Thomas Naylor used to propose that perhaps one of the best solutions for Vermont to escape the US Empire would be to join the Canadian Maritime provinces, and form a small peaceful country called "New Acadia". Vermont has joined Canada, but not the way Thomas imagined it. Canada owns Vermont.
Let's start with energy. How 'bout that Gaz Metro! This Quebec company is part of an international comglomerate explored by a VT Digger article. It owns 100% of VT Gas, the only natural gas dealer in Vermont, which delivers natural gas to the northwest corner of the state. All the gas in the pipeline comes from gas fields in Alberta, which make a 2000 mile trek to Vermont. Gas flows in, cash flows out to Quebec.
Gaz Metro also owns Green Mt Power, and recently purchased CVPS, Vermont's largest investor owned utility. So Gaz Metro also owns 70% of the electrical distribution and sales in Vermont. Here's a blog that traces the money trail to final ownership of Gaz Metro by the province of Quebec. Electricity flows in and cash flows out to Gouvernment de Québec. So Gaz Metro owns 100% of natural gas and 70% of electrical utlities in Vermont. Impressive sell-out for a state of supposedly independent minded people.
Next let's look at Trans Canada, an Ontario company, which also happens to own the Southern Keystone pipeline being built in Texas right now to deliver tar sands oil to refineries in Texas for export, in order to complete the job of destabilizing the climate. Trans Canada owns all of the dams on the Connecticut and Deerfield Rivers, which was explored in several articles by Rick Foley in the print version of VT Commons a few years ago. Since the border with New Hampshire is on the VT side of the River, arguably some of the CT River dams are in New Hampshire, although some power houses are in Vermont. We can sort that out with our neighbors in New Hampshire. The point is that the dams went up for sale twice in recent years and Trans Canada snapped them up at bargain prices. Now remember all the panic about losing the 380MW of capacity Vermont used to get from Vt Yankee? The dams produce 580MW. Where does the power go? To Massachusetts of course! Not one electron ever comes to Vermont. There aren't even wires connecting the dams to Vermont. The energy flows to massachusetts, and the cash flows to Ontario. Vermont's peak power is about 1100MW, so the dams represent 53% of total capacity when running at full tilt. Hydro produces "baseload" power, because it runs 24 hrs a day when water is available, that nuke and coal enthusiasts claim renewables don't make.
Let's move on to Hydro Quebec where VT buys 1/3 of its electricity last I checked. These giant hydro projects were recently reclassified as "renewable" in order to meet the energy plan of the state. Currently we're getting something like 300MW from Hydro Quebec. Think about the absurdity of importing 300MW of hydropower from Quebec, and simultaneously exporting 580MW hydropower to Massachusetts. Vermont is like a pipeline for Canadian electricity, with a big teat on the side. Electricity flows in, electricity flows out, and all the milk and honey flows to Quebec and Ontario.
Finally there's TD BankNorth, one of the most rapacious banks around (if you've ever had an account there you'll know what I mean). TD stands for Toronto Dominion if you didn't know. They bought out Bank North a few years ago. TD BankNorth gets 22% of all private deposits in the state and more than half of state government's short term deposits according to this DEMOS article. That's Dominion all right. They get to use our money as a base of deposits to make more money from, while charging us for the service. Once again, Vermont is a syphon for money flowing to Canada. Can you pronounce "state bank"?
So to sum up, Canada owns 100% of natural gas, 70% of electricity supply, 100% of large dams, 50% of government deposits and 20% of private deposits in Vermont. Freedom and Unity? We should change it to Dependency and Disunity. But as long as we're owned by Canada, can I have their health insurance?