Beth Thompson, Rutland Area Climate Coalition, 802-293-2695
Maeve McBride, 350Vermont, 802-999-2820
Rebecca Foster, Just Power, 646-468-3511
Shaina Kasper, Toxics Action Center, 802-922-4780
Montpelier, Vermont — At a meeting yesterday at Southern New Hampshire University, Senator Bernie Sanders said he opposes the controversial gas pipeline slated to extend into Vermont from Colchester to Middlebury. In response to a question from the floor the Senator said, “I’m against fracking, I’m against the pipelines, I’m against the pipeline here, I’m against the pipeline in Iowa, I’m against the pipeline in Vermont.”
Bill McKibben introduced the presidential candidate, who is leading in the New Hampshire polls, to a university audience. McKibben spoke of the urgency of responding to climate change and leaving fossil fuels in the ground rather than building more permanent infrastructure.
Sanders’ statement of pipeline opposition comes two weeks after 1,500 Vermont business owners, nonprofit organizations, faith leaders, farmers, academics, community representatives, and individuals signed a letter directed to Governor Shumlin to pull his support for additional construction of the pipeline and stop at the 11-mile mark. (The letter and signers can be found here: http://www.toxicsaction.org/news/tac/1400-sign-letter-end-gas-pipeline-project.)
“It is inspiring to know that some of our elected officials, such as Bernie Sanders and David Zuckerman, are willing to listen to the people, assess the facts on the ground, and speak out for a cause that is right,” said Rebecca Foster of 350Vermont and Just Power. “The Governor has instead allied himself with the Canadian multi-billion-dollar utility Gaz Metro, which is Vermont Gas’ parent company, and grossly miscalculated this opportunity to work concretely toward a livable planet for generations to come.”