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Opinion: Pipeline project makes sense

Although the argument against the pipeline centers on environmental concerns, the real reason may have to do with the disdain for fossil fuels felt by environmental groups and others. The Vermont Gas pipeline is a relatively small issue compared to the entirety of the existing U.S. natural gas pipeline system. Hence, opponents of this project have taken a well-anticipated route, claiming that it will harm the environment.
The question is, “If the thousands of miles of existing pipeline has long been in use and the environment seems to be unaffected, why should the Vermont Gas pipeline suddenly be the project that ruins our countryside?” I believe we should let the project continue, which is exactly what I expect will happen during 2015 and beyond. The Public Service Board will likely allow the pipeline to proceed.
I also expect the governor’s stance on the pipeline will not disrupt the construction process. I believe the majority of Vermonters support the expansion of the pipeline as it moves south from Williston into Addison and Rutland counties.
In summary, the expansion of the Vermont Gas pipeline is good for the economy, good for the growth of industry while creating many future jobs, and good for every Vermont consumer in their quest for cheaper and cleaner-burning heating fuel. A large portion of every family’s budget, as well as every business’ budget, is eaten away by the cost of structural heat during the long Vermont winters. Natural gas will be less expensive and much cleaner burning than fuel oil or wood, which in turn will generate more money back into our local community economy.
On the subject of heating with wood, ever looked inside a chimney that has burned wood for winter heat? The creosote build-up is a mess, and guess what, more is being sent out of the chimney into the atmosphere that we breathe. So, wood is a definite air polluter and more importantly burning wood requires cutting the trees that create oxygen for us to breathe, to say nothing about raping our Green Mountains of their beauty. We have great environmental technology here in our state which will assure that the environment will be protected.
Opponents ask why should the pipeline be allowed to proceed? I ask, “Why not?”
Martin Thompson
Bristol

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