About three dozen climate activists demonstrated at Vermont Gas' headquarters in South Burlington on Tuesday to protest the company's plan to extend a natural gas pipeline down the western side of the state. One protester was arrested and one Vermont Gas employee was slightly injured, the company said.
Rising Tide Vermont and 350.org, the groups organizing the protest, demand that Vermont Gas cancel the project schedule for construction in June. The groups say natural gas sourced from the process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, emits more greenhouse gases than coal.
About 20 protesters were issued trespass citations and one person was arrested, according to South Burlington Police Detective Ron Bliss.
Sara Mehalick of Plainfield locked herself to the building's main entrance before she was arrested. She had planned to remain locked to the door until Vermont Gas canceled the project.
Vermont Gas Systems plans to build a 41-mile, $86.6 million natural gas pipeline extension through Addison County to connect service in Chittenden and Franklin counties to Middlebury. The first phase of the project has received state regulatory approval and is scheduled to be completed next year.
The company said it plans to keep to the current schedule despite the protests.