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Re: “Truckin': Natural Gas Deliveries Fuel Industries — and Pipeline Foes

Residential customers in Addison County and rural areas of Franklin County could have had trucked CNG or adsorbed natural gas delivered in canisters like propane a long time ago. It’s not physically or technologically impossible. Vermont Gas and the Department of Public Service see these options as threats to VGS’ planned Addison pipeline expansion so they blocked NG Advantage and a newer company, Energtek, which has a canister technology specifically designed to deliver natural gas to smaller businesses and residential customers from delivering their products to Vermont families. How did they do that? They got NG Advantage and Energtek to sign agreements (MOUs) saying that the companies wouldn't serve residential customers in Vermont - seemingly in return for DPS supporting (and VGS not objecting to) the companies' requests that the PSB not exercise its jurisdiction and instead treat them like unregulated fuel dealers. That allowed NG Advantage and Energtek to build facilities and start doing business in Vermont quickly, but locked them out of the residential market.

All of that happened BEFORE VGS even submitted its pipeline expansion proposal. If VGS and DPS had stayed out of it, Vermont families in Addison County (and parts of Franklin County where natural gas is not currently available) might already have the choices of trucked CNG or canistered natural gas. AND, VGS' average residential customers would not have already paid $75 annually since 2011 ($350 to date) in surcharges for VGS’ expensive consultants and lawyers to develop the pipeline expansion project. Current customers would not be facing massive 25-year rate hikes that will add up to over $7000 in EXTRA charges with no benefit to them whatsoever. If you're a VGS customer and don't think that's fair tell DPS. There’s an online form that will send a complaint to DPS here: http://www.justpowervt.org/ratepayers/ .

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by pipeup4pipeout on 05/27/2015 at 11:40 PM

Re: “Vermont Gas Pulls Plug on Phase Two of Pipeline

Now, even a NY paper plant has gotten burned by the plague of Vermont: poor government due diligence, companies that think they’re entitled to get paid for a job not done, and state leadership happy to have Vermonters pay up. Imagine what IP could have done with that $8 million. Imagine what the 50,000 ratepayers in Chittenden and Franklin Counties would have done with their shares of the $48 million VGS has already spent on Phase I to complete 5 miles of a 41.6 mile project. Imagine how much of that $48 million of ratepayer money will be spent to pay for design and budgeting work twice. How much will be spent on early retirement packages for VGS executives, who have left the project, on early termination of contracts with service providers, and on legal fees to litigate those terminations and mediators to resurrect failed negotiations.

The only difference here is that IP has the option of canceling the contract. Vermont ratepayers don't have that option. Unaffected folks in Vermont State Government would have to do that. Unfortunately, our governor has effectively already endorsed the latest massive cost increase on Phase II. A cost increase of greater magnitude than the one IP said no to. He’s re-endorsed Phase I before any of the rigorous review he promised 6 weeks ago when VGS announced the latest $33 million increase. Now, he says that Phase I such a brilliant idea that all he wants is VGS to be aggressive in fulfilling its goal and rigorous “oversight.” In other words, for him, it’s a done deal. Now we just have to wait for DPS to follow suit with platitudes about VGS before the Public Service Board…and for the next round of cost increases, all charged to ratepayers, to start rolling in.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by pipeup4pipeout on 02/11/2015 at 8:58 PM

Re: “Monkton Woman Arrested at Vermont Gas 'Knit-In' Protest

If I recall correctly Don Gilbert once said that if communities didn't want the pipeline VGS wouldn't come with it.

Nevertheless, landowners never pressed any charges against VGS employees or contractors for trespassing or defacing properties with survey flags while there. Even in the face of your company thinking that trespassing is OK even after you've been asked not come back. Doing it sneakily so that people don't even know it's happening is OK. Showing up on someone's property to dig a trench through it and lay down a gas pipeline is OK. It's even OK if when you get to the end of the property, you move on leaving your garbage with just some soil thrown on top. It's OK for you to bring with you some pipeline construction workers, who who are selling meth to one another --
on the job no less. And if a couple of those workers try to strangle each other outside the local hardware store that's OK too. Shoving a journalist is OK.

But, on the flip side, two young men walking through unlocked doors at a building that is open to the public is trespassing. Hanging a banner on your roof is "defacing property." Protesting peacefully is extremism and "crossing the line." A mother, three grandmothers, and a sister/aunt/kind neighbor knitting in the reception area of your offices and staying in hopes that you meet some pretty reasonable demands is not OK?

To (mis)quote a favorite American movie, I will just say this VGS leadership about protesters visiting your office:

If you don't build it they won't come.

35 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by pipeup4pipeout on 07/02/2014 at 11:51 PM

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