharge of up to 17¢ per gallon. No one actually supported that idea, TCI died, and I never saw the proposal until it was used as a campaign strategy against me.

But apparently this is apparently enough to pigeonhole me as a tax crazy liberal. The real harm is that identifying a ”Carbon Tax” as the issue to fight about misses the real issue. Climate change is here. Now. Just the last week a tropical storm lashed Nova Scotia (with the lowest barometric pressure ever recorded in Canada). And Puerto Rico was pummeled by Hurricane Fiona dropping 30 inches(!) of rain on the island. As I write this Hurricane Ian is heading for the west coast of Florida with 12 foot storm surges.

Climate change is here. Now.

So I ask my opponent again: You oppose TCI. You oppose a carbon tax. You oppose the creation and the work of the Climate Council. You oppose the Clean Heat Standard, and a wide array of other climate oriented bills. Even expanding the bottle bill! But you put nothing on the table except to pledge continued resistance.  Where are your proposals? What do you offer that is far reaching? Creative? Solution oriented?

Comment (3)

  • It is only a matter of time before the valleys of Vermont are devastated like the valleys of Tennessee and West Virginia if we don’t stop heating up the Gulf of Mexico. To do nothing and obey the likes of Skip Vallee is an assault on our children’s future. Republicans know who butters their bread and seem to be ready to sacrifice the future in order to win in the present.

  • Thank you Robin- for your insite and thoughtful solutions to some of our biggest problems.

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