VPIRG Director, Paul Burns, responds to Vermont Gas Systems’ CEO Don Gilbert, who claims that Vermont didn’t actually ban fracking.
Vermonters deserve to know the truth about the massive fracked gas pipeline that Vermont Gas Systems, Inc. is eager to build.
But on Vermont Public Radio, VT Gas CEO Don Gilbert once again dodged important questions on climate change and downplayed the significant environmental and public health threats posed by fracking. And he even denied that the ban on fracking passed last year by Vermont legislators was in fact a ban on fracking.
So what is it that Mr. Gilbert doesn’t want you to know?
- Fracked gas is a climate disaster. According to one of the Cornell researchers who recently exposed the climate-damaging reality of fracked gas, “Over a 20-year time period, the greenhouse-gas footprint of shale gas is worse than that for coal or oil.”1
- Fracking for gas is dirty, dangerous, and banned here in Vermont. Fracking wells nationwide produced an estimated 280 billion gallons of wastewater in 2012.2 Air pollution associated with fracking operations is so bad that in parts of Wyoming, where fracking is common, the air quality is now worse than Los Angeles.3 In the U.S. alone, fracking operations have used at least 2 billion gallons of chemicals since 2005, many of them toxic.4 Vermont became the first state in the nation to prohibit fracking for gas or oil in 2012.
- Clean energy technologies are cheaper and more popular every year. A new fracked gas pipeline in Vermont could last for 100 years or more. We can’t afford another century of dependence on fossil fuels, especially when we have more sustainable alternatives available today. At this moment, Vermonters are replacing their fossil fuel systems with air source heat pumps, geothermal, solar hot water, pellet stoves and district heating projects.
We do our best to give you the facts you need on important issues like the proposed fracked gas pipeline. But having the information is only half the battle. Now I hope you’ll join VPIRG in taking action to stop the fracked gas pipeline.
1) Nature, “Should Fracking Stop?” by Howarth, RW and A Ingraffea (September 2011).
2) Environment America, “Fracking by the Numbers” (October 2013).
3) Associated Press, “Wyoming’s natural gas boom comes with smog attached” (March 2011).
4) Environment America, “Fracking by the Numbers” (October 2013).