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Who Should Pay for Pipeline Expansion?


Bolstered by a recent survey of Vermont voters, the AARP state office is urging the Public Service Board to reopen a case involving  a pipeline extension proposed by Vermont Gas Systems (VGS).

Consumer advocates say extending the pipeline 43 miles from Colchester to Middlebury would raise utility rates for VGS customers who would not benefit, including many living on fixed incomes.

Eighty percent of voters surveyed by AARP said customers should not have to pay for the project, and 88 percent said there should be greater transparency about costs. The extension would serve about 3,000 customers and deliver savings to ratepayers about 35 years after completion.

“It is not fair to ask 50,000 Vermonters to pay for a project that will not benefit them and cannot be shown to deliver savings for a generation to come,” said Greg Marchildon, AARP state director.

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