Endorsing a carbon tax is bad for your electoral health, even in Vermont

Voters routinely kick carbon tax-endorsing politicians to the curb. Even in Vermont.

In the 2016 Vermont gubernatorial election, anti-carbon-tax Republican Phil Scott defeated pro-carbon-tax Democrat Sue Minter. For voters, there was a clear contrast between the candidates on the carbon tax. Scott made clear that if elected, he would veto a carbon tax. Democrat Minter supported a carbon tax.

Vermont voters went to the polls. They sided with the candidate who opposed the carbon tax. On Nov. 8, 2016, Scott defeated Minter 52.1% to 43.3%.

Rob Roper, president of the Ethan Allen Institute, a Vermont think tank that spent considerable time educating Vermonters on the carbon tax proposal said, “Citizens from all over the political spectrum were extremely hostile to the concept of a carbon tax. They had no interest in seeing their vehicle and home heating fuel bills increase, and did not trust politicians’ promises that the tax would ultimately be ‘revenue neutral.’ Not only did Scott defeat Minter substantially over the issue, but several state representatives who supported or were perceived to have supported the carbon tax also lost their seats.” 

In summary:

  • Voters sided with Republican Phil Scott who said: “Anything that increases the cost on working families should be put aside. It’s not the time for this type of tax on working families.”
  • Republican Phil Scott called the carbon tax “a scheme to raise money through taxing gas and carbon fuels.”
  • Republican Phil Scott said, “I’m not in favor of the carbon tax. If a carbon tax came to my desk as governor, I would veto it.”
  • During the election, Democrat candidate Minter refused to say she would veto a carbon tax proposal.
  • Minter supported a regional carbon tax and favored expanding the pre-existing cap-and-trade program.

Carbon tax pushers should take note of the outcome of the 2016 Vermont gubernatorial elections. Voters in the blue state sided with a Republican who campaigned against a carbon tax and rejected the Democrat candidate who endorsed a carbon tax.  

See also: Carbon Taxers Beware: Australia’s Carbon Tax Politicians Were Quickly Voted Out of Office