Speaker Krowinski and Representative Sheldon react to veto of H606

Vermont Business Magazine On Thursday, House Speaker Jill Krowinski and House Natural Resources Chair, Amy Sheldon issued the following statement on the veto of H.606. Governor Scott announced earlier Thursday that he had vetoed the environmental and conservation bill.

“H.606, the Community Resilience and Biodiversity Protection Act, was part of a package of environmental legislation that sought to build on our conservation work and help us reduce the impact of climate change on Vermont communities. This bill now joins other environmental protection legislation that Governor Scott has vetoed in recent years, including the Global Warming Solutions Act and the Clean Heat Standard. By now, it’s clear he is not interested in taking real action to reduce our carbon footprint and address climate change.

“The Governor’s veto of H.606 demonstrates — once again — that he is not committed to meeting the challenge of the climate crisis, protecting Vermonters’ health and safety, and supporting our economy that is reliant on our natural and working lands. Here in Vermont, we are losing 14,000 acres a year to development — development that could be thoughtfully placed without negatively impacting our Vermont landscape. Vermont currently has 24 percent of our land conserved in a way that aligns with this bill. It would have sent an important signal to the other 70 countries in the world that have signed on to similar legislation — including the United States — that we are committed to the conservation of our Vermont landscape. Smart conservation is an important part of strategic climate action as we work to make Vermont more resilient to climate impacts now, while preparing for the future.

“I continue to be frustrated with this administration's lack of commitment to enacting legislation that will make a real difference in our fight to combat climate change, and all Vermonters must understand that important legislation — carefully crafted bills that will protect future generations — continues to be shut down by Governor Scott. There is absolutely no time left to enact meaningful change. Climate action is about boosting resilience, reducing our carbon footprint and transitioning to the renewable systems and economy of the future. It’s about protecting people, communities and our land, and it is meaningful work that most Vermonter support and welcome. But time and time again, this governor has made it clear that climate action is not a priority, and he will take every opportunity to stop environmental protection legislation and undermine the future prosperity of our state.

“House Natural Resources Chair, Rep. Amy Sheldon: “I am deeply disappointed that Governor Scott vetoed the Community Resiliency and Biodiversity Protection Act. H.606 set the goal of conserving 30% of our lands and waters by 2030 and 50% by 2050. Conserving 50% is a conservative goal to set in order to protect the Vermont we know and love. This governor vetoed the Clean Heat Standard, a key recommendation of the state’s Climate Action Plan — and he vetoed the Global Warming Solutions Act that led to the creation of that important plan. He has now vetoed the 30 by 30 goals, which were also recommended in the Climate Action Plan. I would like to know — and Vermonters would like to know: What if anything is this governor going to do to address climate change?”

6.2.2022. Montpelier, VT – Speaker of the House.