GazMetro's power moves in Vermont
To the Editor:
Thanks for printing the articles from Vermont Digger regarding Green Mountain Power and Vermont Gas Systems. This is real news and worthy of more discussion. That all prior public debate about their moves in Vermont has been limited to the fate of the $21 million windfall payment and the state's weatherization program is a disservice to democracy. Green Mountain Power and Vermont Gas Systems are owned by GazMetro which in turn is Enbridge, Canada's largest transporter of petroleum products. They are attempting to take over CVPS and VELCO and scheming to use those rights-of-way for the expansion of their petroleum distribution network. Enbridge explicitly states this goal to investors on their website, "We are currently engaged in the largest capital program in our 60-year history, investing $12 billion to expand our North American pipeline and terminal network primarily to support broadening access of oil sands production to U.S. refining markets."
The proposed Trailblazer Pipeline through the Northeast Kingdom is just one concrete example of their push for expansion. The results of similar projects in the past should be terrifying to Vermonters who love this region and it's natural beauty. Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen documented 545 environmental violations perpetrated by Enbridge in building their $2.1 billion Southern Access pipeline in his state. According to him, "...the incidents of violation were numerous and widespread, and resulted in impacts to the streams and wetlands throughout the various watersheds." Enbridge is also responsible for a 2010 spill of 1.3 million gallons into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan. In fact, by Enbridge's own figures they have had over 804 spills on their pipelines between 1999 and 2010 resulting in over 7 million gallons of petroleum being released into the environment.
Do not let this happen in Vermont without a discussion! If the state is going to green light this merger we must be prepared to hold GMP and Enbridge accountable for any of the easily foreseeable consequences of their expansion into and through Vermont!