Natural gas is significantly cheaper than other heating fuel sources, but the network of pipes that distributes natural gas is limited in Vermont. Now, Vermont Gas Systems is planning a major project to extend gas transmission pipes through Addison County. Economic development officials are enthusiastic about the benefits this could bring to major population centers like Middlebury, and they predict the economic benefits could spread throughout the county. But not everyone supports the project, including some residents who oppose hosting a gas pipeline that won't actually serve their part of town.
We talk with the president of Vermont Gas Systems, Don Gilbert, about the project. We also hear from the Addison County Regional Planning Commission, which has studied and broadly supports the pipeline, and from Jennifer Baker, a Monkton resident who says the process for approving the pipeline leaves little recourse for residents who oppose it.
Also in the program, UVM's Canadian Studies program will turn 50 next year. But after a move by the university's Board of Trustees last week, Canadian Studies will only be offered as a minor, not an academic major. History Professor Dave Massell, the director of the program, explains why he recommended the change and what the future looks like for the program.
Plus, wouldn't it be fun to give away $100,000 to charity? A class of students at Middlebury College learned recently how difficult it can be to make wise philanthropic decisions when the class was asked to give away real money to worthy recipients.