Vermont Governor, Philip Scott, vetoed a bill passed by the State’s House and Senate setting a target to permanently protect 50 percent of the land and water within the state’s boundaries by 2050. It is a major defeat for the progressive agenda in a state whose notorious Senator is Bernie Sanders.
We reported on the bill in the Liberty Matters May 5, 2022, edition (see Vermont Passes First 50×50 Bill). The conservation goal that was advanced through the bill was stated as follows:
“Thirty percent of Vermont’s total land area shall be conserved by 2030, and 50 percent of the State’s total land area shall be conserved by 2050. The Secretary of Natural Resources shall assist the State in achieving these goals. The land conserved shall include State, federal, municipal, and private land.”
In Governor Phill Scott’s statement rejecting House Bill 606, he provided the following reasoning for vetoing the radical agenda:
“Over the course of the legislative session, the Agency of Natural Resources testified multiple times against this bill. Among the objections, the Agency pointed to the conservation goals established in H.606 are unnecessarily tied to – and unreasonably limited to – permanent protection. The Agency has repeatedly said that permanent preservation has not been, and cannot be, the state’s exclusive conservation tool and this bill, intentional or not, would diminish the existing and successful conservation tools we have.” (Journal of the Senate, page 269)
Attempts to permanently protect the land will do more damage than good, as future generations are prohibited from making reasonable decisions about land use based on better science, technologies, and societal goals. Governor Scott’s decision to reject the idea that we know better today how to conserver land in the future, demonstrates prudence and good governance.