Finally, after years and years of inaction, the Vermont Legislature is stepping up to help support low-income weatherization by proposing a 2-cent-per-gallon surcharge on delivered fuels like propane and heating oil. We all should applaud the legislators who developed and are supporting this simple proposal.

So, why don’t Senate President Tim Ashe and Gov. Scott support it?

Let’s consider it. If there were a 2-cents-a-gallon increase in heating oil, a family using 500 gallons would add $10 to their annual bill. But that is not the whole picture. Sen. Ashe and Gov. Scott know this.

There is the weatherization part: if that family’s home were weatherized with funds raised from this 2-cent proposal, they would save hundreds of dollars in unnecessary heating costs. And not just in the first year, but every year. This would free that family to use these hundreds of dollars as they see fit rather than paying for fuel oil that they don’t really need.

Plus, weatherization investment by Vermonters puts other Vermonters to work making our buildings more efficient and comfortable. And it avoids sending hundreds of thousands of Vermont dollars a year down to the owners of Gulf Coast refineries.

I wrote this because I think it’s time for our elected representatives to start looking out for people rather than the heating fuel industry. Let’s keep an eye out to see who supports this tiny step to save Vermonters some money.

Steven Gagliardone


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