(Host) Governor Peter Shumlin wants a Canadian company to export more natural gas to Vermont.
Shumlin recently returned from Quebec, where he met with officials at Gaz Metro. The Canadian company owns Vermont Gas Systems and Green Mountain Power.
(Shumlin) "I’m eager to see natural gas distributed to Rutland via Middlebury and Florence. I think we’ve had very good discussions with both them and the premier about the possibility of moving that along as quickly as we can."
(Host) Shumlin says the pipeline could serve industries such as General Electric in Rutland and the Omya calcium carbonate plant in Florence. He also says natural gas would be available for home heating.
But a spokesman for the state’s independent fuel companies says natural gas is not the answer to Vermont’s energy needs. Matt Cota is with the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association.
(Cota) "Heating fuel providers in Rutland County and Addison County – there’s dozens of them that provide hundreds of jobs to Vermonters – and they provide a quality fuel that is environmental safe, a clean and green fuel that is superior in our estimation to methane or natural gas. And these jobs are local jobs."
(Dillon) But Shumlin says a natural gas pipeline could spur economic growth in the region. He wants state regulators to allow Vermont Gas Systems to use money from recent rate decreases to finance the pipeline extension.