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    Tuesday, June 18, 2024

    Vermont rivals Connecticut in ‘climate change’ craziness

    While it may be hard to believe, Vermont seems to have gotten ahead of Connecticut in "climate change" craziness.

    The Green Mountain State has just passed a law allowing itself to charge big oil and gas companies for the cost to the state of the "greenhouse gases" emitted by use of the fuel sold by the companies between 1995 and 2024. The state itself will choose the criteria for calculating the cost. Mainly Vermont wants to blame the oil and gas companies for the extensive damage done in the state last year by terrible flooding.

    Under the new law it won't matter that the fuel products on which "climate change" is being blamed were and remain not just perfectly legal but also crucial to modern civilization. No matter also that nearly everyone in Vermont has been using those products ever since they became available. Vermont wants to blame the manufacturers of the fuel products, not their users, the people for whom those products were made — the people without whose demand the products wouldn't have been made at all.

    Indeed, the mere manufacture of fuel didn't emit the "greenhouse gases" Vermont is complaining about. The use of them did.

    Like all other states, Vermont already has a fuel tax. If the state wants to recover what it believes are its costs of the "climate change" caused by use fuel, it can raise that tax and get the money from the parties responsible for their use: its own residents. And if the state really believes that "climate change" disasters are being caused by the use of oil and gas, Vermont already should have outlawed those fuels.

    Of course the legislators who passed the law don't really believe its premises. The new law is just a money grab that, if ever implemented, will be nullified in one court or another after years of expensive litigation. But until then legislators who voted for the law will pose as saviors of the environment.

    Meanwhile Connecticut's climate alarmists want Gov. Ned Lamont and leaders of the Democratic majority in the General Assembly to put "climate crisis" legislation on the agenda of a special legislative session that is to be called to make a fix in motor vehicle assessment law, a special session that was supposed to be brief.

    The "climate crisis" bill at issue passed the House of Representatives during the recent regular session but was stalled by some of the majority Democrats in the Senate who thought that it was more important to guard against climate change by modifying municipal zoning. (The Senate's Republican minority almost certainly would have opposed the "climate crisis" bill, as the Republican minority in the House did.)

    After declaring a "climate crisis," the bill would just specify options for reducing "greenhouse gases" by 2050 — safely beyond the political lifespans of most current legislators. Actual sacrifices would await another day.

    Whatever one thinks of "climate change" and its causes — natural phenomena operating for millions of years, or manmade phenomena arising only in recent decades — the "climate crisis" legislation is silly. For even if "climate change" is substantially the result of the use of oil, gas and coal as fuel, as the climate alarmists maintain, Connecticut can do nothing meaningful about it.

    The state could outlaw those fuels and shut down all its industry requiring a smokestack and all its transportation requiring a tailpipe and the rest of the country and the rest of the world would continue to use those fuels. Since Connecticut's contribution to the world's "greenhouse gases" is tiny, the state would only disadvantage itself without achieving any measurable reduction in those gases.

    Even a national policy of eliminating oil, gas and coal as fuel would have little impact on "greenhouse gases" worldwide, since the developing world, including industrial giant China, will continue to use those fuels until something better comes along. Only a worldwide solution is worth pursuing — if there really is a problem to solve.

    Chris Powell has written about Connecticut government and politics for many years. He can be reached at CPowell@cox.net.

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