Vermont Becomes the First State to Criminalize Taking Oil Out of the Ground

News & Politics

Vermont has always been a quirky state. Hell, they sent Bernie Sanders to Congress, which should tell you a lot.

But Vermont just passed legislation that goes far beyond quirky end enters the realm of insanity.

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Vermont has tagged oil companies to pay a share of damages due to “climate change.” How do they know that storms and other weather events are due to climate change?

They don’t know. But when did that ever stop climate nutters from acting crazy?

Last summer, there was severe flooding across the state. It rained a lot. In summer. Not exactly unprecedented, to be sure. It was also pretty warm outside. Blaming it all on “climate change” allows the state to soak deep-pocketed oil companies. It’s a brilliant scheme and Vermont should be congratulated. 

The oil companies should retaliate by “forgetting” to deliver oil and gas products to the state. See how popular that legislation is when gas tanks are dry and electricity is scarce.

GOP Governor Phil Scott managed to be absent long enough for the bill to become law without his signature. “I understand the desire to seek funding to mitigate the effects of climate change that has hurt our state in so many ways,” Scott, a moderate Republican wrote in a letter to lawmakers.

In other words, I understand the desire to extort money form oil companies, but really. isn’t there a better way?

Associated Press:

Under the legislation, the Vermont state treasurer, in consultation with the Agency of Natural Resources, would provide a report by Jan. 15, 2026, on the total cost to Vermonters and the state from the emission of greenhouse gases from Jan. 1, 1995, to Dec. 31, 2024. The assessment would look at the effects on public health, natural resources, agriculture, economic development, housing and other areas. The state would use federal data to determine the amount of covered greenhouse gas emissions attributed to a fossil fuel company.

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It’s absolutely insane. How in God’s name can you monetize the “effects on public health, natural resources, agriculture, economic development, housing and other areas,” without even being able to define what damage is caused by naturally occurring, seasonal weather and which is due to “climate change”?

This is voodoo science: the ability to glean cause from completely random weather events is impossible. They’re going to have to make stuff up as they go along.

It’s a polluter-pays model affecting companies engaged in the trade or business of extracting fossil fuel or refining crude oil attributable to more than 1 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions during the time period. The funds could be used by the state for such things as upgrading stormwater drainage systems; upgrading roads, bridges and railroads; relocating, elevating or retrofitting sewage treatment plants; and making energy efficient weatherization upgrades to public and private buildings. It’s modeled after the federal Superfund pollution cleanup program.

“For too long, giant fossil fuel companies have knowingly lit the match of climate disruption without being required to do a thing to put out the fire,” Paul Burns, executive director of the Vermont Public Interest Research Group, said in a statement. 

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“Finally, maybe for the first time anywhere, Vermont is going to hold the companies most responsible for climate-driven floods, fires and heat waves financially accountable for a fair share of the damages they’ve caused.”

Unprovable “climate-driven floods, fires, and heat waves.” But don’t stop the climate hysterics now. They’re on a roll.

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