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Oil, gas and Vermont

Even today, natural gas occurs regularly in a number of deep water wells in northern Vermont. This indicates a gas potential that deserves more serious investigation using 21st-century technology. Some commercial-level, gas-producing wells have already been drilled in the St. Lawrence lowlands, south of Montreal, by Canadian concerns. There's strong evidence that these same deposits underlie nearby Vermont and New York.

The basin of ancient Cambrian and Ordovician age sedimentary rock in the northern Champlain Valley is the key terrain feature that warrants a resumption of oil and gas exploration.

Although only traces of crude oil have been found in Vermont so far (using 1960s detection technology), several natural gas wells of commercial potential have been reported, yet the focus on drilling turned elsewhere. Well, it's time to look closer to home agian and resume the exploration of oil and gas here in Vermont.

In 1973, geologist Lincoln Page of the U.S Geological Survey reported that northern Vermont has significant uranium deposits, too. He said abundant uranium also occurs in southern Vermont. So, while nuclear power remains controversial, there are ample uranium ore deposits to mine and process for use in reactors right here at home, if needed.

And since 1999, we have learned that Vermont might be a good location for deep-drilling to access geothermal energy. We have the technology today to drill far into the crust to tap the limitless heat of the inner Earth.

So, the Green Mountain State is good for more than just wood, wind, solar and biomass energy resources. Vermont is a multi-faceted energy diamond that is worth exploring more. So what are we waiting for?

There are always risks in developing and using intensive energy resources, but U.S. energy independence will take vision and require some risks; the alternatives to the nation are even costlier.

Yes, we have the energy. Now let's get to work.

Louis Varricchio

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