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Friday, May 04, 2007

Busy Friday

Heading down to Montpeculiar to catch the Republican governor of Vermont plant a tree for Arbor Day!

And catch the Democratic speaker of the house hold her bag-less Friday "Brown-Bagger" with the press around noon.

Then back to Fort Ethan Allen for a panelist seat on the afternoon taping of "Vermont This Week" on Vermont Public TV. (Still a little foggy after the big Wednesday chemo but hanging in there.)

Do check out the response from Matt Cota to our "Truth the First Casualty" post.  Nice guy, Matt. Used to be a TV News reporter over at CH. 5. Now he represents the Vermont Fuel Dealers as his point of view clearly indicates.

But, Matt, why were those wonderful, hardworking Vermonters told H. 520 contains "a tax on heating oil and propane" when that's an outright LIE?

It's a tax on Entergy's Vermont Yankee Nuclear's through-the-roof, record  profits off Vermont Yankee. Entergy takes the buckaroos back to Louisiana and leaves their high-level radioactive waste behind in Vermont.

Good deal, eh?


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Matt Cota

Thanks for the kind words Peter.

Senator Peter Shumlin said on the Senate floor on Wednesday night and again on WDEV on Friday morning that when the tax expires on Vermont Yankee in 2012, they will return to a surcharge on heating fuel. The VFDA is opposed to any tax on fuels, but more importantly we are against the inefficient use of taxpayer funds. The plumbing and heating industry currently provides many of the efficiency services that the new government funded utility seeks to perform. The industry has been providing these services for decades. The men and women who were at the Statehouse on Thursday are worried about their jobs. They don't want tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer funds to subsidize a permanent utility that will compete with them. Why should we spend money on an inefficient bureaucracy when the marketplace is getting the job done. Heating fuel use has gone down. A typical home burns half the amount of fuel it did thirty years ago. This debate needs to be about the efficient use of taxpayer money, protecting Vermont jobs and small family businesses.

Matt Cota



As I understand it, the money raised from taxing VT Yankee will go to individuals to insulate their homes, individuals who currently cannot afford to upgrade their insulation.

These folks will hire local businesses (like your clients) who will do the insulating work, and who will install new efficient heating systems.

This bill would seem to offer more work for your clients, rather than less.


EM, the bill actually really doesn't spell anything else but leaves it up to other panels. For example, who gets the money, how much of the money collected actually goes back to people who need it, who can do the upgrade work, will it use a flat home value, income earnings, or a scaled income to take into consideration where one lives. The largest problem is this is an ill thought out bill that really establishes nothing other then there will be a new tax in town. Most people get nervous when a bill is so blatantly vague as it leaves too much room for misuse.


Peter, do you independently know of the "through-the-roof, record profits" of Vt. Yankee (your words) or are you just repeating something that Shumlin or VPIRG told you? Have you individually examined VY's books? Are you an economist? And what about the fact that a tax deal was already struck with VY? And what does VY have to do with the use of fossil fuels? Nothing. And if VY, which is a highly-regulated business, made a little more money than anyone expected because demand for electricity went up, does that justify a crass money-grab by a shameless politician? With all due respect to the oil fuel dealers, the appropriate target for an efficiency initiative is with fossil fuel consumption, not the powerplant that gives Vermont cheap, carbon-free electricity (1/3 of our entire electricity consumption). It's easy and extremely cheap to attack "big corporations." Shumlin had absolutely nothing to show for an entire session so, at the end he decided to revive his Efficiency Vermont initiative. Problem: where am I gonna find the money? Let's shoot at an easy target -- VY! How courageous! It's more disgraceful unprincipled tap-dancing from Pete "what's-in-it-for-me" Shumlin.

Peter Joes

The impetus for the drive to add all fuels to our efficiency programs came from a study performed at the request of Governor Douglas' Department of Public Service. The study is available on their website. Major measures that were studied included such things as setback thermostats, boiler controls etc. You can look and see for yourself.

Unlike the post above, Efficiency Vermont does not do the work to install measures. It provides analysis, advice, and determines an appropriate incentive to assist with the project that you either do yourself or have a contractor perform for you.


NY plumbing services

fridays are best to do improvements!!!

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