Citizens Deliver “Certificate of Public Destruction” to Vermont Gas

CITIZENS DELIVER “CERTIFICATE OF PUBLIC DESTRUCTION” TO VERMONT GAS, PSB

Who: Members of Rising Tide Vermont1 and concerned citizens from Burlington and Monkton, Vt.

What: To raise public awareness of Vermont Gas System’s planned filing of permits for the Addison County Natural Gas Project2, organizers in Burlington and Montpelier are delivering a “Certificate of Public Destruction.” The certificate, a mockery of the PSB “Certificate of Public Good” is intended to highlight the growing opposition to this pipeline from climate justice advocates to local landowners along the planned route.

When: Thursday, December 20th, at 3 pm. Vermont Gas has publicly stated that it intends to file for permits with the Public Service Board on this day

Where: In South Burlington: Vermont Gas Systems office, 85 Swift Street, South Burlington, Vt.
In Montpelier: PSB Office, 112 State St (4th floor of the People’s United Bank building)

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ADDISON COUNTY RESIDENTS, CLIMATE JUSTICE ADVOCATES PROTEST FRACKING PIPELINE AT PSB HEARING

March 22, 2013
 
Hinesburg, Vt. – A coalition of landowners, farmers, students and climate justice activists held a demonstration in opposition to the proposed Vermont Gas Pipeline on Thursday evening.  The demonstration was held outside of the Public Service Board public hearing at CVU high school.
 
Opposition to the proposed pipeline, otherwise known as the Addison Natural Gas project, has grown in recent weeks as the environmental and human health risks associated with hydraulic fracturing, gas consumption and high transmission pipelines becomes more apparent.  The proposed pipeline route intersects farms, preserved wetlands and would eventually go underneath Lake Champlain to supply International Paper’s Ticonderoga mill with gas service.  Many landowners along the route are concerned about the impacts on their land, as well as the ability of Vermont Gas to seize their land should they refuse to sign easements.
 
“Here is the democratic process: The Public Service Board, a judicial like board of three individuals, will decide if Vermont Gas gets a Certificate of Public Good,” said Jane Palmer of Monkton, “Once they get that certification, Vermont Gas will be able to condemn our land using eminent domain and install this pipeline.”  Palmer spoke, along with other landowners and climate justice activists, to a crowd of nearly 100 supporters.
 
Palmer is one of several landowners who is refusing to sign an easement that would allow Vermont Gas to lay the pipe across her land and through her organic pasture and vegetable gardens.
 
Climate activists are concerned that the gas in the pipeline is obtained through hydraulic fracturing, an increasingly common form of extracting gas that blasts a high-pressure cocktail of sand, water and chemicals below the surface of the earth to crack open deposits of gas in shale formations.  Fracking has been linked to water contamination, fish kills, and sickening communities.
 
“Natural gas is not clean energy.  It is a fossil fuel that contributes significantly to climate change, and building this pipeline will lock us in to decades more of fossil fuel use in Vermont,” said Sarah Mehalick of Rising Tide Vermont.  “Vermont banned fracking in 2012.  We can’t say we don’t want it here, but are okay with imposing the pollution and destruction on other places.”
 
Much of the gas will come from Alberta, Canada, where there is growing grassroots opposition to fracking.
 
Opponents are also questioning the climate benefits of the pipeline.  According to a 2011 Cornell study, gas obtained through fracking is worse than coal and oil in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.  Recent EPA estimates state that methane, a greenhouse gas which is released during the extraction and transport process of gas, has a impact on the climate that is 20 times greater than CO2.  Methane leakage rates are as high as 9% in fracking operations.
 
“Fossil fuels have no place in Vermont’s energy future,” said Mehalick.  Rising Tide Vermont is working to stop new fossil fuel infrastructure projects, and supports efforts aimed at reducing energy consumption overall, such as weatherization for low-income Vermonters.
 
A coalition of labor, environmental and social justice organizations also issued a statement at the hearing, voicing opposition to the pipeline and support for a just transition away from fossil fuels that will create long-term, dignified work for displaced workers.
 
After the rally, the crowd moved inside to testify to the Public Service Board, which can either approve or deny the permits for the project.

Climate Justice Activists Interrupt Shell Oil

Burlington, Vt. November 14, 2012—Climate justice activists affiliated with Rising Tide Vermont interrupted a presentation at the University of Vermont by Olav Ljøsne, Senior Manager of International Operations for Royal Dutch Shell. Ljøsne was speaking on a panel about oil extraction in the Niger Delta.

Activists shared testimony from Niger Delta community members suffering the impacts of Shell Oil operations on their homeland. Shell Oil has a long-standing relationship with Nigeria’s various military dictatorships and has been implicated in the genocidal devastation of ecosystems and communities in the Niger Delta.

“We took this action today because the voices of people struggling to survive on their lands were absent in the presentation,” said Keith Brunner, a participant in the action. “Communities in the Niger Delta are organized against oil extraction in their homeland. Without those voices, the panel is meaningless.”

Nine activists stood up throughout Ljøsne’s presentation, rendering it impossible for him to speak. The event was finally postponed and the police were called.

“This day kicks off a week of actions in solidarity with frontline struggles in the movement for climate justice,” said Avery Pittman. “From the oilfields of the Niger Delta, to the tar sands in Alberta, to the ongoing blockade of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline in east Texas, communities are resisting extreme energy and asserting their right to a healthy environment.”

Rising Tide Vermont is a climate justice organization based out of Burlington, Vermont, which organizes and takes direct action to confront the root causes of climate change.

Climate Justice Activists Hang Banner at VT Gas to Protest Pipeline

Climate Justice Activists Hang Banner at VT Gas to Protest Pipeline

SOUTH BURLINGTON, VT- This morning, Burlington residents affiliated with Rising Tide Vermont [1] unfurled a banner in front of Vermont Gas’ headquarters, reading: “The Climate is in Crisis! No Pipelines! Stop VT Gas, Keystone XL and Trailbreaker!”

The action was part of an international day of solidarity with the ongoing blockade of the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline in East Texas. Activists and community members in Texas have been using non-violent civil disobedience to block the construction of the pipeline for the past 58 days. [2]

“As communities continue to rebuild in the wake of superstorm Sandy, it should be obvious that the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure is unacceptable,” said Sara Mehalick, with Rising Tide Vermont.

“From Transcanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, to Vermont Gas’s scheme to pump gas under Lake Champlain, to ExxonMobil’s plans for a New England tar sands pipeline [3], our right to a livable planet is under attack,” Mehalick said.

Last month, Vermont Gas reached an initial agreement with International Paper to extend a pipeline from south of Middlebury, under Lake Champlain to the IP paper plant in Ticonderoga, NY. [4]

“Natural gas is a false solution to climate change,” said Keith Brunner, a participant in the action. “We banned fracking for a reason. Vermont Gas’s pipeline would lock our communities into decades of dependence on dirty energy, despite the urgent need to transition towards genuinely renewable, community-owned energy sources.”

“Today, Rising Tide Vermont stands in solidarity with communities most affected by climate change and energy extraction- especially indigenous and frontline communities resisting tar sands, fracking, mega dams and other forms of extreme energy,” said participant Avery Pittman.

Solidarity Fundraiser to Support Keystone XL Tar Sands Blockade!

Rising Tide Vermont is hosting a fundraiser for the ongoing Tar Sands Blockade happening in Texas. It is this Friday, November 9 @ 7 pm, 255 South Champlain St, Burlington, VT. We hope you will join us, or send a donation, to support what has been one of the most amazing campaigns of non-violent direct action in climate justice movement. Announcement with full detail is below:

In the woods of east Texas, TransCanada is breaking ground on a tar sands pipeline that threatens farmland, community water supplies, and will allow for the continued exploitation of First Nation’s lands in Canada. For over a month, brave folks from around the country have been opposing the construction of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline in Texas. They are putting their bodies on the line through the Tar Sands Blockade and need your support.

Rising Tide Vermont is hosting an evening of dessert, music and solidarity so we can join and contribute to this movement, and help it grow in Vermont and in Texas. Please join us on Friday, November 9, from 7-10 pm at 255 South Champlain Street in Burlington. All proceeds will go directly to supporting the Tar Sands Blockade.

Tar Sands Blockade is a coalition of Texas and Oklahoma landowners and climate justice organizers using peaceful and sustained civil disobedience to stop the construction of TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

Last week, two women from New England (one from Vermont!) traveled to Texas to join the blockade. Together, lets send a message of solidarity and support to these brave women that the rest of Vermont stands with the Tar Sands Blockade and people resisting extreme energy everywhere.

Tar Sands Blockade is a grassroots campaign funded entirely by the generosity of individual donors. Every dollar of your contribution goes directly into stopping Keystone XL where it matters most. Your generous donation at the door will contribute to:

Direct Action Training Camps like the recent Keystone Convergence that trained 50+ participants
Materials to build blockades like tools, wood, cement, rope, and of course duct tape
Professional trainers who specialize in nonviolent direct action tactics
Essential supplies like food, cooking utensils, water containers, and tents
Legal expenses to help keep everyone informed on their rights and out of jail

Rising Tide Vermont is asking for a $10 donation at the door. Cash and checks are preferred. If you can’t make it to the fundraiser, please consider donating at tarsandsblockade.org, and let us know how much you donate at risingtidevermont@gmail.com so we can track how much support Vermonters are sending.

When Enbridge, Transcanada, Hydro Quebec and other extreme energy producers come to Vermont to build pipelines and lay transmission lines, we want Texas to have our back, so lets make sure we have theirs now!