Climate justice activists have blockaded the main entrance to Vermont Gas's headquarters and dropped a massive banner from the roof, demanding the company immediately cancel its plans to build the fracked gas pipeline. Police are on scene, and the company's retail offices are effectively shut down for the day.
Sara Mehalick, a resident of Plainfield, Vermont, has locked her neck to the main entrance of the building, effectively blockading the doors shut. She released a statement about why she undertook today's action:
Today I'm taking action because Vermont Gas is intent upon chaining our communities to fossil fuels, and condemning us to irreversible climate change. We have a responsibility to the communities whose land, water, and air are being poisoned by fracking, and we're determined to make sure that this fracked gas pipeline does not move forward. Today we're here to tell Vermont Gas to cancel their construction plans, or expect to see growing resistance.
Jonathan Shapiro, with Rising Tide Vermont, said "Climate change is already driving heat waves, torrential rains, and sea level rise in the Northeast, which is only predicted to worsen in the coming years. In this context of mounting climate crisis, building new fossil fuel infrastructure is an exercise in complete lunacy and must be stopped."
NOTE: Rising Tide denies Vermont Gas Systems' claim that an assault occurred during yesterday's act of nonviolent civil disobedience, and recognize it as an attempt to undermine the effectiveness of the action. We're proud to stand on the shoulders of a long tradition of direct action in so-called Vermont.