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Explore our latest coverage of environmental issues, climate change and more.

Rutland Chamber Of Commerce Disappointed By Pipeline Decision

On Wednesday, some environmentalists and other opponents of a proposed natural gas pipeline welcomed news that a portion of the project is now canceled due to rising costs.

But not everybody’s happy.
Tuesday’s announcement from Vermont Gas means it will not go ahead with the second phase of the project - which would have piped gas underneath Lake Champlain to a paper mill in New York.
But that cancelation could have ripple effects for communities that were hoping to benefit from the gas pipeline in the future.
Thomas Donahue is the head of the Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce. He spoke with VPR about his reaction to the news.
"We were surprised by it," he said, noting that as someone paying attention to economic interests in the region, "it's like a kick in the gut."
The cancelation of Phase II leaves the project's third phase, an expansion to Rutland, in question.
"My understanding is that that door is still possibly open for the future. But right now Vermont Gas is going to focus on Phase I, which doesn't change, and getting that gas to Addison County," he said.
Donahue said the economic boost from the pipeline would have been welcomed if the project had continued as planned. That economic help would have come much sooner, pipeline proponents have said, with the increased cash flow Vermont Gas was expected to get from its customer across Lake Champlain.
"The timeline is the significant piece," he said, "because talking about this 21 years from now is not going to help us now, and we need the help now."

Annie Russell was VPR's Deputy News Director. She came to VPR from NPR's Weekends on All Things Considered and WNYC's On The Media. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School.
Alex was a reporter and host of VPR's local All Things Considered. He was also the co-host and co-creator of the VPR program Brave Little State.
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