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Protester arrested at Vermont Gas - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Protester arrested at Vermont Gas

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SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. - Another protest resulted in another arrest at Vermont Gas Wednesday afternoon. A group of women were speaking out about a proposed gas pipeline, and their demonstration ended with one of them in handcuffs.

Vermont Gas recently started construction on a gas pipeline that would span from Chittenden County to Rutland.

The company says the gas would power thousands of homes and save Vermont thousands in energy costs, but one group of Vermonters say this pipeline is hitting too close to home.

They say they're not normally the protesting type, but five women from Central Vermont marched into the Vermont Gas headquarters in South Burlington Wednesday.

They refused to leave until the energy company met their demands.

"Yes, Eileen we have a few things we'd like to say," said Jane Palmer of Monkton. "And we have a few demands."

Those demands include more fair negotiations with Vermont Gas and they want employees to stop trespassing on their property.

Four of the five protesters were from Monkton, the other from Cornwall.

When Vermont Gas employees refused to meet their demands, the women decided to wait.

"We did ask them to leave and protest peacefully outside on the sidewalk which is a public area, but this is a place of business," said Eileen Simollardes of Vermont Gas.

Simollardes suggested part of the protesters' frustration stemmed from a hearing that didn't go their way when the Public Service Board approved placing the line on the homeowners land.

For a pipeline spanning three counties, Simollardes said that reaching agreements with everyone is not always possible.

"That's why there is a formal process before the Public Service Board called a certificate of public good proceeding, and just because something comes out the way you didn't want it to, doesn't mean the process was flawed," said Simollardes.

At a protest earlier this month, one person was arrested after chaining themselves to Vermont Gas' front door.

Palmer called that a waste of money.

"We want Gas Metro to stop wasting taxpayers' money by over-prosecuting peaceful protesters," said Palmer.

Once 5 p.m. rolled around and it was time to close the office, the group still refused to leave. As the South Burlington police arrived, four of the protesters walked out, but one remained.

"They asked us all to leave and Jane Palmer has elected to stay until she gets an adequate response to what she demands. She's being arrested now," protester Mary Collins said.

Police led Palmer away, resulting in no demands met and an affidavit for alleged trespassing.

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