To the Editor:
I find it interesting that the Cornwall Vermont selectboard wants to stop the pipeline of natural gas from reaching International Paper in Ticonderoga! Vermonters “say they just don’t see how their local economy benefits much from a pipeline that primarily serves a company across the lake in New York.”
I say their local economy benefits greatly from IP’s employment of Vermonters at the plant and those who haul pulpwood to the mill! There are also the purchases of the pulpwood from landowners in Vermont! The same people who would have us believe they are saving the environment by stopping the pipeline are adding to pollution by objecting to cleaner burning natural gas for the Ti plant! I have no problem with someone being against the use of fracking to obtain gas or oil, but using this as a reason to stop the pipeline is ludicrous. Vermont Gas, the company trying to build the pipeline, is not fracking for the gas in Vermont and the product is coming from another country that allows it!
Is it possible that some of the diesel and gas fuel used in vehicles and farm equipment in Vermont comes from fracked oil that is trucked or brought in by rail? There is also the possibility that home heating oil may come from the same source! This pipeline could also eventually serve the people of Ticonderoga who now rely on heating oil and wood to keep them warm during the winters. Natural gas is a proven cleaner fuel that cuts greenhouse emissions, which in turn is environmentally safer.
If IP closed the Ti plant Vermont would lose millions of dollars and its economy would suffer! The Cornwall selectboard in a letter to the governor of Vermont stated that the pipeline was “a convenient and calculated ploy to benefit International Paper and Vermont Gas.” No mention was made of the people of Ti or anyone else who may benefit. If the people of Vermont are objecting to any damage done to the landscape along the length of the pipeline this is a moot point. Once laid the disturbed land will be put back as it was as is evidenced in countless pipelines laid across the countryside.
The remark made by Cornwall selectboard member Bruce Hiland, “that if the pipeline is built he wants Vermont Gas and IP to cut his community in on more of the economic benefits” tells the real story! It’s money not the environment that’s at issue! In the interest of a cleaner environment I believe Vermont Gas should use the courts and use the right of eminent domain if needed to get this needed pipeline completed. Stopping a cleaner burning, cheaper fuel is not environmentally sane and shows a selfish side to Cornwall’s objections!
Gary P. Guido