Natural Gas Pipeline

westphalia / iStock

The natural gas pipeline through Addison County received approval from the Public Service Board. But since then, the projected costs have risen twice and nearly doubled.

We talk with the new CEO of Vermont Gas, Don Rendall, and Maren Vasatka, an Addison County landowner who opposes the pipeline.

State utility regulators ruled Friday that Vermont Gas Systems can continue to build its pipeline from Chittenden County to Addison County despite substantial cost overruns.

Vermont Gas spokesman Steve Wark said the company was pleased by the decision.

Anti-pipeline activists launched a "fish-in" at the Public Service Board office in Montpelier this afternoon. They want construction of a natural gas pipeline halted while state regulators review a 40 percent increase in the project's cost estimate.

Demonstrators outside the Public Service Board office wore fishing garb and sang protest songs while sitting in a land-bound canoe. One of the protesters was Burlington resident Andy Simon, who is a Vermont Gas ratepayer.

A group of opponents of the Vermont Gas Systems pipeline say the cost of Vermont Gas Systems’ pipeline from Colchester to Addison County is no longer justifiable in light of a recently announced cost increase.

Angela Evancie / VPR

Addison County sent a strong message of opposition to Phase II of the Vermont Gas pipeline at Town Meetings held on Monday and Tuesday.

At Cornwall's Town Meeting on Monday evening, voters passed a non-binding resolution to oppose the Addison-Rutland Natural Gas Project, 126-16.

Also on Monday, residents in Shoreham also approved a non-binding resolution to oppose Phase II of the pipeline, 63-38.

And Monkton voters strongly denounced the pipeline on Tuesday, with three speakers delivering prepared remarks against the project and no one speaking in support.

Todd Bissonette / AP

What's your opinion of Phase II of the Addison natural gas pipeline that Vermont Gas Systems had proposed to run under Lake Champlain to Ticonderoga, NY? Cornwall residents are being asked just that, as the town attempts to gauge public sentiment on the project.

The Cornwall Select Board has sent a mailing to residents, which includes a post card that the town is asking be returned by Feb.1. The post card states:

State utility regulators have approved a 43-mile natural gas pipeline to serve Addison County.

The Vermont Public Service Board  said on Monday the Vermont Gas Systems project will benefit the state economy and Vermont ratepayers.

Vermont Gas spokesman Steve Wark said the company was pleased by the ruling.

“It will save that region $200 million in energy costs over a 20 year period, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by almost 300,000 tons and also help just the average residential consumer cut their bills in half,” Wark said.

VPR/John Dillon

Vermont Gas Systems has reached an agreement with the state Agency of Natural Resources to minimize the impact of a proposed new pipeline on wetlands and other sensitive areas.

But environmentalists are still concerned that the pipeline will increase greenhouse gas emissions. Their concerns were on display outside a Montpelier hotel where the Public Service Board opened hearings on the pipeline project.

VPR/Steve Zind

The Vermont Public Service Board held the second of two hearings Tuesday night to hear public comments on a controversial 41 mile natural gas pipeline proposed for Addison County.

The project would be an expansion of the Vermont Natural Gas System’s Chittenden County pipeline.

Most speakers at the hearing opposed the project.

Before the hearing opponents staged a rally outside the Middlebury Middle School.

VPR/John Dillon

The Public Service Board is faced with conflicting studies on the greenhouse gas impacts of a proposed Addison County natural gas pipeline.

A study filed last month by an environmental group says the pipeline would increase global warming emissions. But Vermont Gas Systems has now produced its own research, showing a net reduction in greenhouse gases.

Vermont Gas spokesman Steve Wark says the utility’s consultant found that greenhouse gas emissions will drop if consumers convert from burning fuel oil to natural gas provided by the proposed 42 mile pipeline.

VPR/John Dillon

Opponents of a proposed Addison County natural gas pipeline brought their concerns to Montpelier on Monday with a street protest that targeted the Shumlin Administration’s support for the project.

The group says the administration has downplayed the pipeline’s impact on climate change.

AP/Toby Talbot /

Critics of a proposed Addison County natural gas pipeline say the developer has exaggerated the project’s environmental and economic benefits.

The latest arguments come in testimony filed with the Public Service Board.

Vermont Gas Systems says its proposed 41-mile Addison pipeline project will bring cheaper, cleaner-burning fuel for homes and businesses along the route.

The testimony filed by opponents late last week aims directly at those arguments.

The town of Monkton has signed an agreement with Vermont Gas Systems that sets out the conditions the company must follow if it’s allowed to build a natural gas pipeline through the community.

Vermont Gas wants to extend its line 41 miles south to Addison County. Some residents in Monkton oppose the project. The town selectboard last week voted to reject a legal agreement – called a memorandum of understanding – between the town and the company.

As Vermont Gas Systems seeks approval for a 40 mile pipeline project, the company faces stubborn opposition from one town along the route.

Officials in the town of Monkton hope to negotiate an agreement with Vermont Gas that would provide additional concessions for the community.

The Monkton selectboard has met several times to discuss a legal agreement with Vermont Gas that would offer the town’s support for the project and provide local benefits. These include hook-ups to a distribution line to provide gas service to about 100 potential customers in town.

Pipeline Info Campaign Is Under Way In Cornwall

Apr 18, 2013

The exact route for the proposed second phase of Vermont Gas's natural gas pipeline in Addison County has yet to be determined. Vermont Gas announced five possible Phase II routes earlier this month, three of which would take the pipeline through the town of Cornwall on its way to the International Paper mill in Ticonderoga, N.Y. However, Cornwall isn't waiting for a final determination to inform residents about risks that could come with the Addison Natural Gas Project.