Letter: Hydropower impact

Published: 5/9/2021 8:00:11 AM

One thing that I think is pertinent was not mentioned in the article about clean energy (Monitor, 5/4). The hydropower transmission line in Maine, New England Clean Energy Connect, will be bringing power to the US from Hydro Quebec. The power generated by Hydro Quebec, while touted as environmentally sound, actually is not. Hydro Quebec has dammed pristine rivers, forming large and in some cases shallow and swampy lakes to make this hydropower. By doing so, there has been a loss of habitat and division of previously un-fragmented land areas.

As northern Quebec is a huge area, this might be okay, given the purpose of decreasing dependence on fossil fuels. However, what is not okay is that in doing this project, Hydro Quebec has also flooded homes and ancestral lands of several groups of First Nations people. Attempts by these people to stop or modify this project have been, with rare exception, unheard or treated dismissively, both by Hydro Quebec and by the Quebec government. Information about what is happening in Canada is not abundant in the US, so these facts are not widely known. I first became aware of the actions of Hydro Quebec and its indifference to the people there perhaps 15 years ago, from a friend who lives north of Quebec City. Sadly, it has been verified to me at different times by several other friends who live in Quebec Province.

Teresa Wyman



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