Opinion: Pipeline doesn’t qualify for eminent domain takeover

In response to Sens. Mullin and Flory’s Community Forum in last week’s paper, I would first ask them: Please, senators, shouldn’t you pay for your own pipeline? Shoreham and Cornwall’s inevitably devalued land and our degraded Lake Champlain are not fair trade-offs.
Secondly, can you, senators, get Vermont Gas to guarantee that natural gas will continue to be 40 percent less than oil and propane?
And lastly, while I realize a senator’s role is to make laws, at the end of the day shouldn’t it also be to uphold them? Vermont’s Constitution limits the taking of land by eminent domain for corporate gain. Shouldn’t you be in favor of protecting those rights? Phase 2 is to benefit the International Paper mill, pure and simple. The risks and costs far outweigh the benefits to Shoreham and Cornwall.
This is not an attempt to secure land for “public roads, interstate highways, or universal electric service” as you have compared it to, but an attempt by IP to save costs. Never have they said they were in trouble, and that the failure to get gas would affect jobs and the future of their mill. Demand for paper in the future is what will determine the viability of their business. Phase 2 is separate from Phase 3. If you want gas, then demand it from Vermont Gas and get them going your way now.
Norton Latourelle

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