Opinion: Adirondack Park held harmless at Vermont’s expense

As the Phase 2 pipeline controversy continues to swirl, it is important that everyone understand that we are being used by International Paper and the various government entities in New York to bypass their own homegrown obstacle to a natural gas line to the mill. That obstacle is their precious Adirondack Park.
As reported in the May 22, 2012, issue of the Post Star, IP and various New York commissions and municipalities have been working with their U.S. Rep. Bill Owens to bring gas to the plant long before the Vermont Gas option. But a quote in that story by Rep. Owens sums it all up: “We, obviously, have some issues bringing it down through the Adirondack Park.”
This is a battle that should be fought by New York, in New York. However it appears that we are looked at as less of an obstacle than their government. Now I understand the importance of IP to New York, but frankly all they contribute to us is depressed property values. We get all the pain with none of the gain. This is our one and only opportunity to get something of value out of this endeavor, and that is gas line distribution for us. Not the paltry little bones that Vermont Gas throws to us as opposition mounts, but gas line distribution throughout the area.
So while Vermont Gas officials are telling Ticonderoga town leaders that gas could be extended into other portions of their community, as reported in the Times of Ti on June 11, 2013, and threatening eminent domain procedures, it is important to remember that we are being used by IP and New York. IP and New York are choosing the path of least resistance, and protecting their Adirondack Park at our expense.
I wonder, is that what the framers of the Vermont state Constitution had in mind when drafting our eminent domain clause? The taking of Vermont land for the benefit of New York?
Gary Murdock

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