Feeling an urgency to post certain pieces about the proposed pipeline. As the news stacks up about how fracking is just no good, un-natural gaz is not infallible when running long pipelines over hill and under lake.
Article published May 30, 2014 (RH)
Bullying mars pipeline debate
Vermont prides itself on polite discourse, and, generally, we have great respect for each other and the processes we use to resolve difficult issues such as utility projects. We recognize that there has to be an objective way to determine what efforts are in the best economic and environmental interest of our state — a way to separate the central facts from the passion of the extremes.
Unfortunately, with most projects there is a group of very vocal opponents, who are inflexible, even fanatical, in their views and for whom no amount of fairness or fact will be persuasive.
For this vocal minority — and they are a tiny fraction of the general population — if you don’t share their extreme views you are no longer a neighbor with a different opinion, you are the enemy. That’s not just unfortunate, it’s also uncivil and inconsistent with their ultimate objectives.
As the discussion of delivering natural gas service to Rutland County moves forward — a more affordable and cleaner option that has existed in Chittenden County for nearly 50 years — we’ve seen this behavior repeat itself. Most recently, we’ve seen angry and disrespectful opponents — mostly from VPIRG and Rising Tide — scold supporters as well as the neutral Public Service Board that regulates utilities and weighs the facts. They are also following through on threatened “uncivil” disobedience by trespassing and defacing private property at a Vermont Gas property in South Burlington. Vermonters deserve rigorous debate without the vandalism and threat of violence.
The behavior of opponents is unfortunate and inconsistent with the value Vermonters place on civil and respectful dialogue. If Vermonters want to learn more about the proposal to expand natural gas service in Addison and Rutland counties — or if they want to express their support for that project — they shouldn’t be bullied, intimidated or threatened by opponents. That’s not the Vermont way.
Here’s a reply to the Broyles letter in this morning’s RH.Article published Jun 2, 2014 ( RH)
Majority opposes Vt. Gas pipeline
Vermont Gas has many people in this state brainwashed into believing their exaggerations and out and out lies. The “bullying” Mr. Broyles refers to and his claim that the people who rallied at Vermont Gas on Tuesday were “a tiny fraction of the general population,” and that there was vandalism and violence, are some of the “mis-truths” Vermont Gas has been spreading.
The people who convened on Vermont Gas headquarters were representative of a large, diverse and peaceful group of people who have been fighting and following the pipeline project for more than a year.
Mr. Broyles describes the protesters as “a group of very vocal opponents, who are inflexible, even fanatical, in their views” despite the fact the majority of speakers at the last three public hearings on the pipeline were against the pipeline. At a public informational meeting in Middlebury in April 2013, the vast majority of attendees opposed the pipeline. Over 2,000 messages pertaining to the pipeline were sent to the PSB on Phase 1 — 96 percent of them were against it. Monkton, Cornwall and Shoreham all voted against the pipeline at town meeting.
Mr. Broyles says those who oppose this pipeline are bullying, intimidating and threatening in order to get their way and “That’s not the Vermont way.” Well, I would like to point out that if Vermonters behaved the way Mr. Broyles says we should, Ethan Allen would not be a hero and Vermont would still be a part of New York!
Nathan B. Palmer