Update from Jim Duclos on the Pipeline Route Selection

Hi everyone,
It’s been a while since I’ve contacted you, so I thought that I’d fill you in on where we are at this time.

Abi Sessions and I are attending the “Route Selection Committee” meetings representing Cornwall. The first meeting on 3/15 didn’t accomplish much except to introduce the “players” to one another and to discuss the process and the goals of these meetings. Some questions did arise that VT Gas was not prepared to answer, so they agreed to address them at the second meeting.

At that meeting they brought a team to make an hour long presentation about how they arrived at where they are today (beginning Phase II).

These meetings are now being taped by Middlebury Community TV and you can view them on your computer here.

At this point Cornwall is still pressing for the route to follow the abandoned rail bed through Leicester and Whiting to Shoreham. VT Gas eliminated that route early on because it was too expensive, but at our insistence and a little help from Adam Lougee of ACRPC we have convinced them to take another look at that possibility.

I attended the Public Service Board’s public hearing on Phase I on 2/21. It was pretty interesting, and a little discouraging to see how the game is played. VT Gas loaded the room with speakers in favor of the project. Much of the testimony was more about Phase II than Phase I, with several International Paper Employees speaking about how badly IP needs this cheaper fuel in order to remain viable in today’s market.

If you have three hours to kill you can view a video of the PSB hearing here.

There will be another Route Selection Meeting this Friday 4/5 and VT Gas is expected to have some preliminary route ideas for us to look at. They should also report on whether the rail bed option is “back on the table” or not. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Thanks for being interested,
Jim Duclos