Opinion: States should cooperate on pipeline

The North Country Chamber of Commerce is the largest business and economic development organization in northern New York and the Lake Champlain region, representing more than 4,200 predominantly small employers across Essex, Clinton, Franklin, Hamilton and northern Warren counties. We are strategically committed to the sustainable economic future of our shared, bi-state Champlain Valley region, working actively over the last 20 years across the lake on such endeavors as the Lake Champlain Basin Plan.
Looking ahead, the Addison-Rutland Natural Gas Project, now before the Addison County Regional Planning Commission for review, holds a historic opportunity for Vermont and New York to jointly sustain a major source of shared employment and economic activity while also significantly enhancing the environment, all by assisting International Paper in the planned transition from heavy oil to natural gas.
Given the broad regional importance of this pending project, and the critical importance of bi-state cooperation and partnership in what is our shared future, we hope the commission will provide sufficient time and opportunity for all areas of the Lake Champlain region to be part of the dialogue and input, and that the commission will in the end advance this important project in support of our joint economic and environmental future.
Garry Douglas
North Country Chamber of Commerce
Plattsburgh, N.Y.

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