Re: “Vt. Gas agrees to avoid natural areas,” Sept. 17:
Tuesday I attended the technical hearings concerning the Addison pipeline proposal. As this article also notes, I found that there was a lot of discussion over the rerouting and modification of the pipeline. There was not, however, enough discussion over whether the actual construction of the pipeline would be for the public good.
Tuesday, the whole hearing felt like a game of “hot potato.” No one wanted the pipeline in their backyard.
The environmental and health risks posed by the pipeline were not directly discussed; instead we learned that if you don’t want to deal with the health risks of having a pipeline in your backyard, you better bet that your neighbor doesn’t want them either.
The town of Monkton came to an agreement with Vermont Gas that the pipeline would avoid its homes and wells by 300 feet, but Monkton also didn’t want it crossing the Velco corridor. This reroute pushed the pipeline into the Palmers’ land, who asked why they should be bearing the burden of the fracked gas pipeline instead.
If no one wants the pipeline to go through their property, the best reroute for this pipeline is no route. Not only does the pipeline pose health risks — fracked gas is dirty, and it far outweighs its fossil fuel counterparts when it comes to the greenhouse gas effect. Natural gas pipelines inevitably leak methane — a strong greenhouse gas. Methane contributes to climate change 72 times more than carbon.
It wouldn’t make sense for environmentally minded Vermont to build the infrastructure for years of fossil fuel dependency. Natural gas pipelines cause direct safety risks, pollute well water and cause climate change. This isn’t in the public good.
Let’s stop rerouting this pipeline and just say no altogether.
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