lunes, marzo 14, 2011

Vermont shows the way: The Common Assets Trust

At a time when Republican-dominated legislatures in the Midwest are slashing state budgets and declaring war on the middle class, some visionary politicians in the State of Vermont are proposing an ingenious way to use state assets to benefit everyone equitably, while protecting the natural environment.

Here’s another exciting aspect of the legislation: it would expand the scope of the public trust doctrine in environmental law. Instead of covering just navigable waters and shorelines, the public trust doctrine would explicitly apply to “undisturbed habitats, entire ecosystems, biological diversity, waste absorption capacity, nutrient cycling, flood control, pollination, raw materials, fresh water replenishment systems, soil formation systems, and the global atmosphere.” It would also apply to “social assets such as the Internet, our legal and political systems, universities, libraries, accounting procedures, science and technology, transportation infrastructure, the radio spectrum and city parks.”

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