Astronomy Picture of the Day

Monday, January 11, 2016

If you were one of over 1400 who oppose the proposed Addison County Pipeline


Why was there even a process?

When the process ignores the Truth-Rights-Sensibility?


http://www.addisonindependent.com/201601regulator-wont-reconsider-its-ok-natural-gas-pipeline

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and Now the Rubber Stamp, Please...

4) TDI gets PSB approval for $1.2 billion Quebec-Vermont power line
vermontbiz.com
Construction of a power line running for nearly 100 miles under Lake Champlain could begin this year. TDI New England announced today that the New England Clean Power Link has received a Certificate of Public Good from the Vermont Public Service Board. Vermont’s Certificate of Public Good is the comprehensive state siting and environmental regulatory approval that is needed to construct and to operate the project in the state, and details the conditions under which the project can be built and operated.

3) Vermont Gas gets OK again from PSB for Addison County pipeline
vermontbiz.com
The Vermont Public Service Board gave a significant victory today to Vermont Gas Systems in its effort to build a pipeline to Middlebury, and in turn issued a significant blow to the many individuals and organizations seeking to stop it. The PSB, in a decision dated January 8, decided not to revisit its original approval of the project. The PSB had considered reopening the case after construction costs increased twice in 2014.

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This one is titled like an NFL Football game....Score!!

Score: Canadian Power/Gaz/Gas Conglomerate:1
       Vermont Landowner individuals:0
       1400 Signatories opposing project:0
       
http://vtdigger.org/2016/01/08/vermont-gas-scores-major-win-in-gas-pipeline-project/
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This part I am copying and pasting from our group.
You know, a boycott is just what I want!
I don't want your Damn Gaz....even though I am not offered a hookup I never want it!
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I felt like if I read this in all the outlets I could accept it.
I cannot accept this.
I am not heard.

The Public Service Board issued an order Friday saying it has declined to reconsider the certificate of public good for the Addison County Natural Gas ...

WPTZ The Champlain Valley
Natural gas pipeline construction to continue as planned ... Service Board has ruled construction of a natural gas pipeline will continue as planned.

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Last but not least:

See what petitions can do? or Not?

1,400+ CALL TO END VERMONT GAS PIPELINE PROJECT
For Immediate 
Release: January 6, 2016
Contacts:Rebecca Foster, Just 
Power, 646-468-3511
Paul Burns, Vermont Public Interest Research Group, 
802-793-1985
Beth Thompson, Rutland Area Climate Coalition, 
802-293-2695
Shaina Kasper, Toxics Action Center, 
802-922-4780

Middlebury, Vermont — Just days before the Public 
Service Board is expected to make a major ruling on the Addison Natural Gas 
Project, more than 1,200 people added their names to a letter originally signed 
last month by business owners, nonprofit organizations, faith leaders, farmers, 
academics, and community representatives across Vermont asking Governor Peter 
Shumlin to pull his support for additional construction of the pipeline and stop 
at the 11-mile mark.

“For the health and economy of our state we wish to 
say, ‘Enough’,” reads the letter. Bill McKibben, the founder of 350.org, added, “The 
gas pipeline was planned in a different age, before we knew as much as we do 
now about the effects of fracking and methane on the atmosphere. It’s important 
to re-evaluate this project based on updated facts.”

More than 200 of the 
1,400 signers are Vermont businesses, organizations, and community leaders 
wanting to “close this painful chapter in our state’s history and turn our 
positive energies toward a prosperous and sustainable future.” The signers 
include household names such as Ben & Jerry’s, American Flatbread, High 
Mowing Organic Seeds, AllEarth Renewables, Aqua Vitea, and Maple Wind Farm, as 
well as beloved local establishments such as Vermont Cookie Love, Northshire 
Bookstore, and Magnolia Bistro in Burlington.  Bill McKibben as well as 
several Vermont politicians signed, including candidate for Lieutenant Governor 
David Zuckerman.  Vermont Interfaith Power and Light, town energy committees, 
and dozens of Vermont farms joined the call to stop construction.

“Please 
add my voice to those being raised in opposition to the gas pipeline,” commented 
David Rosen of Adirondack Guideboat in North Ferrisburg. “My company designs, 
builds and sells high-end rowing boats and we exhibit and sell them at shows all 
across the country. As a representative of the State of Vermont I often receive 
the admiration of others for our advanced environmental policies and values. I 
don’t find the Addison Natural Gas Project to be representative of those values 
or smart environmental policies.”

“Pipeline construction is at a common 
sense stopping point,” said Bobbie Carnwath, a member of the Cornwall Planning 
Commission.  The portion of the project that has already been constructed will 
be used for “looping” for existing customers, “but any added pipeline beyond 
that point would just drive up costs for current customers to bring in more 
fracked gas, when better alternatives are available today.” The project cost has 
increased to $154M since initial projections in 2011 of 
$60-$70M.  International Paper pulled its support for Phase II of the pipeline 
early in 2015 following a less substantial cost increase.  As a result, Vermont 
Gas already cancelled that leg of the project.

“Moving away from dirty 
fossil fuels and investing in local clean power is good for the economy, good 
for our earth, and good for Vermonters,” said Jon Erickson, Professor at UVM and 
Fellow of the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics. Investing in fossil fuel 
infrastructure prevents investments in green technologies, Dr. 
Erickson continued. “Energy from wind, solar, biomass, hydro, and geothermal 
systems promote in-state jobs and energy independence. They just make 
sense.”

New technologies like cold climate heat pumps, which have 
fewer greenhouse gas emissions than gas, have become readily available and more 
cost effective in the four years since Phase I of the pipeline was 
conceived. “The fracked gas pipeline proposal is outdated and out-of-touch with 
current economic and environmental realities,” said Ben Walsh of the Vermont 
Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG). “Spending tens of millions of dollars 
of ratepayers’ money to import fracked gas didn’t make sense when this 
pipeline was proposed, and it makes even less sense today.”

“Ultimately 
this is an issue of justice,” said Rev. Daniel Cooperrider, pastor of the 
Weybridge Congregational Church. “We have a shared moral responsibility to be 
vigilant in our stewardship of the earth. The call of our times now is to 
respond to the threat of climate change in a way that shows compassion for all 
life, now and for generations yet to come.”

Regardless of their 
political, religious, or other views, the signatories spoke in one voice calling 
on the Governor to adjust his energy policy so that it complies with the most 
up-to-date economic and scientific research and stops the pipeline at 11 
miles.

###

Below follows today's cover letter to the Public 
Service Board, full text of the letter to the Governor, and a link to the 
full list of the signers.

LETTER TO THE PUBLIC SERVICE 
BOARD REQUESTING THE LETTER AND SIGNATORIES BE ENTERED AS OFFICIAL PUBLIC 
COMMENT:

January 6, 2016

Judith C. Whitney
Acting Clerk of 
the Board
Vermont Public Service Board
112 State Street
Montpelier, VT 
05620

Dear Ms. Whitney,

Attached please find a copy of a letter to 
Governor Shumlin regarding the ongoing proceedings related 
to Docket 7970.  Please note that there is a small change in wording from the 
December 17, 2015 letter, and therefore this version should supersede the 
original.  On behalf of the more than 1,400 signatories I request that this 
cover letter, the updated letter to the Governor, and the full list of 
signatories be added to the official record as public comment in the Board’s 
deliberations regarding the pending 60(b) motions of the 2nd Remand.

For 
the Board’s reference, I would like to note that the original intent was to 
submit one version of the letter with a complete list of signatories; however, 
as soon as news began circulating that the letter was submitted to the Board, 
businesses and individuals began asking whether it was too late to join the 
letter.  As a result, for a short time we opened up the letter to additional 
business and individual signers, and the letter took on its own life via word 
of mouth.  We have an additional roughly 100 businesses and community leaders, 
including Ben & Jerry’s and dozens of businesses in proposed Addison County 
expansion communities, and over 1,200 individuals joining the letter.

The 
urgency with which businesses, farmers, faith leaders, and families are 
expressing in one voice their concern that the pipeline is no longer a realistic 
or beneficial option for Vermont seems to confirm what opposing parties have 
been saying all along:  The new evidence presented by opposing parties 
demonstrates that any net benefits are illusive.  Without a meaningful price 
differential, commercial demand for piped gas has fallen away to such an extent 
that businesses in Middlebury and elsewhere in Addison County are even speaking 
up to say not to bother with the pipeline anymore.  And both current 
and potential residential ratepayers, who have learned of the opportunity 
to comment to the Board at this stage, are saying clearly that it would be 
unjust and unreasonable to ask them to absorb the costs of the project.  Even if 
the MOU between the Department of Public Service and Vermont Gas Systems were 
enforceable by anyone besides the parties, it is ludicrous to ask captive 
residential and business customers to carry 31 years of costs when climate 
imperatives and markets are telling us that the pipeline’s useful life could be 
only 35 years.  When the “useful” portion of the pipeline for current customers 
is confined to the 11 miles of facilities already built, the only logical and 
just option is to amend the project and halt construction now, or subject the 
project to a new review that takes into account current 
circumstances.

DPS claims that it would be “unfair” to VGS to update 
analysis of the project to take into account the emergence of CNG islands in 
Middlebury and Vergennes.  It would be not only unfair but also unjust to 
hold ratepayers responsible for a change in circumstances that could have been 
avoided by VGS building the project on-time and on-budget.

I would be 
grateful to receive, on all of the signatories’ behalf, acknowledgement of your 
receipt of this letter as well as confirmation that it will be entered into the 
official record.

Many thanks and warm wishes for the New 
Year.

Sincerely,
Rebecca Foster


ORIGINAL LETTER TO THE GOVERNOR:
December 17, 2015 Dear Governor Shumlin, We are leaders in Vermont—business owners, nonprofit executives, faith leaders, agriculture stewards, academics, and community representatives—who have followed the saga of the Addison Natural Gas Project (ANGP) over the last few years. For the health and economy of our state we wish to say, Enough. We need to close this painful chapter in our state’s history and turn our positive energies toward a prosperous and sustainable future. Pipeline construction is at a logical stopping point. The “looping” portion of the project, the first 11 miles that was intended to bring reliability to gas customers north of Williston, is completed. Any additional pipeline would become a transmission line, rushing more fossil fuels through Vermont. The world is different than it was four years ago when the Department of Public Service and Vermont Gas were planning this project, and we are in the fortunate position of having more information. What may have looked sensible then, or even in 2013, does not now. Here is a partial list of new information since the project’s conception: · We have learned that for the planet to maintain a living habitat, 80% of the known fossil fuel reserves must be kept in the ground;[i] new pipeline increases fossil fuel extraction. · We now know that the global warming potential of methane (natural gas) is more than 86 times greater than CO2 over a 20-year period.[ii] · Investing in fossil fuel infrastructure prevents investment in green technologies.[iii] · The project now costs 220-256% of the original 2011 estimate,[iv] the burden of which would be borne by gas customers for decades. · The higher price tag has pushed out the return on investment to over 34 years; and current customers can’t be expected to carry this burden without tangible benefit. · There is no proven correlation between pipelines and economic growth; Addison County already exceeds Franklin County in economic metrics.[v] · New technologies, such as heat pumps, combined with an investment in good old fashioned buttoning up, would cost households less and be a more enduring solution in our climate-conscious era. · Fuel oil prices are predicted to continue to decline into 2016, [vi] so even a minimal rate increase of 6% for gas customers would surpass the price of fuel oil. Further, it would take these consumers more than 25 years to recover conversion costs, which could tally over $9000. We trust that you will read these updated facts earnestly because you demand excellence and consistency from your climate change policies. We hope that you agree with us that the ANGP’s carbon footprint must stop where it is, at 11 miles—a painless juncture at which to adjust policy. A signal of your agreement would have global implications by adding to the gains made at the Paris Climate Talks, by acknowledging the understanding that to survive we must update our technologies and habits, and by putting Vermont in an enviable leadership position on climate. Sincerely, LINK TO THE MORE THAN 1,400 SIGNATORIES: http://www.toxicsaction.org/news/tac/1400-sign-letter-end-gas-pipeline-project CC: Chris Recchia, Commissioner, Department of Public Service [i] Bill McKibben, “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math,” Rolling Stone, July 19, 2012. [ii] Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Working Group 1, Assessment Report 5, “Anthropogenic and Natural Radiative Forcing,” in Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis, page 714, section 8.7.1.4, Table 8.7, CH4 GWP with climate-carbon feedbacks. http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_Chapter08_FINAL.pdf. [iii] Kevin Bullis, “Natural Gas Could ‘Muscle Out’ Renewables,” MIT Technology Review, June 7, 2011. [iv] “VGS estimates that the cost of expanding to Vergennes and Middlebury would be between $60 and $70 million.” Public Service Board, “Order Amending Alternative Regulation Plan,” Docket No. 7712, September 28, 2011. [v] Median home value in Addison County is $234,500 or 14.7% more than Franklin County’s $204,400; Addison County retail sales per capita is $12,657 or 10% more than Franklin County’s $11,383; with a population of 37,009 and 5,217 firms registered to do business, Addison County has 44% more firms per capita than Franklin County’s 4,754 firms with a population of 48,642. United States Census Bureau, http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/. [vi] Energy Information Agency, http://www.eia.gov.



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