Meet Vermont's new green policeman

strict "smart growth" land use control strategies,

mandated universal registration of greenhouse gas emissions,

a state managed "cap and trade" scheme covering CO2 emissions

aggressive implementation of Act 200's planning mandates,

new Act 250 rules to impose "carbon neutrality" on developments,

doubling (heavily subsidized) passenger rail traffic by 2028,

getting single-occupancy vehicles off the highways,

steeply increased sales and use taxes and registration fees on low-mpg vehicles,

energy efficiency standards that homeowners must meet before selling their homes.

Add to this other Shumlin favorites - the thermal efficiency utility funded by new heating fuel taxes, subsidies to the makers and users of approved renewable energy, and mandates on the utilities to buy "renewable" electricity at four times the market price - and you have a detailed blueprint for the Extreme Green Police State.

Some might not agree, so the proposed collaborative would also develop a indoctrination program: a "public education and engagement framework to encourage behavior change," through "social marketing strategies with broad ethical goals." An example: "in-depth, science-based in-school programs on energy efficiency and climate change at all levels."

Fortunately, in 2008, cooler heads prevailed. Most of the truly costly and dangerous provisions of the VPIRG agenda, including the super-government, shrank to relative insignificance in the House.

Vermonters need to grasp the fact that after eight years of Gov. Jim Douglas agreeing in principle with most of the Green arguments, but leaning against action steps that would undermine the economy, jack up tax rates, and invade people's liberties, they now have a governor eager to lead us out of the slough of inactivity.

The only countervailing force is the people of Vermont. They need to say, loudly, that efficiency is good, cost-effective renewable energy is good, but the VPIRG-style Green Police State is a threat to our prosperity and liberties, and the legislators who vote for any more of this stuff will pay for it dearly two years hence.

John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute (www.ethanallen.org).

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