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Call or write the Governor!

It is critical that you let the govenor know your position on the “fracked” gas pipeline.

 

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Call the Governor’s office.  If you’re calling from an 802 line, call (800) 649-6825.  If you’re calling from a different area code, call (802) 828-3333.

2.  Conclude by asking the Governor to do the right thing for climate change and Vermonters.  Give him the courage to withdraw support.  Tell him you’ll help fight for him if the pipeline is stopped.

POSSIBLE TALKING POINTS
  • Methane is 19 times more potent than carbon dioxide and 64 times more potent over a 20 year life span, and the EPA says that leaks from local gas distribution are hugely underestimated.  VGS doesn’t even include methane in its calculations.
  • VGS’ claimed savings have disappeared overnight!  Oil prices have decreased by 33% in just the past few months and are projected to continue to fall.  In the meantime, the pipeline that transport’s Gaz Metro/VGS’ fracked gas from Alberta to Vermont may not be available, and Gaz Metro says residential rates could soar as a result.  Vermont families could be paying more for natural gas than for oil or propane by the time this pipeline is built.
  • VGS claims that the project will produce 20 jobs over 20 years.  Cutting taxes or spending a fraction of the cost of the pipeline on economic development would likely produce many more than 20 jobs over the same period.
  • It will cost $90,000 to hook up each customer in Addison county to natural gas.  For the same money, 4 families could have solar panels and heat pumps and save as much on heating plus reduce their electricity bills drastically!  And, solar power is renewable!
  • IPCC’s latest report says that if we don’t dramatically reduce greenhouse gasses we could lock ourselves into “irreversible” impacts on people and the environment.  NEW information the Governor needs to consider in light of the pipeline.
  • Natural gas is not a “bridge fuel.”  Methane is a vastly more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, some say worse than coal.  We have all the bridges we need to create our renewable energy future, now.
  • This is not the direction Vermonters want their energy future to take.  At a time when scientists are starting to question whether or not we can prevent the worst of climate change, we do not want to build one inch more of fossil fuel infrastructure.  Leave fossil fuels in the ground!
  • Vermont could save $1.4 billion and avoid 6.8 million tons of carbon pollution if the state invested in efficiency and clean heat programs available to all Vermonters, as called for by the state’s own Thermal Efficiency Task Force.
  • The fracked gas industry has been described as a “Ponzi scheme” and a “bubble.”  All indications are that when the bubble bursts gas prices will go up, and the so-called savings will vanish.  Renewable energy sources are unlimited.
  • The 41% cost overrun on Phase I of the Addison Natural Gas Project brings the capital costs to $121.6 million, which is $50-$60 million over the company’s original estimate in 2011, and still the utility, Vermont Gas Systems (VGS), refuses to put a cap on its spending.
  • The Department of Public Service is supposed to protect Vermonters, but it has not called for transparency.  No one outside of VGS can access the numbers underlying the costs and benefits claimed in its filings and marketing.
  • $121.6 million of Vermont ratepayers’ money for infrastructure that would serve fewer than 2,600 customers translates into $47,500 per customer hook up!
  • Weatherization and cold climate heat pumps or wood pellet stoves achieve similar household savings for a small fraction of that price.
  • Although VGS is owned by a Canadian multi-billion dollar company, all of the costs will be borne by ordinary folks in Vermont—the current gas customers, or ratepayers, in Chittenden and Franklin counties.
  • There is no public good in raising rates for 50,000 ratepayers to as much as 15.2% above the value of gas service they receive so that fewer than 2,600 new customers can—maybe—save something on their heating bills.
  • The dangers/risks of fracked gas pipelines running near residences are inequitable and dangerous.  Problems with pipelines are becoming commonplace; over time, pipelines corrode, leak, and explode, releasing massive amounts of toxins into the air, land, and water.
  • The rights of landowners have been violated in the easement negotiating process.  State agencies that are supposed to be neutral but which have openly defended the pipeline, have left landowners to fend for themselves.  VGS has taken advantage of the complexity of negotiations to pressure landowners to sign contracts against landowners’ interests.

 

BACKGROUND

Vermonters resoundingly disapprove of expanding the fracked gas pipeline and sending it under our lake to International Paper.  The Governor has not been listening to us.  Protect our state from this massive setback in fighting climate change and tell the Governor what you think of his misguided support of the project. 

The Public Service Board recently ruled to move forward on Phase I of the fracked gas pipeline to Addison County, despite overwhelming, scathing criticism from the public and concerned, thoughtful, government officials.  Opponents have articulated the disastrous economic, environmental, and human injustices created by a pipeline that would have long-reaching negative impacts on our entire state for generations to come.  At a time when pipeline explosions are increasingly commonplace in the U.S. it is lunacy to run a pipeline under Lake Champlain to International Paper, potentially damaging the drinking water of a quarter-million people with toxic fracked gas chemicals.

Relentless phone calls have been proven to work—politicians pay attention!  The Governor is vulnerable now with a tiny lead after the election and he will know we are watching for him to respond to the overwhelming number of calls.  We are not going away until he changes his position.  This phone campaign was started by a coalition of Vermont landowners and climate activists that go by the name of Just Power.  We are just people, and we invite everyone to join us in demanding just power.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.vtcpg.org/immediate-action-steps/sign-the-petition/