On June 7, 2017

Doubling down on Vermont’s environment

Dear Editor,

President Trump’s call to abandon the Paris Climate Agreement, slash federal funding for clean air and water, and reduce protections for threatened and endangered species have made national headlines and created grim reading for those who care about protecting the health of our people and our environment.

But, as is often the case, we are charting a different course in the Green Mountain State. Instead of political gamesmanship, Vermonters of different parties and across branches of government are expanding our commitment to clean water.

In his inaugural budget address, Governor Phil Scott proposed investing $23 million in clean water in the coming year, for a total investment of $55 million in Fiscal Year 2018 — an increase of nearly 70 percent over FY17 levels. The Legislature joined the conversation, passing a budget that came close to the governor’s proposal, for a total of $54 million in clean water funding.

Committing to this investment during a very challenging year for our state budget was not easy. It is essential, however, because this money will be used to:

Build better local roads, which will both produce less pollution and have a stronger resiliency in a changing climate;

Help farmers produce both clean water and healthy local food for Vermonters from their land;

Assist towns, business people and property owners in putting new and innovative technology to work so that the rain which lands on their roofs and parking lots either stays on-site or leaves as clean as it arrived.

This is the start of a long effort, not the end. Over the coming months I will be working with Vermonters — both those who make environmental policies and those affected by them — to develop a plan for funding needed investments in clean water over the next two decades.

I am encouraged by the resolve and the energy I see in our brave little state. The actions taken by the Governor, and by lawmakers, tell me that even if our federal government pulls back or falters in its commitments to protect and restore the nation’s environmental assets, Vermont is prepared to make necessary investments in continued stewardship in our land, air and water.

Julie Moore, Middlesex

Moore is the secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources and a registered professional engineer.

Do you want to submit feedback to the editor?

Send Us An Email!

Related Posts

Vermont values under ‘atax:’ Vermonters rally to challenge threat to food, water, shelter

June 19, 2024
Dear Editor, A broad cross section of Vermonters gathered in the State House cafeteria to express their displeasure with the direction the state’s political leadership is taking them. (And that was April 25; things have not improved since.) Feeling ignored or otherwise discounted and marginalized, and in some cases, even mocked, the diverse group chose…

Universal School Meals: Delivering for Vermont children, families and schools

June 19, 2024
By Teddy Waszazak Editor’s note: Teddy Waszazak is a resident of Barre and the Legislative Policy Lead at Hunger Free Vermont, a statewide advocacy and education nonprofit working to end hunger in Vermont. As another school year comes to a close, all of us in Vermont have two exciting milestones to celebrate: the start of…

VTSU should renew its commitment to diversity office

June 19, 2024
Dear Editor, In the summer of 2020, the nation watched 8 minutes and 46 seconds of video of a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on the neck of a detained man named George Floyd until Floyd was asphyxiated to death. It was horrific, and Floyd was only one of several people of color who died at…

Scott was right to veto H.887

June 19, 2024
Dear Editor, Our state Legislature is meeting this week to vote on overriding Governor Scott’s vetoes of legislation introduced during the latest session. One of the bills for consideration is H. 887, the annual “yield bill,” which funds our public education system through property taxes. Governor Scott has rightly vetoed this bill because, according to…