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Statement from VNRC Executive Director Brian Shupe on State Budget Address

“We were encouraged to hear Gov. Scott note in his State Budget Address the importance of clean water, climate action, and investing in the future of Vermont,” said Brian Shupe, Vermont Natural Resources Council Executive Director. “However, we are deeply concerned that his statements lacked specificity or commitment to putting adequate resources behind these important initiatives. Vermont can not build our clean energy economy on small steps and half measures, and we won’t continue to build the state’s economy – much less address our climate and energy goals ­– on such timid policies and programs.

With regard to the urgent need to clean up the state’s polluted lakes and rivers, it is troubling that the Governor did not identify a plan for funding the state’s clean-up plan. This issue has been studied for years, and action is long past due. The Governor did not offer any specific recommendations to move Vermont closer to clean water. Instead, the Governor focused on fixing our water pollution problems by selling pollution, in particular nutrients, to other states. This is not a new idea, and it is not sufficient to address our severe water quality problems in Vermont. If we are going to achieve clean water, we must stop importing nutrients into Vermont in the form of fertilizer and take bold steps to reduce runoff. To imply that we can solve our problems by selling our pollution for a profit smacks of gimmickry.”