Welcome news from Vermont Gas Systems that it will not proceed with Phase 2 of its expensive and polluting natural gas pipeline.
Over recent months, project costs have skyrocketed and pollution impacts increased. New gas pipelines lock us into continued fossil fuel use for decades into the future are a bad bet for our climate and our pocketbooks.
It is encouraging that Vermont Gas recognized the serious problems with this project and pulled the plug.
In December, just weeks before regulatory hearings were to begin, Vermont Gas announced it would hit the reset button and re-examine the project. Now Vermont Gas will no longer seek regulatory approval for that project, which would extend a natural gas pipeline through sensitive natural areas and underneath Lake Champlain to serve the Fort Ticonderoga mill in New York.
Vermont Gas still plans to pursue approval for Phase 1 even though the cost has nearly doubled and regulators announced they undertake a thorough review of the Phase 1 project in light of the new cost information.
The cancellation of Phase 2 is great news for Vermont. It helps reduce our reliance on polluting fossil fuels and allows Vermonters to move forward more quickly to rely on cleaner and lower cost energy solutions.