Opinion: Natural gas would cut energy costs for many in county

There’s no doubt that having the choice of natural gas can save people money and help businesses be more competitive in a challenging economy. There are also compelling environmental reasons to support expanding natural gas to more communities in Vermont. Natural gas is much cleaner than oil and propane and using it instead of these other fuels will make our air cleaner.
These economic and environmental advantages are real and they apply to agriculture as much as any business.
Agriculture is an energy-intensive business and it’s increasingly difficult for our farmers to succeed. Whether it’s the operation of farming equipment or the processing of dairy products like ice cream, yogurt or cheese, we need access to all of the cleaner and affordable fuel choices we can get. This includes choices like natural gas for fuel and wind and solar for electricity.
The opportunity to expand the use of renewable natural gas — natural gas produced from manure from our farms — is also an exciting innovation for our state. But Vermont has to have pipes in the ground to transport it to homes and businesses.
As stewards of the land, farmers appreciate how important it is to many Vermonters to move our energy policy forward. Natural gas is a responsible step toward the clean, affordable future we are all working toward.
There are many of us who hope the PSB will allow the expansion of natural gas into Addison County to continue to move forward.
Harvey Smith
New Haven

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