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There are many misconceptions about those that oppose the fracked gas pipeline. One is that in opposing the build out of fossil fuel infrastructure, we support CNG and the use of other fossil fuels. This is not correct. Personally I would like to make it clear that I support the commitment the State of Vermont has made to switching to 90% non- fossil fuel derived energy sources by 2050 and I oppose the fracked gas pipeline. (for many reasons).
I find it interesting that folks are now admitting that the real reason to build the pipeline was to serve industrial customers like Agrimark and Middlebury College (and IP for Phase 2) ...when all along proponents of the pipeline had been crowing about all the money the "people of Addison County" will save if the project is built. This pipeline NEVER made economic sense if it were only to serve less than 2600 residential customers. It makes even less sense now that the price tag has nearly doubled and the industrial customers have alternatives.
There is no question that more tankers full of pressurized volatile gas on the highways is a bad idea. So...let's do what we say we want to do and stop burning this nasty stuff. In the mean time, putting in insanely expensive pipelines that will increase our dependence on fossil fuel and force ratepayers and land owners to foot the bill, is also a bad idea.
I don't read anything new here. I read a lot of new "buzz words" but the fact is, VGS still wants to shove a pipeline down Vermont's throat and that is their objective no matter what Mr Rendall says. He can say he wants to "rebuild trust" but that is just lip service. If he really had respect for "families and Vermonters" he would listen to us when we say we don't want this pipeline.
I am sure VGS could pick up a few thousand customers in Chittenden and Franklin Counties for a lot less money that it will cost to build this high pressure transmission line to Addison County.
And for those who were supporting the build out of this fossil fuel infrastructure,...I tell them to read the latest studies that prove that methane is NOT cleaner and to check with their local fuel dealers where you can buy your heat for a comparable price to methane. VGS is still not being open about the costs to convert to gas, hook up to their distribution lines and the cost to "dispose" of an oil tank or the competitiveness of the price. Plus...Mr Rendall seems to want to gloss over the fact that ratepayers will have to pay for this expensive pipeline and that will be added to their gas bill. So where's the good stuff, Mr Rendall? It seems that your approach is that as long as we take what you want us to have, you'll be happy and call that a negotiation. Why should we bother to trust you or your company when you are selling us something we don't need and don't want?
Personally, I think it was the fact that there wasn't clear choice for climate justice. We have all heard Shumlin tell us he is worried about climate change, but then he backs this fracked gas pipeine. No candidate should underestimate the power of the grassroots organizations.
Something not mentioned here in this article is the proposed fracked gas pipeline project that terminates in Ticonderoga NY at the International Paper plant. Hydro-geologists have confirmed that the trench the pipeline is installed in becomes a "preferential corridor" for water (and contaminants) to travel because the soil will be less compact than the undisturbed soil, despite the "best mitigation practices" that are used during construction. So here will be a new mainline for the phosphorous to find it's way to the lake. The impact on runoff from such a project has not been studied. Why wait to see if there will be a problem until after the problem exists? Yeah, I know...money, that's why.
"It's meant to make people whole, not rich, because at the end of the day, ratepayers are picking up the tab," Steve Wark said. Is he for real? Make us whole???? We are just fine without this pipeline getting shoved down our throats, thank you very much. And are any of you ratepayers paying attention? YOU are the ones footing the bill for this fiasco...but Vermont Gas (Gaz Metro) will be the ones making the money. Does anyone else think anything is wrong with that set up? A multi-BILLION dollar company wants to serve another multi-BILLION dollar company and the ratepayers (aka the "99 percent") get to pay for the infrastructure that enables them to do that. That ALONE should make people stop and think more about this.
It's Deja doo doo all over again for those who fought the Champlain Pipeline. The group that was behind the Champlain pipeline are many of the same players that are behind this project. But the circumstances are different now. Back in the '80's, climate change wasn't on many people's radar and the extreme methods of extracting the gas from the earth were not invented. There is nothing natural or clean about "natural" gas now. The process of extraction and refining and transporting it (think leakage) all negate the advantages of a clean burn.
Trying to build more expensive fossil fuel infrastructure at this point in time is a total scam.
The real measure here is the fact that the opposition is growing...and not just because Vermont Gas is behaving badly ...it's because as people learn about the process and the consequences of a project such as this, they are deciding it's a bad idea. Vermonters are not stupid...and most are not greedy. We see the TRUE COST of this project and it is more than any of us can afford.