Pipeline Info Campaign Is Under Way In Cornwall
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.
The town's spring newsletter has no less than 11 articles that address the pipeline in some manner. Many of the articles contain facts about the pipeline and the town's involvement, including pieces by the select board, planning commission, conservation commission, and a town representative on the Pipeline Route Selection Committee. Other articles are opinion pieces and calls to action. The following excerpt is from "Thoughts from Stan Grzyb:"
The principal beneficiaries of the Phase II project would be the Canadian owned Vermont Gas Corporation and International Paper whose profits would be in the millions of dollars. In addition to safety and environmental issues associated with this proposed pipeline there are genuine ethical and fairness questions. Why should the residents of Cornwall be required to host a transmission line for two international corporations? Why should the residents of a small rural Vermont village become subservient to the profit motives of mega–corporations? The time has once again come for David to defend himself against Goliath.
Grzyb is not alone in his opposition. There is a petition in Cornwall opposing the pipeline signed by more than 140 residents. There is also a citizen-driven website about the project called KeepCornwallSafe.com that provides information on the natural gas industry, the Addison Natural Gas Project, and opportunities for citizen involvement.
On the Addison Natural Gas Project website, Vermont Gas states Phase II of the project will expedite the company's ability to serve more Vermont customers.
Vermont Gas has entered into an agreement with International Paper to provide gas to the mill in 2015 (the Phase II portion of the ANGP) at no cost to Vermont residents or Vermont Gas customers. Phase II will bring the transmission pipeline 17 miles closer to Rutland allowing Vermont Gas to serve Rutland 15 years sooner than previously planned. This project will also strengthen and support the regional economy, including the Vermont forest industry, by providing a major employer with affordable and clean energy.
According to the Cornwall Newsletter, Vermont Gas will hold a Cornwall community meeting at a yet-to-be-determined date. It seems likely the citizens attending that meeting will come well informed about the project.