Vermont Gas Systems has added something new to its delivery system last week, the company announced. Last week, renewable natural gas imported from Quebec became part of the company’s portfolio.
Unlike “traditional” natural gas, which is extracted from the earth (often through the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing), renewable natural gas is readily available - the byproduct of decomposition of organic material. It’s most commonly found at landfills and in areas where manure is stored on large farms.
Vermont Gas CEO Don Gilbert said in a release that the company is hoping to add Vermont-sourced renewable natural gas to its portfolio as well.
“Vermont Gas is also supporting the development of the first commercial-scale, agriculturally-based renewable natural gas production facility in Vermont,” he said in the release.
The company has come under fire in recent months for its use of natural gas acquired through hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” in Canada. Fracking is banned in Vermont, and critics say the use of fracked gas goes against the spirit of that legislation.
Opponents of the company’s planned expansion south from Chittenden County often use the refrain “stop the fracked gas pipeline.” The company’s move toward renewable natural gas announced this week will reduce its dependence on fracking, but not completely - at current supply levels, the company is using enough renewable natural gas to supply about 350 average homes.