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Top stories of 2014: #1 — Pipeline project spurs plenty of controversy

Posted on January 5, 2015 |
By Addison Independent



FPMay12.jpg

For the second year in a row, the Vermont Gas Systems Addison Rutland Natural Gas Pipeline Project captivated (and sometimes enraged) county residents, and was the subject of more than 50 articles in the Independent.

After the Public Service Board in December 2013 approved Phase I of the pipeline, which will run from Colchester to Middlebury and Vergennes, Vermont Gas land agents spent the year securing land easements from Addison County residents.

full story

Opinion: Cornwall wise to halt Vt. Gas talks

Posted on December 30, 2014 |
By Jane Palmer



Boy am I glad I am not a selectboard member in Cornwall right now.

Talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place. To recap the situation, in a nutshell, Vermont Gas/Gaz Métro proposed a high-pressure fracked gas pipeline through Cornwall and Shoreham and under the lake to reach its potentially most lucrative customer ever, and the majority of voters in Cornwall and Shoreham (at their respective town meetings last year), told VGS to go pound salt.

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Opinion: Using natural gas as a bridge fuel makes no sense

Posted on December 30, 2014 |
By Sally Burrell



It’s wise to carefully consider how energy projects impact the land, air and water. Our lives and economy depend on a clean environment. Likewise, the health of our society depends on living cooperatively, respecting each other and creating local solutions to local challenges. Surrendering to corporate pressure and outsourcing our energy needs is detrimental to our democratic process and to the expansion of our local energy economy.

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Vt. Gas raises Phase I pipeline cost estimate again

Posted on December 19, 2014 |
By Zach Despart



VGSguy6296.jpg

SOUTH BURLINGTON — Vermont Gas Systems on Friday announced that Phase I of the Addison Rutland Natural Gas Project pipeline will cost $33 million more than the company estimated in July, for a total cost of $154 million.

The company also said Phase I will be completed later than projected and asked the Public Service Board to delay its consideration of the second phase of the project, which the board has been reviewing for more than a year.

full story

UPDATED: Vt. Gas, Cornwall eye agreement on Phase II pipeline

Posted on December 17, 2014 |
By John Flowers



CORNWALL — The Cornwall selectboard on Tuesday evening tabled action on a negotiated agreement with Vermont Gas Systems regarding the Phase II natural gas pipeline, following pleas from most of the approximately 25 people who turned out at the board’s meeting to argue the pact was flawed.

The agreement, unveiled this week, calls for Cornwall to drop its opposition to the project in exchange for Vermont Gas making some substantial financial concessions that would collectively reduce local residents’ property taxes by an estimated 4 percent.

full story

Opinion: Pipeline project makes sense

Posted on December 10, 2014 |
By Martin Thompson



Although the argument against the pipeline centers on environmental concerns, the real reason may have to do with the disdain for fossil fuels felt by environmental groups and others. The Vermont Gas pipeline is a relatively small issue compared to the entirety of the existing U.S. natural gas pipeline system. Hence, opponents of this project have taken a well-anticipated route, claiming that it will harm the environment.

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Opinion: Vermont Gas pipeline formula doesn't add up

Posted on December 10, 2014 |
By Ross Conrad



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Vt. Gas pledges to halt eminent domain use (for now)

Posted on December 4, 2014 |
By Zach Despart



ADDISON COUNTY — After receiving a request from Gov. Shumlin to do so, Vermont Gas Systems says it will hold off on filing eminent domain proceedings against landowners along the Phase I route of its pipeline. known as the Addison Rutland Natural Gas Project. The company also committed to halting negotiations with landowners who wish to stop talking until a new set of guidelines is established for relations between Vermont Gas and landowners.

full story

Shumlin meets with landowners about Vermont Gas negotiations

Posted on November 20, 2014 |
By Zach Despart



MONTPELIER — A group of landowners along the route of the first phase of the Addison Rutland Natural Gas Project met with Gov. Peter Shumlin last week to discuss concerns they have with how Vermont Gas is negotiating easements for the pipeline.

For the half-hour sitdown at the governor’s office in Montpelier on Nov. 13, Shumlin brought along his chief of staff, Liz Miller, Department of Public Service Commissioner Chris Recchia and Justin Johnson, the deputy secretary for the Agency of Natural Resources.

full story

Opinion: State must fight natural gas plan

Posted on November 19, 2014 |
By John Madden



The nicest thing about a trip out of state is coming back to Vermont.

Recently there has been much advertising and sales of the idea that sacrificing the lives and property of Vermonters for cheap fuel from Canada (and not obeying Vermont law) is in the public good.

A current example of that concept is the building of an explosive gas storage and distribution network in Middlebury without the required-by-Vermont-law public hearing (30 V.S.A., Section 24B(4)(A)) and permit (Section 248(b)(5)).

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