With just one dissenter, Vermont Senate OKs ‘environmental justice’ bill

By Guy Page

With only Sen. Russ Ingalls (R-Essex/Orleans) voting no, the Vermont Senate yesterday gave final approval to S.148, the ‘environmental justice’ bill.

S.148 creates a new advisory board and requires new state policies because “Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color (BIPOC) and low-income individuals are disproportionately exposed to environmental hazards and unsafe housing, facing higher levels of air and water pollution, mold, lead, and pests.”

The bill cites these examples:

  • BIPOC and low-income communities nationally face disproportionately negative impacts of agency decisions, such as approving permits for facilities like mines and landfills.
  • Water contaminants like lead and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are disproportionately found in Vermont communities with higher populations of BIPOC and low-income individuals.
  • Cumulative impacts of environmental harms, including air and water pollution, low-quality housing stock, and greater exposure to extreme weather events disproportionately and adversely impact the health of BIPOC and low-income communities.
  • BIPOC individuals own less than 2 percent of private woodland, only approximately 0.9 percent of agricultural land, and 0.6 percent of forestland, which is largely made up of Abenaki tribal ownership in Vermont.
  • The Center for American Progress finds that 76 percent of BIPOC individuals in Vermont live in “nature deprived” census tracts with a higher proportion of natural areas lost to human activities than the Vermont median. In contrast, 20 percent of White individuals live in these areas.

The bill requires:

  • An environmental justice policy for the State of Vermont
  • State agencies incorporate environmental justice into their work and track all complaints to the contrary
  • Establish the per-diem Advisory Council on Environmental Justice within the Agency of
  • Natural Resources to advise the State on environmental justice issues, policies and legislation
  • Creation of an environmental justice mapping tool.

The bill now proceeds to the Vermont House. For Ingalls, opposing the bill was a simply question of fairness.

“It discriminates against other poor people,” Ingalls said. “I don’t want to discriminate against anyone. If you have two poor people, and one is a person of color, the person of color is more than likely going to be helped before that other equally deserving person. Color should not make a difference.”

Guy Page is publisher of the Vermont Daily Chronicle. Reprinted with permission.

Image courtesy of Bruce Parker/TNR

7 thoughts on “With just one dissenter, Vermont Senate OKs ‘environmental justice’ bill

  1. One sane voice in Montpelier…..

    He must be really lonely in that Golden Dome…I wonder if he has to come to work every day with hip waders? It’s pretty deep in there.

  2. This is the definition of racism, basing an outcome of a person worthiness on the color of their skin………..God help us all if people cannot identify this fact. It is pretty darn simplistic…..

  3. Wouldn’t it have been much easier, cheaper and quicker to just give the BIPOC proponents the matches and let them fix their own problems. Not kidding. Look at all the heavy lifting BLM and ANTIFA did for the cities in the recent past. Just a modern form of Urban Renewal without all the bureaucracy.

  4. BIPOCS 1

    PONOCS 0

    Anyone out there keeping score?
    H/T to James Howard Kunstler for asking “Where have all the PONOCS gone?”

  5. And people think we will save Vermont from Socialism by simply voting more Republicans into office in Montpelier. Wrong.

  6. A Marxist Revolution is going on in Vermont.

    The original Marxist Theory is one of social conflict pitting lower class against upper class and convincing the former that they have been alienated and exploited by the latter. The goal of Marxism is Revolution or the overthrow of the existing government and existing social order.

    Neo-Marxism (in the form of Critical Race Theory) replaces class for race in creating the social conflict necessary for Revolution. Everything is about the deconstruction of the existing order or regime.

    For example Burlington’s recently announced ‘homeless Pod community’ soon to be established in downtown Burlington isn’t about housing the homeless as much as it will be used for the continued dismantlement of the existing social order.

    Thread-by-thread the socialists in Vermont’s government (aka progressive-Democrats) will impose Socialism in Vermont often with the aid of gullible republicans (like those Vermont Republican Senators who voted for this so-called ‘environmental justice’ bill) who think this is somehow about compassion and justice.

    To wit, from James Lindsey’s recently published book, Race Marxism:

    “[R]ights that have been endowed by the Creator are to be transformed (or sublated) into privileges that are granted by a racially “conscious” state….

    “This will be determined by racial category and racial politics by Critical Race Theorists, who alone are Theorized to have the necessary race consciousness.

    “Thus Critical Race Theory establishes two sets of rule books: one for those who support it and one for those against it.”

    The gullible Republican state senators who voted for this ‘environmental justice’ bill unwittingly negated the principles in the Declaration of Independence. Vermont House Republicans are doing the same thing.

    They might claim ignorance but myself, John Klar and others have been writing and warning of this for quite some time now. My harsh indictment of them is that they’re poorly read (they don’t read books), they lack inquisitiveness and it’s not that they lack the courage of their convictions as much as they lack convictions, period.

    • no matter how much you deny it, there is no republican party in VT. there is but a handful trying unsuccessfully to fight to preserve it. I was one of them but now see reality.

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