Vermont's Senate has embraced an "act relating to environmental justice," which seeks to redistribute the costs of environmental pollutants from the city mice to the country mice, while punishing white people who live where there is fresh air for the sin of country living. The law is patently unconstitutional by design — social justice ideology condemns the U.S. Constitution and seeks to replace it with infinite powers in the social justice elite.
The false narrative of the far left denigrates America contemptuously:
Americans have traditionally treated the ideas of equality and freedom as meaning simply that the individual is not prevented from following his own life, but that the society has no obligation towards the individual. This view is consistent with the country's capitalistic history, and has resulted in the wealth and income inequality from which the society suffers[.] ... Because the black population suffers most, it has become the leader of the fight to bring the reality of our society into line with the economic, social and political expectations of the people.
The truth is, people who live in urban areas suffer the increased risks of pollution regardless of race; numerous white Vermonters suffer abject poverty despite living deep in the environmentally clean mountains (and they can't use a bus or go to the museum: unrecognized urban benefits).
Vermont's Environmental Justice Act broadly defines environmental burdens and benefits, fabricating endless "rights" along the way:
"Environmental burdens" means any threat to the fundamental right to clean air, land, and water, including any destruction, damage, or impairment of natural resources that is not insignificant, resulting from intentional or reasonably foreseeable causes.
Government will create a universal Eden:
"Environmental benefits" means the benefits that enhance the capability of communities and individuals to function and flourish in society, such as access to a healthy environment and clean natural resources, including air, water resources, open green spaces, constructed playgrounds and other outdoor recreational facilities and venues.
In order to accomplish this bureaucratic fantasy, a new Environmental Justice Committee (to be staffed by numerous people of color, in 94%-white Vermont) will have power to enact rules based on skin color. Vermont claims that it follows federal law and does not "discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex" — the very categories for which Vermont now enacts specifically purposeful laws to discriminate against.
The Environmental Justice Act declares:
"Environmental justice" means all individuals are afforded the right to equitable access to environmental benefits; proportionate distribution of environmental burdens; fair and equitable treatment and meaningful participation in decision-making processes and the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies[.] ... Environmental justice redresses structural and institutional racism, colonialism, and other systems of oppression that result in the marginalization, degradation, disinvestment, and neglect of Black, Indigenous, and Communities of Color.
Comically, this bill contorts the Vermont Constitution to undermine the U.S. Constitution:
Article 7 of the Vermont Constitution establishes the government as a vehicle for the common benefit, protection, and security of Vermonters and not for the particular emolument or advantage of any single set of persons who are only a part of that community. This, coupled with Article 1's guarantee of equal rights to enjoying life, liberty, and safety, and Article 4's assurance of timely justice for all, encourages political officials to identify how particular communities may be unequally burdened or receive unequal protection under the law due to race, income, or geographic location.
"Life, Liberty and Safety" now means infinite powers for government to create utopia via overt systemic discrimination. This jurisprudential somersault yields the racist system intended for Vermont:
It is the policy of the State of Vermont that no segment of the population of the State should, because of its racial, cultural, or economic makeup, bear a disproportionate share of the environmental benefits or burdens.
A whopping 29 out of 30 Vermont senators signed this bill, which includes implementation of the "Environmental Justice mapping tool to measure environmental justice impacts at the local level." This is systemic racism, directly opposed to the Equal Protection Clause and the specific wording of federal anti-discrimination laws. The ideological Trojan Horse of "equity" seeks to create a more imperfect union.