Monkton, Vt.– In a new wave of public opposition to the project, participants in the campaign to stop the fracked gas pipeline have stopped construction for the second time this week. Early this morning, Samuel Jessup scaled a tree on an active work site to begin yet another indefinite delay, this time by tying the support line of his platform to machinery meant to blast open the hillside where Vermont Gas Systems plans to build the pipeline.
“The climate crisis is already deadly, and it’s getting worse” Jessup said. “Each passing month there are new records set for heat and drought across the planet, and with each passing year, fossil fuels kill five million more people. We simply can’t afford to let this pipeline get built.” 
Jessup, a timber frame carpenter and Montpelier resident, is the third person in the last ten weeks to have stopped construction through a tree-top occupation. His blockade begins just two days after dozens of pipeline protesters delayed work for 8 hours at three different construction sites on Monday, ending in five arrests. 
Karen Bixler, a Bethel resident and arrestee in Monday’s acts of civil disobedience, praised Jessup’s actions. “Given that Vermont Gas has shifted from saying “on time and on budget” to “it’s complicated,” I’d say the time is now for all of us to find the courage to take action. This project is bad for ratepayers, bad for landowners, terrible for the climate, and it’s on its last legs. From the neighborhood up to the state level, thousands of us have been speaking up for years in opposition to this pipeline. It’s become clear that while our state government will only defend corporate profits through this process, grassroots organizing and direct action are our best options for protecting our homes, our savings, and our futures.”