It is important to build bridges, but we need to make sure they get us where we need to go.
The proposed expansion of the Vermont Gas pipeline may be more a minefield than a bridge, as one recent Vermont weekly and one recent national energy blog reported.
The project will cut through valuable wetlands and farmland in Addison County. Future plans include crossing Lake Champlain, moving Vermont closer to gas supplies from fracking that is ongoing now in New York and Pennsylvania.
Proponents of the project, including Middlebury College and Vermont Gas advance anoverly simplistic evaluation suggesting more natural gas is needed in Vermont because it is cheaper and cleaner than the oil and propane it will replace. Others suggest natural gas is a bridge to cleaner supplies that are in our future.
All bridges are not created equal. Natural gas is still a fossil fuel. The proposed gas pipeline will be in place for fifty to a hundred years. In that timeframe we need to solidly break our addiction to fossil fuels – including natural gas.