Climate Dispatch: January 21, 2022: Environmental Justice Bill (S.148)

Today’s episode

In today’s Climate Dispatch, VNRC’s Energy and Climate Program Director Johanna Miller is joined by Sebbi Wu, VPIRG’s Climate and Equity Advocate, and Ben Edgerly Walsh, VPIRG’s Climate & Energy Program Director to highlight the recently introduced, must-pass environmental justice (EJ) bill – S.148

Today, in Senate Natural Resources and Energy, this bill got its first, substantive airing with testimony delivered by EJ leaders from across Vermont who helped craft this long-overdue policy. (Check out today’s powerful testimony in two parts: here and here.)

In the Dispatch, Sebbi gives an overview of the key principles required for a strong EJ bill, including the importance of a mapping tool, sufficient funding, an advisory with actual authority and, fundamentally, a strong definition of an environmental justice population in statute. And more. Hear more about why this matter so much, what a strong bill must include and what you can do to support it – including sending a quick email to your state senators asking for their support of a strong S.148/environmental justice policy. 

This bill is a priority for VNRC, Vermont Conservation Voters and a broad coalition of organizations; and its passage this year essential – as outlined in this more in-depth overview by Sebbi Wu. As we work to make this bill a reality this year, we know far more equity and justice work will be required in the months and years ahead to implement and expand the clean energy and pollution-reducing programs so essential to abating the intensifying climate crisis. 

Thanks for all you do!