Opinion: Consider all the costs of a natural gas pipeline

“We don’t see that kind of money in Addison County. Or in Rutland County, … Even if you don’t believe it’s all true, it’s a big number.” So spoke Adam Lougee, the executive director of the Addison County Regional Planning Commission at their meeting on April 10, 2014. He thinks that phase II of the fracked natural gas pipeline will benefit our communities, economically.
What about the economy of the families who are negatively impacted by fracking and this pipeline project? How much is their health worth? Their land? Their homes? Their livestock? Their water? (Perhaps the other communities I am speaking of, are not considered worthy of being respected.)
What are the values of clean rivers in Addison County? What is the current value of Lake Champlain given its current problems and still yet so precious and beautiful?
The sum of all these unspoken values are far greater than that big number, Adam Lougee, referred to. I have heard that clean water is priceless. Now, we are dealing in the realm of infinity. Some cultures consider clean water sacred.
And you still ask, “But what can we do?”
Michael Reddy wrote a comment to Angelo Lynn’s recent editorial, “Phase II pipeline: Questions to ask and potential solutions.” Michael responded, “The only answer is a complete ban on new fossil fuel infrastructure expansion, a recognition of First Nations’ peoples’ right to their unceded traditional lands, and a massive reorientation toward decentralized community scaled and controlled energy projects. We’ve got to demand better than fracked gas for our energy solutions.”
Yes, let us solve our problems in a more local way.
Patricia Heather-Lea

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