Astronomy Picture of the Day

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Early Morning #Fracking fighters for help, solidarity

Woke up early again,
Maybe it was so I could post this plea for help,
Money, prayers, good thoughts requested.
And hey, 
The weather is stunningly beautiful this year.
I see a red leaf here and there.
Air fresh and clear.
Mother Earth,
We love her so.

Hey Everybody!
Here’s an update from Rachel on the state of play with VGS and events happening this week, along with yet another plea for help raising funds for our legal fees.  We are so grateful to all who have already donated so generously – you have kept this campaign alive.  THANK YOU SO MUCH!  We are reluctant to keep asking, but we know you will understand: legal challenges are costly. But we can win this one. It’s worth it!
Treasurers report: In the last week of July we went like gang busters, raising over $5,000.00 in one week! With that, for the first time since we started this fight, we were able to pay our lawyer in full. Then August happened. We ended the month with nearly $12,000.00 in new legal fees and donations amounting to less than $5,000.00. So, we are falling behind, and we still anticipate taking our case through appeal(s).
If you can help, please donate now HERE!
Read on for further update and upcoming events
Thanks, Cisco
If you are following the news you will have noticed that Vermont Gas’s pipeline project is getting a lot of bad press!
First the Public Service Board looked pretty bad when they tried to exclude the public (who they supposedly serve) from participating in the eminent domain hearings over Hinesburg’s Geprags Park. A federal judge had to order them to open the hearings. 
Then the project took another beating when an accountant, who was hired by DPS as an expert to review VGS’s records on pipeline expenditures,stated in prefiled testimony to the Public Service Board, “I have reviewed invoices to cost reports for some 40-plus years and to my recollection have not encountered so much difficulty in tracing in supporting documentation. 
Then VGS was slapped on the hand by their buddies at the Department of Public Service, which is questioning 35 million of the project costs on the grounds that the expenditures were  “imprudent”.  That’s not counting the costs that are insufficiently documented according to DPS’s expert. Gaz Metro shareholders will not be pleased!
Then, after endless repeats of VGS “on time and on budget” mantra, it came out that they have, internally, been saying that the project could take until April 2017 to complete. DPS is estimating May 2017. Reality strikes.
It’s encouraging that state regulators are finally realizing what everyone else has been saying for over two years now, but we’ve also seen DPS act like they’re going to crack down on VGS and then do nothing in the end. This is no time for complacency. We need to keep hammering away, educating the public, building our movement and questioning the pipeline.
Our lawyer, Jim Dumont, continues tirelessly and doggedly to challenge VGS and the regulatory bodies.  Most recently, he argued that “The entire project is at this point in violation of ACT 250.” His argument is based on how the project is defined, as a “transmission” versus “distribution” line. The implication is that the Public Service Board has always lacked jurisdiction to approve construction of this project!  OOPS
In fact, just about the only one who seems to have anything positive to say about VGS and their pipeline, is good old Don Rendall, who apparently felt so maligned that he penned an Oped in the Free Press to reiterate how gas is clean and green and cheap, in vacant sugared tones. Of course, his pal, Chris Recchia, Commissioner of Public Service has also been on a media blitz talking about why the project still makes sense. Too bad his inconsistent positions don’t make any sense.
WE HAVE A LOT OF MOMENTUM GOING AGAINST THIS PROJECT!!! Even some of the most jaded long time pipeline battlers are telling us they feel teensy twinges of optimism!  We cannot let up, in fact we need to ramp up!  Now is the time to rally our forces and take this over the top.
This coming week, Wed Sept 7th, oral arguments on a petition filed by Conservation Law Foundation back in July 2014 will finally be heard at the Public Service Board.  This case challenges the whole project, in that CLF is arguing that the project that was granted a CPG is not the “same” as the final project currently underway. CLF argues that VGS was required under the Public Service Board’s own rules to request an amendment. Such a request would open up the project to scrutiny by all of the parties, and VGS would have the burden of proof to show the project is still in the public interest. THIS COULD BE BIG! 
There will be a rally at 10 a.m on the statehouse lawn on Wed., and the hearings begin at 11 at the Pavillion Auditorium (photo ID required). PLEASE COME and show your solidarity with CLF and the whole Vermont pipeline resistance movement! The PSB may try to delay justice, but we will not allow them to deny it. Rules are rules, and VGS needs to apply for an amendment no matter how stupid that makes the company and regulators look!
With so much going on it seems important to take time for some FUN! That is why we are putting some fun into our fundraising with a FANTASTIC line up of music on Friday, September 9TH with Dave Keller, Joe Adler, Daddy Longlegs, Laura Simon, a crazy fun raffle and more. Doors open at 6:30 and the show starts at 7 p.m. in the gorgeous barn at Richmond Solar Farm, 2899 Hinesburg - Richmond Road, parking across the road on Beaver Pond Hill Rd.   Tickets are available at (scroll down) or via Eventbrite:  Or, reply to this email to reserve a ticket for purchase at the door.  We suggest a $40 donation per ticket but sliding scale tickets will be available at the door or you can reserve one by replying to this email. Donate what you can afford, and come enjoy a great night of fun and community building). PLEASE share out to your friends and contacts as we need to fill the barn and have a long way to go in the coming few days!
In Hinesburg, we are waiting for the PSB ruling on the eminent domain case against Geprags Park.  We expect the PSB may authorize  eminent domain despite the facts that (1) condemnation of a public park would violate VT law and (2) VGS has not investigated alternative routes as the law requires. We will be poised to appeal it, and take it to the Supreme Court.  Doing so will take a lot of time and energy from all of us.  We need your support, especially to keep up with legal fees that continue to mount. 
We have a winnable case!  We can STOP THE PIPELINE 
If you have already donated: Thank You SO MUCH!  If you can donate now, please do so HERE.
P.S. We are in solidarity with Standing Rock Sioux resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline. A portion of proceeds from our Friday Music fundraising event will go to them. We are all one.

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