Vermont is at an interesting crossroads with the fossil fuel empire.
On the one hand, our Attorney General is suing ExxonMobil, Sunoco and Citgo for deceptive and unfair practices, as a consumer protection issue. Included is a proposal to prevent said companies from engaging in future unfair and deceptive acts, as well as climate warnings at the gas pump.
On the other hand, we have the Vermont Climate Council willing to include the fallacy of renewable natural gas as part of its Climate Action Plan.
The green spin about renewable natural gas centers around methane recovery systems that today only supply about 1% of what is in the pipeline. Generous estimates of these recovery systems if fully developed could only bring the total to 10% of what is in the pipeline.
Currently, the other 99% of what is in the pipeline is from fracking sites in Canada. Gas may burn more cleanly in your home, but the leakage of methane at the extraction site can be 2%, 8%,12%, according to various sources. In other words, not much cleaner than coal.
We all know about the abysmal safety track record of Vermont Gas, and of their fiscal irresponsibility. The bridge fuel argument is yet another spin to keep us embedded in dependence on fossil fuels, at the expense of our future and our planet. We don’t have time to fool around with the Vermont Gas profit driven fantasy.
Vermont is already complicit in the destruction of vast ecosystems in Canada and the cultural genocide of First Nations People.
Vermont’s emissions come primarily from the transportation and heating sectors. We need to drastically reduce demand by massive weatherization projects, more public transport, and realistic incentives that allow for low income folks to afford efficient vehicles. We need city planning with vision that protects and encourages pedestrian and bicycle access.
Fossil fuel is the problem, it cannot be part of the solution.
Candy Jones, Rutland