By John Dillon / Source: Vermont Public Radio
Along with the debates over school budgets and tax rates, some two dozen towns tackled oil companies and the global issue of climate change.
Twenty-eight towns went on record opposing the shipment of tar sands oil across Vermont. Activists argue that extracting the oil poses an unacceptable risk for the planet.
The organizers hope the non-binding resolutions will send a message to Montpelier and Washington.
Climate change activists are concerned that oil companies will use an existing pipeline that cuts across northern New England to move the oil from western Canada for export via Portland, Maine.
Nancy Smith was trying to rally support outside Montpelier’s city hall for the anti-tar sands resolution on the ballot.
“The pipeline is 60 years old,” she said. “It’s not designed to transport an abrasive and highly toxic substance that could destroy it. If that stuff breaks through the pipeline and it leaks into the water system, it would be absolutely disastrous.”