PARIS - Rights & Democracy’s Communication Director Aly Johnson-Kurts spoke out at a panel at the UN climate negotiations with Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin to address his unacceptable support for the Vermont fracked gas pipeline. Check out video of Aly here on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlyJohnsonKurts/status/674580461188960256
Here is story in Burlington Free Press: Opponents of natural gas extracted through fracking interrupted as Gov. Peter Shumlin participated in a panel at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris.
The group Sustain US sent out a news release Wednesday morning touting the protest as "the first major interruption at the location of the Paris negotiations.”
Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin cast the demonstration's scale differently.
"Frankly, in terms of the world over here, nobody noticed," the governor said during a telephone conference call.
"My view is that they share our sense of urgency," Shumlin said of the protesters' call for moving toward a greater use of renewable power.
Opponents of natural gas (mostly methane) repeatedly interrupted the panel, according to the release. Panelists included Shumlin, Secretary Matt Rodriquez of California Environmental Protection Agency, and Chris Davis, senior advisor to the Office of Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington State.
Two protesters unfurling a banner reading “Fracked Gas = Climate Change,” according to the release. Protesters continued to speak out for the duration of the panel, questioning the politicians’ commitments to addressing climate change in light of allowing fracked gas projects to take place.
Shumlin, a supporter of Vermont Gas' pipeline extension into Addison County, said the debate over natural gas is a lively one in Vermont, but plays a much smaller role in the scope of an international agreement to slow global warming.
"I believe that running the gas pipeline to people who are currently burning oil to heat their homes and run their businesses is going to reduce our emissions and not increase our emissions, as well as putting money in our pockets," Shumlin said.
“I worked for Governor Shumlin in 2008, but I didn’t vote for him in 2014 because of his support for the fracked gas pipeline,” Johnson-Kurts said. “Our state banned fracking in 2012, citing health concerns and risks to water safety, but we know that fracked gas buildout, including pipelines, ties us to a future of fracking elsewhere. This project is incompatible with a true clean energy plan for Vermont.”
Vermont Gas has stated that it is difficult, if not impossible, to determine what percentage of their product is pumped through hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
In an interview prior to the Paris conference, Shumlin said his intention was to speak about Vermont's efforts to develop regional solutions to climate change.
Here is link to their story: bfpne.ws/1QvCfu7