Summit Natural Gas of Maine has withdrawn its plan for a $90 million Thomaston-to-Belfast pipeline after facing strong opposition from parts of the community and local government.

In a March 2 letter to municipal officials, Kurt Adams, president and CEO of Summit’s parent company, Summit Utilities, wrote that the company had prioritized an expansion to the midcoast based on conversations with businesses and community members, but “[w]hile there is strong interest in our service among residential and commercial customers and among many community leaders, it has also become clear that a consensus about the region’s energy future does not currently exist among leaders across all area communities.”

Summit announced the plan at the beginning of February. The decision to call it off came less than a week after a Rockland City Council meeting about the proposal, at which more than 50 people spoke or wrote in opposition to the pipeline. Opponents pointed to environmental impacts of fracking, the most common technique for natural gas extraction in the U.S., and argued that any investment in fossil fuel infrastructure goes against carbon emission reduction goals that are necessary to slow the pace of climate change. At least two councilors said they strongly opposed the project. Supporters, who were outnumbered five to one, included representatives of current and prospective industrial customers and representatives of two trade unions, who backed the project based on Summit’s plan to hire 100 workers, largely to build the pipeline over seven years.

Adams reiterated Summit’s position that natural gas represents a cleaner energy source than oil and said the company will continue to explore the production of natural gas from manure and the production of green hydrogen.