Astronomy Picture of the Day

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Pipeline Talking Points. Turn off if you have pipeline fatigue.

Pipeline Talking Points from my listserv,

representing hundreds of landowners, business owners, farmers,

workers, housewives, nurses,

people who care deeply about our environment, our water, our wells, our neighborhoods, our idyllic pastoral town, and those who are born to the above people, who wil inevitably inherit the environment we leave to them.

like me.

No newspaper here, far in the hinterlands,

where the roads end, we have to yell to the world,

to be heard at the town hall.

Feeling unable to fight this situation by saying how it all affects me or my neighbor.

Better to have succinct points,

are you still with me?


Environment

1. The ANGP would not reduce Vermonters’ dependence on fossil fuel. It would only facilitate replacing one fossil fuel for another.

2. VGS sells gas extracted by hydraulic fracturing. While Vermont has banned hydraulic fracturing within its own borders, the ANGP would sharply increase the utilization of fracked gas within Vermont, thus contributing to the expansion of fracking outside its borders.


3. VGS’ claims of reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions do not include leakage rates in the extraction, transmission and distribution of natural gas. The GHG effect of methane is 100 times that of CO2 in the first twenty years, and current leakage rates make natural gas a worse choice than either coal or oil. It is not “cleaner.”


4. The ANGP would only reduce Vermont's annual GHG emissions by 0.16%, and this small amount would be offset by the amount of methane leakage in the extraction of the gas. By contrast, weatherization would reduce GHG emissions by a rate 30 times greater than emission reductions for the ANGP and create far more jobs, strengthening the local economy.


5. Research conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that up to nine percent of gas leaks from wells, more than double the official inventory, but in line with estimates made in 2011 by a Cornell University research team who also tested for methane leaks around active wells.


6. A recent Stanford University study found that New York state alone could supply 99 percent of the entire state’s energy needs from renewables within 20 years. This is the model Vermont should consider in order to reach the goal of 90% renewables by 2050.



Safety


1. VGS’s proposed route has Vermonters’ homes situated permanently within the “Potential Impact Radius,” the area within which everything would be destroyed in the event of an accident.


2. In the U.S., approximately 27 serious natural gas incidents are reported each year on average, according to the Department of Transportation, resulting in an average of nine deaths, 45 injuries, and reported property damages totaling over $5.6 million. - From the Christian Science Monitor


Explosion, fire, death, and destruction - it's only a matter of when and where – and VGS cannot guarantee there will never be an explosion.



Ethics


It is unethical to facilitate the expansion of the toxic practice of hydraulic fracturing outside Vermont by increasing the market demand for natural gas within Vermont, and it is unethical to impose risk of death and destruction on communities and landowners within Vermont in so that large corporations and a small percentage of landowners may save money in the short term on their fuel bills.



Economics


1. Proponents of the ANGP claim Addison County and the western corridor of Vermont are at a serious economic disadvantage compared to other counties that have natural gas service, and that this “disadvantage” requires swift action to serve these areas with natural gas in order to help these areas retain and create new jobs. This is false. Vermont’s unemployment rate as of April 2013 is 4.0%, third lowest in the nation. Addison and Rutland counties both have unemployment rates that are proportional to their pre-recession rates.


2. Business development entities that support the ANGP claim natural gas service will help maintain and create new jobs. There is no data to support the position that natural gas service is an important factor that causes businesses to succeed or fail, or that natural gas service increases employment.


3. The ANGP is estimated to create only 20 new jobs per year. Weatherizing homes in Vermont would create 800 new jobs.


4. Claims that the ANGP will create more jobs are speculative. There is no guarantee businesses that would receive natural gas service will hire more employees.


5. Projected savings claimed by VGS for natural gas users are based on the assumption that natural gas prices will remain at historic lows indefinitely.


6. Claimed savings are overstated and short-term. The collapse in natural gas prices puts the price below cost of production, an unsustainable situation for drilling companies. Thus, businesses and residents who would convert to natural gas can expect prices to rise significantly in the next few years as prices rise to exceed cost of extraction.


7. ANGP phase II is solely paid for and intended to supply International Paper (IP) in New York. VGS states over 70% of the gas transmitted through the entire pipeline will be consumed by IP. This is not in the interests of Vermont or Vermonters.


8. Ratepayers of Chittenden and Franklin counties would pay $66.6 million of the ANGP construction costs, which will extend service to only 3,000 households. Comparatively, $66.6 million divided by the 14,150 households in Addison County would provide $4,703 per home for weatherization. Weatherization would cut BTU use by 20-30% per year, saving a homeowner $1,000 annually.


9. The financial dividends of weatherization far outstrip the short-term savings of natural gas service. It costs $2,000 - $5,000 for the average homeowner to convert to natural gas. This same investment in weatherization reduces overall fossil fuel use, and reduces heating costs over the lifetime of the house, as opposed to the short term savings of temporarily low natural gas prices.



Process


1. VGS has applied to the Public Service Board (PSB) for a “Certificate of Public Good” in order to construct their project. “Public Good” is an ill-defined, unquantifiable concept. Shouldn’t we better define the “Public Good” before we confiscate Vermont citizens property to hand over to a multi-national corporation?


2. Affected landowners have no voice in the PSB Section 248 process unless they spend many thousands of dollars on attorneys to protect their property rights against a multi-billion dollar corporation.


3. VGS objected to participation in the PSB Section 248 process by any group who may present an opposing point of view.


4. Corporations who stand to gain economic benefit by future phases of the pipeline not yet filed with the PSB have been granted intervener status in the PSB Section 248 process for Phase I. Meanwhile, potential affected landowners for future phases do not have the same opportunity to seek intervener status because routes have not been finalized.


SOURCES

Environment




Climate Impacts of Shale Gas Development
http://www.eeb.cornell.edu/howarth/Marcellus.html

Hydrocarbon Emissions Characterization in the Colorado Front Range http://blogs.edf.org/energyexchange/files/2012/02/Petron_Colorado_Front_Range_2011.pdf






CFR Title 49 Vol. 3 Sec. 192.903







The Weatherization Assistance Program Briefing Book
http://www.waptac.org/WAP-Basics/Briefing-Book.aspx


Vermont Unemployment Statistics

 
and if that fails, I decided I would post a gratuitous catchy cat photo to appeal to that side of your brain,
hey, the lizard worked for g*#c*!
 
 

tommy

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