“Today's decision is the result of a growing grassroots movement that is proving the power of organized people over corporations,” said Molly Stuart of Rising Tide Vermont. “We applaud the countless communities who have resisted this project, from the La’kota people in South Dakota, to the youth who marched on the white house, to the thousands of Vermonters who continue opposing new fossil fuel infrastructure.”
Locally, Vermonters urge the Shumlin administration to acknowledge the unmistakable parallels between the KXL and the VT Gas pipeline.
“President Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline should be a signal to political leaders to listen to the growing call from the climate justice movement to leave fossil fuels in the ground,” said Kathy Blume of Vermontivate and 350Vermont.
As Obama seeks to build a legacy on climate change, Governor Shumlin continues to disregard popular opposition to the proposed VT Gas pipeline, as evidenced by the controversial Memorandum of Understanding between his offices and Vermont Gas Systems.
There are unmistakable parallels between the Keystone XL pipeline and the VT Gas pipeline. In both projects, Canadian corporations TransCanada and Gaz Metro (sole owner of Vermont Gas Systems ) have threatened to take people’s land by eminent domain.This July, Vermont Gas hired the same contractor, Michel’s, that has been heavily criticized for flaws in their construction of the southern leg of the KXL pipeline . Both projects have been mired in controversy and delayed for years because of additional scrutiny and permitting, in response to intense public opposition.
“Having my land taken against my will for the construction of fossil fuel infrastructure is infuriating. Governor Shumlin should be ashamed to support a corporation that furthers global climate change and disregards the rights of Vermonters” said Claire Broughton of Monkton, VT.
“President Obama outlined several reasons for Keystone rejection, including its insignificant economic impact and that it would undercut our global leadership on climate.” said Maeve McBride, coordinator of 350Vermont, the local affiliate of 350.org. “In Vermont, we must reject our own proposed fossil fuel infrastructure, the fracked gas pipeline, because, it, too, is meaningless for the Vermont economy, and counters Vermont’s progress towards a fossil-free future.”
Meanwhile, Governor Shumlin’s professed commitment to addressing climate change looks ever-more dubious as more and more communities resist new fossil fuel infrastructure in Vermont.