Demonstrators rally against pipeline

MIDDLEBURY — They came in buses, van, cars and on bikes to Middlebury Union Middle School on Tuesday evening to protest the proposed Addison Natural Gas Project.
The protest — announced in advance by Rising Tide Vermont — officially kicked off at 6 p.m., an hour before the Vermont Public Service Board hearing on the proposed 43-mile natural gas pipeline from Colchester to Middlebury and Vergennes.
“This isn’t for the public good of Vermont,” Rising Tide Vermont volunteer Anna Shierman-Grabowski said as colorful protest banners, flags and other props were unveiled behind her, near the MUMS front entrance.
She said Rising Tide, Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG), Vermont Citizens for Public Good, 350 Vermont, Toxics Action Center and the Conservation Law Foundation all had a hand in organizing the protest. Participants also signed up to testify before the PSB, which must award the project a certificate of public good if it is to proceed.
Among those speaking against the pipeline at the hour-long protest were VPIRG Executive Director Paul Burns, Monkton landowner Nate Palmer and a migrant farm worker named Luis Esteban, who talked about pipeline perils in his native Mexico.
Protesters circulated a giant postcard they will give to Gov. Peter Shumlin, urging him oppose the pipeline project. The governor has already gone on record as saying he supports the pipeline as an economic development tool and hopes to see it ultimately extended into Rutland County.
Pipeline critics held signs saying, “Stop the Fracked Gas Pipeline,” while a group offered T-shirts bearing anti-pipeline slogans.

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