Construction was halted around 3:45, and did not resume for the rest of the day. The two men were charged and released.
"Vermont Gas lied," said Will Bennington, a spokesperson for Rising Tide Vermont. "They've lied about the climate and environmental impacts of the project, they've lied to landowners and broken promises, and now they've lied about the cost of this project. The Public Service Board, and ultimately GOvernor Shumlin, have no reason to believe Vermont Gas is acting in the public good."
In July, Vermont Gas announced a 40 percent increase in the cost of construction for Phase 1 of the fracked gas pipeline. The company hopes to pass this cost on to ratepayers, increasing the price of gas at a time when many Vermonters are already struggling to heat their homes.
Demonstrators oppose the pipeline because it will lock Vermont communities into decades more of dirty fossil fuel use, at a time when a rapid transition away from fossil fuels and extreme energy use is needed. They are also concerned with impacts to local landowners and the lack of transparency surrounding the permitting process.
The Public Service Board is hosting a hearing tomorrow in Montpelier to decide whether or not to re-open the company's Certificate of Public Good.
"This isn't the beginning, and this isn't the end," Bennington said. "We are going to continue to do everything we can to stop this pipeline. It is morally reprehensible to be building new fossil fuel infrastructure in this day and age, especially in a state that has already banned fracking."