Ventriss Letter to Editor: In Support of Addison Natural Gas Project [8.21.13]

Letter to the Editor
August 21, 2013

By Lisa Ventriss, President
Vermont Business Roundtable

The Roundtable applauds the recently executed Memorandum of Understanding between Addison County Regional Planning Commission and Vermont Gas Systems that addresses service to communities, energy efficiency, public safety, community engagement and conditions of construction during the Phase I of the Addison Natural Gas Project. With its 41 miles of new natural gas transmission pipeline in Chittenden and Addison Counties; approximately 5 miles of new distribution mainlines in Addison County; and new gate stations in Williston, St. George, Monkton, New Haven and Middlebury, it is a tremendously important infrastructure project worthy of support for several reasons.

With an eye to the state’s long-term energy needs to support economic and residential growth, the Vermont Business Roundtable recognizes that the project’s most positive attributes support the State’s overall policy goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 25% of 1990 emissions by 2050; provide Vermonters with lower cost, cleaner, and efficient sources for heating homes and businesses; and, reduce truck traffic along our highways and through our picturesque villages.

When completed, the project will promote the vitality and expansion of Addison County’s economy for years to come. Already the region is home to a variety of enterprises, all of which could benefit from this project, including: a blend of traditional and new age agricultural businesses, light industry, and tech-savvy design and manufacturing firms; an internationally renowned academic community that fosters world class learning and competitive entrepreneurship; and, thriving communities and villages that provide residents with modern, high-tech conveniences while living in a rural area that is home to over 300 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Additionally, the project will benefit municipal, corporate and families’ budgets by providing tax payments of roughly $40,000/mile to towns that host the pipeline; serving 3,000+ Vermont customers; and, offering consumer savings in reduced energy costs of over $200 million over 20 years ~ monies that can be redirected into the economy by business and residents alike.

And looking south, it will also bring the potential for similar savings 17 miles closer to Rutland County; an area which is experiencing its own economic revitalization and that would also like to enjoy the benefits of clean, more efficient and competitively priced heating energy.

The choice before us is to embrace positive, forward-thinking change and reduce energy costs and emissions, or do nothing and maintain the costly status quo.  This project clearly is a significant step forward.

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Businesses within Addison County interested in signing a petition in favor of the Addison Natural Gas Project, please visit:

Businesses within Rutland County interested in signing a petition in favor of the Addison Natural Gas Project, please visit: