CLF Opposing “Renewable” Gas Facility on VT Farm

Bellevue manure digester would slow Vermont’s progress in reducing climate emissions

August 11, 2023 (MONTPELIER, VT) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) is opposing plans for the Bellevue Renewable Natural Gas project at Pleasant Valley Farms in Berkshire, VT. The facility would process manure and pipe the resulting polluting methane gas into a newly constructed gas pipeline in the region.

“The Bellevue Project makes no economic or environmental sense,” said Elena Mihaly, Vice President of CLF Vermont. “Vermont should prioritize projects that help farms avoid producing climate-damaging emissions in the first place. Projects like this one generate as much polluting methane as possible, lock farms into industrial dairying, and saddle Vermonters with the bill for expensive, unnecessary gas infrastructure.”

Clean energy like wind and solar are the best path forward for powering and heating our homes. As more Vermonters move to these clean heat and power sources, fewer gas customers will be left to absorb the cost of building unnecessary gas infrastructure, which will force their heating bills higher. And those will usually be the households that can least afford higher utility bills. 

CLF’s comments call for the Public Utility Commission to deny a necessary certificate for the Bellevue facility for failing to promote the general good of the State. A better solution would be to lower the waste methane produced on large farms in the first instance, rather than looking for ways to burn waste.

CLF experts are available for further comment.