‘Environmental justice’ bill would create another unelected board

By Guy Page

A handful of progressive senators are pushing S148, the “environmental justice” bill. 

S148 would: 

  • establish a state environmental justice policy,
  • require state agencies to incorporate environmental justice into their work,
  • establish the Advisory Council on Environmental Justice within the Agency of Natural Resources, and
  • require the creation of an environmental justice mapping tool.

The lead sponsor of S148 is Sen. Kesha Ram Hinsdale (D-Chittenden), who is also running for Congress against Lt. Gov. Molly Gray in the Democratic Primary. Other sponsors are Sens. Brian Campion, Ruth Hardy, Virginia Lyons, Christopher Pearson, Andrew Perchlik, and  Anthony Pollina.

The bill was introduced last April 30. A virtual press conference to promote it has been called for noon today by the Ram campaign. “Vermont is one of the only few states that lacks an environmental justice policy, a glaring omission in state law that must be remedied,” a campaign statement said. “Adopting such a law is a key step to achieving a Vermont where all can enjoy clean air, clean water, and a healthy home and neighborhood equally.”

The bill alleges that Vermont minorities suffer more from dangerous chemicals in drinking water, poor housing and transportation, air and water pollution, greater exposure to extreme weather events, and have less access to good food and jobs. They are also more likely to contract and die from Covid-19, according to CDC stats, the bill says. 

An appointed board including members of Vermont BIPOC communities and low-income groups will be appointed to the council, which will create recommendations, advise state agencies, and review complaints.

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17 replies »

    • Unfortunately Scott, screwed up or not, they are the ones making the laws in Washington, and under the “Golden Dumb” !

      • As a child, when we drove by the state house, my father would say “look! That’s the only cesspool around that has a gold cap”. I didn’t get it then, but now I do.

  1. Ram-Hinsdale is campaigning, not legislating. The voters of Chittenden County have once again elected a socialist political opportunist, not really someone who will represent them in the legislature.
    Unfortunately, all of Vermont pays the price for Chittenden County’s actions.

  2. We don’t need any more boards or liberal agenda’s! It gotten to far out/ of control already!

  3. Kinda’ reminds me of the story of the “Night Watchman”
    Once upon a time the government had a vast scrap yard in the middle of a desert.

    Congress said, “Someone may steal from it at night.”

    So they created a night watchman position and hired a person for the job.

    Then Congress said, “How does the watchman do his job without instruction?”

    So they created a planning department and hired two people, one person to write the instructions, and one person to do time studies.

    Then Congress said, “How will we know the night watchman is doing the tasks correctly?”

    So they created a Quality Control department and hired two people. One was to do the studies and one was to write the reports.

    Then Congress said, “How are these people going to get paid?”

    So they created two positions: a time keeper and a payroll officer then hired two people.

    Then Congress said, “Who will be accountable for all of these people?”

    So they created an administrative section and hired three people, an Administrative Officer,

    Assistant Administrative Officer, and a Legal Secretary.

    Then Congress said, “We have had this command in operation for one year and we are $918,000 over budget, we must cut back.”

    So they laid-off the night watchman.

    NOW slowly, let it sink in.

    Quietly, we go like sheep to slaughter. Does anybody remember the reason given for the establishment of the DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY during the Carter administration?

    Anybody? Anything? No? Didn’t think so!
    Bottom line is, we’ve spent several hundred billion dollars in support of an agency, the reason for which very few people who read this can remember!


    It was very simple… and at the time, everybody thought it very appropriate.

    The Department of Energy was instituted on 8/04/1977, TO LESSEN OUR DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL.

    Hey, pretty efficient, huh???


    34 years ago 30% of our oil consumption was foreign imports. Today 70% of our oil consumption is foreign imports.

    Ah, yes — good old Federal bureaucracy.


    Hello!! Anybody Home?

    Signed….The Night Watchman

    • Glad you asked. It’s kinda complicated, but here is my Environmental Justice Generator:

      1) Think of an environmental issue.
      2) On Google, look up how many per capita BIPOC’s vs. White Vermonters are affected by it.
      3) if the numbers found in (2) are not identical, the issue you just thought of in (1) is an example of Environmental Injustice
      4) Pass legislation to create an unelected board to research the injustice and develop a solution to eliminate it.
      5) Add another “Efficiency Vermont” fee with an appropriately obscure label to electricity bills to remediate the injustice.

      There will be a downloadable, printable (fully compostable) board game available later this year so the whole family can have fun fixing Vermont while figuring out how you’re going to afford your next electricity bill.

    • My guess is, no one, not even the leader here could describe it. It is a feeler to see if there is any chance of establishing more unelected positions, bureaucracy, and endless layers of payroll. Who can be opposed to “justice” on the face of it, until the details start coming in?
      THEN, the complexions will change. Does The Vt Climate Council fit the mould? I think it does.

  4. You know – maybe someone in that party should start appointing a board of unelected citizens that will come up with a solution to our opioid addiction problem in this state instead of wasting our tax dollars and their time on nonsensical issues.
    People had better wake up and look at the real problems before it’s too late for our little state and this country.
    It’s time to elect some legislators with common sense who have actually dealt with real world problems and experienced hard work and deprivation in their lifetime.
    It’s time for some change in the state government!

  5. “University of Vermont study reports that BIPOC individuals were… seven times less likely to own a solar panel than White Vermonters.””

    Bend over and lube-up, Vermonters. You’re about to get some more fees added onto your electric bill. It’s time to end solar panel injustice.

  6. S148 This is a scary attempt at a wide ranging takeover of so many government oversights all under the pretense of “equity”. Please do not take my word for this, read it, it is everything a commie could wish for ! I have picked a few lines that really bug me, and put parentheses around them. I then put my comments after them. If you are a traditional user of state, and/or private lands in this state, pay attention to this bill !
    1) “Vermont is one of a few remaining states lacking a formal environmental justice policy.” And we are also still one of the most rural. That’s a good thing ! Why would you want to change it ?
    2) “24 percent of Vermonters have low access to grocery stores, which factors in distance to and quantity of stores”
    2a) “Lack of adequate transportation can be a major barrier to health care for Vermonter”
    2b) “Inadequate transportation also impedes job access” Take 2, 2a, and 2b together and they seem to suggest that we need better access to mass transit ? No! What they are in fact proposing is that there are too many rural people in this state, and rural people need to relocate to areas that are more mass transit friendly ! (urban areas)
    3) “Environmental justice means all individuals are afforded the right to equitable access to environmental benefits” which would include, “implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies” This is where they these wacko Disney folks, are pitching for a board that could/would supersede the Fish & Wildlife Board, a seat at the table for the P.O.W ,PETA, the Humane Society of the United States and like minded anti traditional users get to impact our traditions.
    4) “The Council shall consist of the following members:” yada, yada, yada, and , (I love this one!) “one appointed by the Committee on Committees”
    More lazy ass people looking for relevance, and justification of their sheepskin in a society that they have already screwed up enough ! Can a Committee on Committees, on Committees be far away ? All this in the name of “Equity” ? Bull____ !

  7. Sen. Hinsdale owns a horse stable called Country Cedars Farm in Charlotte. Can’t imagine the taxes she pays on that patch but you can bet she’ll have enough jing to gain higher office …. Nothing wrong with privilege – don’t send me letters.

  8. Kesha’s strategy in the campaign for Vermont’s sole US House Representative is the same as her announced primary opponents, to demonstrate the highest level of intersectional victimhood along with overt virtue signaling advocacy for other supposedly-aggrieved victim groups that she shares an “affinity group” association with. The overall philosophy of the demoprog parties is to incentivize victimhood so this legislative proposal is right in line with strategy expectations. It will be a tough political battle. One of her opponents has invoked the LGBT and the “my grandfather died in the holocaust” victimhood status but she lacks that extra last name sans hyphen. I really think Kesha should have gone with the hyphen. It doesn’t gain any victimhood points, but is does gain some advantage in being fashionable among demoprogs.
    Molly Gray is the strategy outlier, and other than being female, has no real victimhoods to boast.
    Being female doesn’t score very high on the victimhood scale these days, ever since it is accepted that someone can “express” back and forth into any of the 56 or so genders. She got into office with no prior experience in elected politics by using a completely different strategy, that of the cutesy farmgirl persona. It was so effective, it overcame the fact that she had not even voted recently, and that she cut the line in front of so many other established demoprogs with vastly more political experience. Maybe she can enlist the help of a “victimhood consultant” and come up with something to add to her resume. Simply spending some time in the tanning salon wont do it.

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