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Forum, Oct. 9: Petition Opposes Lebanon Pipeline


Monday, October 08, 2018
Petition Opposes Lebanon Pipeline

A natural gas line running through three towns north of Boston became overpressurized and up to 70 structures were destroyed or damaged (“Panicked Neighborhoods Evacuate: Gas Blast Destroys Homes” (Sept. 14). Many residents are now facing a winter with useless gas furnaces.

Meanwhile, Liberty Utilities has proposed a natural gas pipeline through the heart of West Lebanon and Lebanon toward Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, a targeted potential customer of the line. A depot would be built on Route 12A south of the Lebanon landfill near the junction of Trues Brook Road, to which fracked liquefied natural gas would be trucked, re-vaporized and introduced into this pipeline.

For many reasons this is a bad idea. As a resident of the Trues Brook neighborhood, I know that siting the depot at the top of a blind curve, where 12A is a two-lane road, would mean traffic heading north would have to deal with traffic entering from both sides with little time to adjust.

Presumably the loaded gas trucks would get off the interstate in West Lebanon, in the middle of the shopping district, travel up the hill by the landfill and into the depot. We all know there are already plenty of large, slow trucks traversing 12A. Also, the roads from the depot along 12A up Seminary Hill and out to Route 120 will have to be dug up to lay the pipeline. Haven’t we had enough of that in Lebanon?

Natural gas is not a clean fuel. It is actually worse for climate change than other fossil fuels when all factors — from wellhead to burner tip — are considered. Fracked gas, especially, is not clean. Ask the people in Ohio and Pennsylvania who have to deal with the chemicals injected into the ground for the fracking process.

On Oct. 17, Sustainable Lebanon plans to present a petition to the City Council with more than 1,000 signatures requesting the council take a stand against this pipeline. Please come to the council meeting on Oct. 17.

Chuck Manns

West Lebanon

Override Saved the Company, Jobs

I am the president and CEO of EWP Renewable Corp., and we are the owners of the biomass plants located in Whitefield, N.H. and Springfield, N.H. I am responsible for the 42 employees who reside in New Hampshire and who work at these facilities. An additional 15 people provide corporate support for these renewable energy projects.

I am grateful for the leadership demonstrated by Sen. Ruth Ward, R-Stoddard, and for her vote to override the governor’s veto of SB 365. Without this legislation, the employees of the company would have lost their livelihood. Our plant payroll, taxes, and benefits are more than $3.5 million annually across these New Hampshire plants.

I have only recently become the company president; for many years I was in charge of operations. In this capacity, I have been the face of the company and have met many of the local suppliers. Ward understood that her vote was also a vote to assist those many small businesses that support the biomass units. We invest almost $12 million annually in fuel for these two plants. This money goes directly to the loggers, the landowners and the logging employees. It pays for salaries, fuel, parts and equipment that is mostly sourced in-state.

Without a healthy logging community that is focused on sustainable and healthy forestry practices, including processing of the material that comes to our plants, the forest resources in New Hampshire will not be as resilient. We applaud Ward’s vision to look at New Hampshire’s energy future and her vote for this critical legislation.

Edward Kent

Mount Laurel, N.J.

Scott Deserves Our Support

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott is seeking a second term as our governor. He has been criticized by the gun constituency for recently signing new gun restrictions into law. The public needs laws that try to stop the wild proliferation of random school massacres in our country. The Fair Haven incident this past spring, a very close call, is a case in point. It put Scott between a rock and a hard place. He knew this legislation would disappoint some gun owners but knew that he had a higher call to answer to all the citizens of the state of Vermont. He has an obligation, duty and responsibility to all Vermonters to protect their safety and well-being. He could not, therefore, be false to what he knew to be right.

All of us, both gun owners and non-owners, must show our respect for his decision by giving him our vote for governor in the Nov. 6 election.

Letitia H. Rydeski

Randolph

In Support of John O’Brien

I’m writing to support John O’Brien to serve as the Royalton-Tunbridge representative to the Vermont House. O’Brien grew up in Tunbridge, attended Chelsea High School and graduated from Harvard. He understands the issues that are important to us in the 21st century.

As a respected member of the Tunbridge Selectboard, he is a listener, questioner and problem-solver. He understands the diversity required in agriculture today, having grown up on a hillside farm where he continues to live and work with his wife and two sons. Together they operate a small business and they understand the difficulties faced in today’s economy while volunteering in their community.

So please join me in supporting John O’Brien and vote on Nov. 6.

John P. Dumville

South Royalton