GJEP’S Rachel Smolker Fighting Natural Gas Pipeline Construction in Vermont

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Dr. Rachel Smolker

As seen in this report by WPTZ News in Vermont, Dr. Rachel Smolker is working with members of her Vermont community to fight the construction of a natural gas pipeline through the state.

Smolker is part of GJEP’s New Voices speakers bureau, a co-director of Biofuelwatch, and an organizer with Energy Justice Network. Smolker also works with various coalitions including the Mobilization for Climate Justice, Climate Justice, Now and others opposing market-based solutions to climate change and other “false solutions.”

A video of the report is available at WPTZ.com.  Here is an excerpt from the WPTZ piece.

HINESBURG, Vt. (NECN) ­ A quiet park in the town of Hinesburg has become the latest battlefield over the ongoing construction of a natural gas transmission line in western Vermont.

“It’s not an area I’m happy to see damaged at all,” said Rachel Smolker, an advocate for the protection of Geprags Park.

The park is the final piece of a puzzle Vermont Gas needs in order to connect parcels of land in the path of its 41­ mile, $165 million natural gas transmission pipeline, which is planned to expand service to new residential and business customers in the Middlebury area. The park is the last of the 164 property deals Vermont Gas needs to finalize in order for the project to be completed.

Smolker said she worries the project will disrupt bird habitat in Geprags, cause harm to sensitive wetlands, and violate the terms of the park’s origins, which she said called for educational and recreational usage, not hosting fossil fuel infrastructure.

“We don’t want it in your park, we don’t want it in our neighbor’s yard, we don’t want it down the road,” Smolker said of the natural gas transmission pipeline. “We don’t want this pipeline.”

See the full report here.

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