“I’ve lived in Addison County for half a century,” said Broughton. “This is my home. They think they can just come in here and build an explosive gas pipeline through my land, and all it takes was buying the support of state government. Well, just because they bought a permit from the state doesn’t mean they have permission to destroy my home. I won’t have it.”
Broughton, 77, has declined to sign a right-of-way easement with Vermont Gas, citing concerns about their project management, safety, and the environmental impacts of the pipeline.
In spite of out-of-control costs and rampant public opposition, the Public Service Board (PSB) reaffirmed state support for pipeline construction and eminent domain proceedings on January 8.
“It’s completely outrageous,” said Jane Palmer, of Monkton. Palmer and her husband have battled the company through the PSB’s arcane regulatory process for nearly 3 years. “The PSB doesn’t care if it’s your home, or your farm, or if you were born there or if you’re going to die there. If it’s a pipeline, or an electric line, or anything that will boost corporate profit, they’re just going to take it.”
This is the second time in less than a month that opponents of the pipeline have shut down eminent domain proceedings. “Building more fossil fuel infrastructure benefits Gaz Metro and causes real harm. From the devastating gas leak in Southern California, to poisoned Native communities across Alberta, to right here in Addison County, the fossil fuel industry puts profit over people everywhere it turns, ” said Ben Buckley, an organizer with Rising Tide Vermont. “We’re going to stop them. It’s the only thing we can do. Any time they have a meeting, any time they try to invade someone’s home, we’re going to shut them down.”
The out-of-state land appraiser and officials from Vermont Gas and the Public Service Board cancelled the appraisal after deciding the crowd of Vermonters and one Canada goose lining the side of the road and singing folk songs was "menacing."